Recreation Events Community Orgs
FREE-WHEELIN’ FUN: E.C. Bike Week 2023 is Bigger, Better, and Longer
while the state will celebrate Bike Week June 3-10, E.C. is celebrating with an extra day and offering tons of events
McKenna Scherer, photos by Kelsey Corder |
The Wisconsin Bike Fed coordinates with communities across the state to organize events throughout Wisconsin Bike Week each year. This year, Wisconsin Bike Week – themed “Chain Reactions: A week-long celebration for a lifetime of inspiration” – is June 3-10, but in Eau Claire, Bike Week will start one day early, kicking off a week chock-full of an incredible spread of events for beginners and seasoned riders alike.
The Bike Week Kickoff Party on Friday, June 2, will stretch across Haymarket Plaza in downtown Eau Claire, and from 4-7pm, will host a dozen bike advocacy groups and bike shops, a Scheel’s gift card giveaway, and more. The kickoff also coincides with Volume One’s Food Truck Friday event, just over the bridge in Phoenix Park.
BIKE WEEK IS ALL ABOUT GETTING MORE BUTTS ON BIKES.
The bicycle is the most effect form of transportation and one of the most enjoyable and accessible avenues for exercise, so at its core, Bike Week is about celebrating all forms of biking and the businesses, organizations, and local governments that improve life on the bicycle in Eau Claire.
MEMBER OF BIKE CHIPPEWA VALLEY
After the kickoff event, from June 4-10 an exciting variety of Bike Week events will follow, including a Bikes, Bridges & Brews event that begins and ends at The Brewing Project, the second annual Pride Ride coinciding with the Eau Claire Pride event, and more.
This year, Bike Chippewa Valley’s partner organizations working on Bike Week include the City of Eau Claire, Valley Girls Cycling Club, SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar, CORBA Trails, Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance, Wisconsin Bike Fed, Friends of the Chippewa River State Trail, and Volume One. And the expansive local Bike Week planning has truly been a group effort.
“Bike Week is all about getting more butts on bikes,” said Jeremy Gragert, one of the organizers. “The bicycle is the most effective form of transportation and one of the most enjoyable and accessible avenues for exercise, so at its core, Bike Week is about celebrating all forms of biking and the businesses, organizations, and local governments that improve life on the bicycle in Eau Claire.”
Gragert also noted that Bike Week will include events for folks who haven’t ridden in decades or integrate it into their daily routines; biking can also be thought of as a form of activism in the face of climate change and corporate control of transportation systems and land use.
Specific to the Chippewa Valley, Gragert explained while there is a ways to go before Eau Claire is a universally safe and accessible community for bicyclists of all abilities or experience levels, Bike Week is a way to highlight how far the community has come, and to envision what can be done in the future.
“Eau Claire has trails that follow rivers, and cross the rivers, like no other community that I know,” he said. “Eau Claire is surrounded by rural countryside that allows for varied road biking and mountain biking opportunities that few places can possibly imagine.”
Bike Week events are free to attend and coming up fast, so hop on your wheels, strap on your helmet, and head out to join in on the Valley’s cycling community.
- Friday, June 2 – Bike Week Kickoff Party
- Haymarket Plaza, downtown Eau Claire | 4-7pm
- Music, 12 local advocacy groups and bike shops exhibiting, and basic bike safety available; L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library will exhibit its Book Bike; 5pm the City of Eau Claire's Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocacy Committee will give out awards; Folks can take a survey to enter for a chance to win a gift card donated by Scheels
- Saturday, June 3 – Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
- Eau Claire County Expo Center pavillion off Lorch Avenue | 9am-12pm
- CORBA Trails and 906 Adventure Team will host their annual event to get kids on mountain bikes, all families welcome. Activities will include group rides based on skill level, skills and obstacles challenges, snacks, and more, at Lowes Creek County Park. Free and open to the public.
- Sunday, June 4 – Bike to Baseball
- Meet-up point will be at The Brewing Projekt | 1pm
- Meet as a group and ride to an Eau Claire Express baseball game vs. Waterloo Bucks at Carson Park. Participating riders will receive free general admission to the game, but must join the ride from the meet-up point, leaving at 1:30pm sharp. Sponsored by Eau Claire Express and Bike Chippewa Valley
- Monday, June 5 – CORBA Weekly Group Ride
- Eau Claire County Expo Center pavillion off Lorch Avenue | arrive at 5:45pm, ride at 6pm
- Join CORBA Trails for their weekly mountain bike Group Ride, open to all skill levels and whether you know the trails or not. Participants will break up into groups accordnig to speed and no on will be left behind. Helmets required.
- Tuesday, June 6 – Hands-On Fix-a-Flat Workshop & Happy Hour
- SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar | 6-7:30pm
- Learn the basics of fixing your own flat tire during the pop-up workshop where tools and demo wheels will be provided. Bring your own bike or wheel to work on and get help from experts; tires, tubes, parts and tools available for purchase.
- Wednesday, June 7 – Eau Claire Pie Riders trail and road tour
- Hobbs Boat Landing | 5-7:30pm
- Join the Eau Claire Pie Riders for a ride on the Chippewa River State Trail and on country roads south of Eau Claire. State Trail Pass required. 20-25 mile, no-drop ride.
- Thursday, June 8 – Ride Your Bike to Sounds Like Summer Concert
- Phoenix Park | 6-8pm
- Bike to the second Sounds Like Summer Concert of the season at Phoenix Park and park for free at the Bike Valet parking service in the park, near the farmers market restrooms. Bike Chippewa Valley operates the valet every Thursday for the series concerts.
- Friday, June 9 – Valley Girls Weekly Single Track Mountain Bike Ride
- Eau Claire County Expo Center pavillion off Lorch Avenue | 11:30am
- Join the Valley Girls Cycling Club for a great time exploring accessible trails and finding places to challenge yourself. All ability levels welcome, but the event is intended for women only.
- Friday, June 9 – Bikes, Bridges & Brews
- The Brewing Projekt | 5:30-7pm
- Gather at The Brewing Projekt for a leisurely ride leaving at 5:30pm sharp through the city of Eau Claire covering some of the best bike routes, bike trails, and bridges before ending back at the brewery. The ride will cover approximately 13 miles and will be at a moderate city-riding pace (10 mph).
- Saturday, June 10 – 2nd Annual Pride Ride
- SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar | 11am meet-up, 12pm roll-out
- Celebrate Eau Claire's Pride with a family-friendly bike parade through downtown! Decorate your bikes from 11am-12pm at SHIFT, then slow-roll as a group down to Barstow Street to Phoenix Park for Pride in the Park. Some supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.
Check out the Chippewa Valley Bike Map, available for free in print at local bike shop, public libraries, and places like The Local Store. It is also available online at BikeChippewaValley.com.