‘Wheel Fever’ Receives Prestigious AASLH Award

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State by Jesse J. Gant and Nicholas J. Hoffman, was recently awarded the 2014 American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Award of Merit.

wheel-fever-coverThe AASLH has awarded the Leadership in History Awards for the past 69 years and is one of the highest achievements in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. AASLH awards will be presented at a special banquet during the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, September 19, 2014.

This award-winning book explores the origins of bicycling and why those origins still matter, but it is also about Wisconsin’s continuing fascination with all things bicycle. The authors weave their way through bicycling history beginning with the velocipede craze of 1869 and pedaling through the “wheel fever” of the 1890s. This lushly illustrated book features never-before-seen images of early bicycles and the people who rode them: bloomer girls, bicycle jockeys, young urbanites and unionized workers. “Wheel Fever” also details the often-impassioned debates over who should be allowed to ride, where they could ride, and even what they should wear.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press is Wisconsin’s oldest publisher, established in 1855 as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. It continues to serve the Society’s missions, publishing books that share the best of Wisconsin history and culture, like “Wheel Fever.”
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The Wisconsin Historical Society Press, publishing the best of Wisconsin history and culture, since 1855

The Copenhagen Wheel, Possible Door County Hill Tamer?

The first commercial version of the hand-crafted Copenhagen Wheel,  invented and built in Cambridge, MA is now available for pre-order.

The Copenhagen Wheel was initially developed at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab as a research project, sponsored by the Mayor of Copenhagen. It has won multiple design awards and been reviewed in over 1,000 media publications, including BBC, Wired and the New York Times – not to mention a glamorous acting debut during a whole season of the TV series Weeds.

Superpedestrian, a venture-backed company operating out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded in late 2012 by Assaf Biderman, Associate Director at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab. They seek to provide new forms of human-powered mobility.

“I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. That didn’t look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away.” — Steve Jobs

As you bike, the wheel is able to capture energy when braking or going down hill that it stores in the integrated lithium battery pack. Riders are given a boost as they pedal by measuring their effort, instead of using a throttle. This preserves the normal biking experience while enabling riders to bike faster, farther, and easier. All actuation of the wheel happens automatically via the pedals through sensing and control algorithms. When the rider pedals harder, such as when going uphill, the wheel pushes with increasing power. Using your smartphone with the Superpedestrian app, you can vary the level of powered assist.

Currently, a rear dropout of 135mm is required for the Copenhagen Wheel to be installed. Unsure if the Wheel will work on your bike, email your bike’s specs to their mechanic at info@superpedestrian.com .

Pre-order your Copenhagen Wheel now at a special early bird price of $699. Visit http://superpedestrian.com for more details.

Door County Bicycle, Pedestrian and Recreational Facilities Public Input Survey

If you would like to have a say in the future of bike and pedestrian trails in Door County you are invited to take an online survey.

Here is a link to the Door County Bicycle, Pedestrian and Recreational Facilities Public Input Survey. This survey is being conducted to gather public input regarding biking, walking and the use of recreational facilities in Door County. Responses will help shape the county’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Recreational Facilities Plan. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.


Bike-to-Benefit Riders Seeking Sponsors for Ridges’ Range Light Restoration

The Interact Club of Gibraltar, formed by the Northern Door Rotary Club earlier this year, gives middle school students an opportunity to get involved with various projects throughout the community.

Interact Club of Gibraltar President, Megan Leonard

Interact Club of Gibraltar President, Megan Leonard

Community service has long been recognized as a way of linking together the academic, social and emotional components of learning. Children experience personal growth by making an impact on their surrounding communities and develop a sense of good citizenship which ensures the future health and well-being of those communities.

To build awareness for the new club, The Ridges Sanctuary is partnering with the Northern Door Rotary to facilitate an exchange program. On June 6, 7 and 8, club members will be helping to host a group of Milwaukee students at The Ridges for a program highlighting the Door County outdoor experience. In the future, the Gibraltar Interact students hope to have a similar exchange program and travel to Milwaukee to experience the city’s museums, galleries and cultural diversity. Previously, Interact had been primarily for high school students. With the decision by Rotary International to open it up to younger kids, the Interact Club of Gibraltar becomes the first of its kind in the country.

