The bikes start showing up outside Pearl Street Brewery.

Wow! At times there was very little room to even move around at the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition’s “Join the Cause” party this past Sunday (March 20). With almost a hundred people signing in, the Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse was the spot to be for people interested in bicycle advocacy. The place was filled with familiar and new faces and there was even a pickup Foosball tournament in the back of the room.

The event was attended by bicyclists from around the region, not just La Crosse. I had the opportunity to personally talk with individuals from Vernon County, Eau Claire, Onalaska and even from Minnesota. This shows that there is a strong desire to have a organization like the DRBC representing the needs bicyclists throughout the Driftless Region. As we grow DRBC will continue to reach out and serve cyclists across the area. The wide range of ages and the diversity of the crowd was very exciting.

Lots of conversation and fun.

I had a great conversation with someone who is interested in helping families with special needs children find ways for them to become active cyclists. We are going to be working with her to create a resources page on our website and to identify other ways we can assist special needs bicyclists. Many people took the opportunity to become members and I was privileged to talk with several of them and listen to what aspects of bicycling they are passionate about. What aspect of bicycling are you passionate about?

This was the DRBC’s first event since becoming a Wisconsin non-profit and was kind of a coming out party. With our basic organizational structure in place, we will now start working on getting our 501(c)3 status, while still working on bicycling issues throughout the region. Bike to Work Week, May 15-21, is our next big public event and will be the most ambitious BTWW in our area ever.

Little guy helping to draw raffle tickets from basket.

I would like to thank Bikes Limited, Blue Heron Bicycle Works, Smith’s Cycle & Fitness and River Trails Cycles for their generous support of this event. Also I want to thank Colin of Erehwon Mountain Outfitters and Bryan of Mountain Hardware for their generous donations of gear. We had loads of swag and had a great time raffling it all off! I also want to thank all the members of DRBC who work so hard to make this a great event. It is this kind of dedication and passion that is going to make the Driftless Region the best place to bicycle in the Midwest.

If you didn’t get a chance to join the DRBC last night, you can still do so online. Go to our join page print out the membership form, fill it out and mail it in. You can include payment or pay online. We need you to become an active and engaged member of the DRBC today!

Don’t forget the Western Wisconsin Bike Summit on Tuesday, March 23! I look forward to our next event and I hope to see you on the road before then, bicycling.

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