RENEW Wisconsin Gears up for Middleton Bicycle Tour

RENEW Wisconsin Gears up for Middleton Bicycle Tour

“Ride with RENEW” will highlight area renewable energy projects

Madison, WI – August 23, 2017;  Contact Tyler Huebner, Executive Director, 608-255-4044 ext 1.

On Sunday, October 1st, RENEW Wisconsin, with presenting sponsor SunPeak, will host its 5th annual “Ride with RENEW” bicycle tour of renewable energy projects, with this year’s ride taking place in Middleton, WI.  All event proceeds support RENEW Wisconsin’s ongoing work to advance renewable energy in Wisconsin.

Riders will travel approximately 22 miles on paved roads and bike paths to visit innovative wind, solar and biogas energy generation facilities in scenic northwest Dane County.

2015 Ride with RENEW – Lake Geneva

The total tour time will be approximately 6 hours (including stops at renewable energy sites) and actual riding time will be 2 to 3 hours. Seasoned cyclists will have an optional longer route of about 40 miles to travel at their own pace.

Participants will get an inside look at some of the area’s leading renewable energy projects and will enjoy breakfast, lunch, and beverages along the way. They will visit with installers and workers who are advancing renewable energy every day, and hear from customers about why clean energy works for their pocketbooks and their businesses.

The stops and start and end schedule is as follows:

Gather at BMO Harris Bank parking Lot in Middleton for a 9:30 a.m. departure.
Sustainable Engineering Group’s net-zero solar powered office in downtown Middleton.
Gundersen Health Systems & Dane County Biodigester. This project converts manure to make enough electricity to power approximately 2,500 homes while keeping manure out of the watershed.
Madison Gas & Electric’s Middleton Shared Solar project, a large 500 kilowatt solar project on the roof of the Middleton Operations Center. Subscribers to this pilot shared solar program receive the benefits of locally generated solar power from a centralized solar project.
Epic’s “Galactic” Wind Farm, featuring six turbines — each with three 135-foot blades – which rise hundreds of feet above the rolling hills northwest of Madison and generate enough electricity to help Epic offset much of its energy needs.
PDQ in downtown Middleton. Presenting sponsor SunPeak installed solar panels on this store which showcases the market advances of solar alongside traditional fuels.

2016 Ride with RENEW – Sisters of St. Agnes Solar Array in
Fond du Lac

The ride will conclude at Capital Brewery, also powered by a set of solar panels, for refreshments around 4:00 p.m.

Registration for the ride is open through September 29th. The cost is $30 for members of RENEW Wisconsin, $40 for non-members, and $60 to both register for the ride and become a member of the organization for one year.  All donations to RENEW Wisconsin for this charity bike ride are matched up to $15,000 by generous donors John & Mary Frantz of Madison!

Individuals and businesses can donate to RENEW Wisconsin or in support of a rider,  sign on as an event sponsor, or volunteer on ride day.

“We are very excited to tour some of the Middleton area’s great renewable energy projects on Sunday, October 1st,” said Tyler Huebner, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin.  “This tour allows us to showcase a variety of ways to produce homegrown, clean energy right here in Wisconsin including wind, solar, and even cow manure. This is a really fun event where you can meet great people, help a good cause, and learn together about clean energy in Wisconsin.”

Sponsors of the Event include SunPeak (presenting sponsor), Capital Brewery, City of Middleton, H&H Solar, Summit Credit Union, Wegner CPAs, Full Spectrum Solar, One Energy Renewables, Midwest Solar Power, Madison Solar Consulting, Open Circle UUF, and Willy Street Co-op. There is still time to sponsor if your business or organization wishes to do so.

About RENEW Wisconsin
RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization which promotes renewable energy in Wisconsin. We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information on RENEW’s website:  

Bicyclists don’t need no stinkin’ tax breaks

From an article by Bill Berry in The Capital Times:

STEVENS POINT – As long as various groups are seeking relief from onerous and burdensome taxes, why don’t we have a tax break for bicycle commuters?

Many of us in this category have commuted to and from work for decades. OK, let’s be honest. We feel sorry for the poor souls trapped in motor vehicles. They look so forlorn and detached from the world around them. Bicycle commuters, on the other hand, have no choice but to be attuned and aware, with 2,000-pound monsters all around us.

Frankly, biking to and from work is the best part of the job. In a city like this one, a brisk morning ride through residential neighborhoods is a gift not to be underrated. There are birds and gardens and tidy lawns along the way. The bustling rail yards that bisect the city are full of sights and sounds. . . .