Interact Club of Gibraltar Vice President, Sarah Kifer

Interact Club of Gibraltar Vice President, Sarah Kifer

This summer, as part of their community service activity, the club’s President and Vice President, Megan Leonard and Sarah Kifer, will help raise money for The Ridges Sanctuary by participating in the 2012 Ride for Nature on Saturday, June 16. For the first time in its history, the Ride is offering a sponsorship program called Bike-to-Benefit. To help launch the new program, the Cordon Family Foundation has agreed to match, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000 in sponsorships. Leonard and Kifer will tackle the 15-mile route of the Ride and the girls are looking for sponsors to help them reach their goal.

All sponsorship amounts are welcome. Funds raised through the Bike to Benefit program will support the restoration of the Baileys Harbor Range Lights, a rapidly disappearing kind of lighthouse and two of the only surviving range lights in Wisconsin.

Individuals wishing to sponsor Megan and Sarah can call The Ridges Sanctuary at 920.839.2802 to make their pledge.

For more information about the Interact Club of Gibraltar, contact club Coordinator Jess Holland at 920.743.8785.

National Bike to Work Week, May 14-18

May is National Bike Month and this week is National Bike to Work Week.

The League of American Bicyclists provides a collection of bike education resources to help you ride confidently and safely that include Five Steps to Riding Better and a short PDF on Creating a Bicycle-friendly Workplace. The League sponsors the annual event and also publishes the comprehensive 2012 Ride Guide, a very good looking and info-packed listing of all cycling events in Wisconsin. Print copies are available at most bike shops and a PDF version is available online.

The 2012 Wisconsin Bike Challenge urges you to log your miles online or through your smart phone from May 1 to August 31 with the nationwide goal of “uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles.” Earn recognition as a real Wisconsin bike champion and register to win prizes. It’s free and a lot of fun!

Map My Ride provides iMapMy, a fitness tracking tool that enables you to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device (iPhone, Android and BlackBerry) to track all of your fitness activities. Record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to any of the Map My Fitness Websites where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history.

The 10th annual worldwide Ride of Silence will begin in North America on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 7 pm and roll across the globe. Wisconsin cyclists will be rolling forth between 5 and 7 pm at various locations, taking to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed.

…and Friday, May 18 is the League’s Bike to Work Day.


Billions Saved if Just 50% of Short Trips Were Done by Bicycle

National Public Radio (NPR) reports, “Researchers at the University of Wisconsin were wondering if getting people out of their cars just a wee bit would create measurable improvements in health. So, they gathered up data sets on obesity, health effects of pollution and air pollution caused by automobiles in 11 Midwestern cities, and did a mashup.”

Dr. Jonathan A. Patz

Dr. Jonathan A. Patz

Some people might scoff at NPR’s reporting the obvious, but I personally try to implement what I call the “2-mile rule” each summer. Starting in the spring, I refuse to drive my car on any trips within a 2-mile radius. As summer advances, I find the radius expands in conjunction with my increasing capability. By the end of my best summer, it had grown to 20 miles. The rewards were much greater than just the savings in money not spent on gas. I started experiencing nature and my neighborhood in a more personal and intimate manner.

Dr. Jonathan A. Patz and his research team members found that if we Midwesterners could shift half of our short trips (less than 2.5 miles each way) from car to bike, 1,100 deaths would be avoided each year and $7 billion would be saved in reduced health-care costs. Their research was published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives.


Increased use of bikes for commuting offers economic, health benefits
by David Tenenbaum

Bike Tours Worth Looking Into…

Big Easy Bike Tours

Professional Bike Tours of New York City

Napa Valley Winery Bike Tour

Calistoga bike shop – cool wine tour.
We had a great day out. It was easy and hassle free.
We turned up, they had plenty of bikes and helmets to choose from.
We did the cool wine tour. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Fabulous wineries, great service and fantastic pick up service for the wine bottles.
Easy map and great advice.
We were sceptical about paying $80 for this service; as we usually like to plan our own winery tours. For once, we did not bother and went with the flow. It was fabulous.
Having the wine picked up for you, beats carrying it all on your bike. We have done this before…
Thank you for a great day.

I Bike Italy