On second thought, forget it. We get enough benefits anyway. We’re not a bunch of fat-cat beggars looking to skirt our civic responsibilities. We’re doing our part, and we already know we’re getting a better deal by hopping on a two-wheeler. We already save money by biking. We arrive at work fit, awake and ready for the day’s tasks.

We don’t need no stinkin’ tax breaks. . . .

DOT to study walking, biking lane for Hoan Bridge

From an article by Tom Daykin in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The state Department of Transportation will study the feasibility of creating a lane for biking and walking across Milwaukee’s Hoan Bridge as part of the department’s overall work on rebuilding the span.

That study is to be completed this fall, said DeWayne Johnson, the department’s regional director for southeastern Wisconsin.

Johnson made his comments at a meeting of the Long-Range Lakefront Planning Committee.

The County Board created the committee to advise it on the future of O’Donnell Park, the Downtown Transit Center and nearby areas.

The board created the group after philanthropist and retired business executive Michael Cudahy floated a plan to demolish O’Donnell Park and the transit center and replace them with a hotel and office buildings. Cudahy is founder of Discovery World and co-owner of the lakefront Harbor House restaurant.

Among other things, committee members are working with DOT officials on possibly reconfiguring ramps tied to the eastern portion of downtown’s I-794 and the Hoan Bridge.

That would open up more land near Lake Michigan for development.

Bike-sharing program bends the ear of local execs

From an article by Corrine Hess in the Business Journal of Milwaukee:

Finding a parking spot downtown will no longer be an issue for people willing to pedal.

At least, not if a group of local business leaders backing the bicycle rental initiative have any say in it.

The Discovery World museum hosted B-Cycle Thursday, the group responsible for setting up bike rental stations at 11 cities across the country, including Madison. Joel Brennan, president and CEO of Discovery World, invited the B-Cycle team to present their proposal to the museum’s board of directors.

“This is an innovative idea and we are the center of innovation so we thought it was a good fit,” Brennan said.

Lee Jones, director of sales for B-Cycle, said he hoped the event would spark interest in sponsorships for the program in Milwaukee.

The program is not cheap. Each bicycle, which includes the stand, and the software, ranges from $3,500 to $5,500.

B-Cycle installed about 200 bikes in Madison last month and expects to have the project completed by the end of July with 350 bicycles at 35 stations around the city.

Trek , a Waterloo bike manufacturer, donated the bikes in Madison. However, B-Cycle representative acknowledged it’s unlikely that will happen again in Milwaukee.

B-Cycle was started in Boulder, Colo., in 2008 as a partnership between Trek, Humana Inc. of Louisville, Ky., and Boulder advertising agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky.

The program is modeled after similar endeavors in European cities such as Paris and allows riders to swipe a membership card to unlock a 45-pound bicycle that comes with a lock, lights and basket.

Timing is good for B-Cycle to visit the city. The 11-day Tour of America’s Dairyland series is currently underway and hundreds of bicyclists are riding through southeast Wisconsin. On June 21, more than 600 cyclists rode through Schlitz Park and the Brewers Hill neighborhood.

Biking to work good for health, environment

From an article by Jake Miller in the Marshfield News-Herald:

Four dollars a gallon was enough inspiration for Steven Uthmeier to ditch the car.

Several years later, and in the midst of national Bike-to-Work week, the 56-year-old still bikes to work almost daily, huffing it into Marshfield on an old Schwinn that’s made for a commute, not for looks.

Uthmeier cruises in from Hewitt, making a round trip of about 11 miles each day to and from home and his desk at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
Inhumane gasoline prices sparked his interest, but how Uthmeier feels after a ride has kept him going. He’s refreshed and refocused.

“After I got into it, I felt better,” Uthmeier said. “Then I was actually doing it for the exercise also, and I found on the way home after I finished a day of work it was very decompressing and relaxing.”

Biking to work is by no means the primary mode of transportation and it isn’t without inherent risks. There’s the off-chance you’ll be hit by a car, or you may get a flat at the most inopportune time.

Marshfield has continued to develop its network of bike trails, which for people like Uthmeier, has made the ride nearly as safe as it’s going to get. He’s only riding in traffic for about a mile before he reaches the path along Veterans Parkway.

“You do have cars going 45 (mph),” Uthmeier said, “but as soon as you get to the boulevard it’s just beautiful.”

He typically bikes to work from April to October, unless a heavy rain or snow storm hits.