Dave Schlabowske
Bike Czar

Sign Up for Santa Rampage

It’s become a huge hit and the 16th annual ride is on December 3rd.

By , Bike Federation of Wisconsin - Oct 28th, 2016 02:31 pm
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Santa Cycle Rampage

Santa Cycle Rampage

Santa Cycle Rampage, Saturday, Dec. 3rd

7 a.m. – 9 a.m. – Pre-ride check-in and day-of registration at BelAir Cantina Tosa, 6817 W. North Ave.  Stop here before you ride to check in, get your wrist band, and pick up free candy canes to hand out to kids watching along the ride. BelAir will also be offering a special breakfast with fun prizes. Stay tuned for more details on how to win!

9:30 a.m. – Ride leaves from Cranky Al’s at 69th and North Ave.
10:30 a.m. – Ride ends at Lakefront Brewery, 1872 N Commerce St. (open to Santa and his helpers from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

See the list below for other Santa Gathering places to enjoy holiday cheer before and after the ride. Keep in the loop as we add more Santa Gathering places and announce special offers for Santa’s helpers on our Santa Cycle Rampage Facebook community and Facebook event page.  If you have a favorite cafe or tavern that wants to be listed as a Santa Rampage gathering place, ask the owner or manager to email daves@wisconsinbikefed.org

Register Now »

Please save yourself some time at the Rampage check-in that morning and sign the waiver online by clicking the link below.

Sign the Online Waiver to Ride »

We started the Santa Cycle Rampage 16 years ago with a handful of people who rode their bikes all year so we could have a fun ride in the winter and encourage other people to try riding in the winter. Now lots of people ride all year, which may be one reason why the Santa Cycle Rampage now attracts hundreds of people and has even spun off other Santa Cycle Rampage rides as far away as Boston.

Haven’t been on a Santa Cycle Rampage? This fun video by Richard Beauchamp and our friends at Mainly Editing from last year’s Rampage should give you an idea of what to expect. Thanks also to Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr. (July 12, 1941 – May 21, 2012) and The Versatones for the perfect background music. Blazoncyk, from south of the Cheddar Curtain, was a Grammy award-winning musician and is deservedly in the Polka Hall of Fame.

Bike Fed-Santa Rampage 2015 from Mainly Editing on Vimeo.

For 2016, the “official” Santa Cycle Rampage Ride day-of registration and pre-ride check-in will open at 7am, at BelAir Cantina, 6817 W North Ave., in Wauwatosa. Please stop in to pick up your ride wrist band. We will also be giving riders free candy canes to share with people along the ride. Be sure to get to BelAir early enough to eat a special breakfast with “Golden Ticket” prizes hidden randomly in the meals!

The police-led Santa Cycle Rampage ride will start at 9:30am from Cranky Al’s Bakery at 69th and North Avenue (one of the traditional morning Santa gathering places). Riders can stage on 69th St., which will be closed. The ride will be a slow, 5.5 mile group ride down North Avenue to Lakefront Brewery.

Registration fee for the Santa Cycle Rampage Ride is

  • Bike Fed members: $2
  • Non-members: $35

Parents, in the spirit of the holidays, kids under 18 ride free, but be sure to add to your waiver please!

  • Buy a Rampage shirt, scarf, hat or hoodie when you register and we will ship them to you.
Santa Cycle Rampage Apparel.

Santa Cycle Rampage Apparel.

See the route map below for the location of registration check-in at BelAir Cantina, ride start at Cranky Al’s, and to find the locations of other Santa Gathering Places around the Milwaukee area.

This year we are looking for Coordinators for each of the Santa Gathering Places. These Head Santas will get free entry to the ride, and a free t-shirt or hat. Coordinators can help lead the Santas to the ride start or directly to Lakefront Brewery if you are skipping the official ride, and then back to their local Santa Gathering place after.  If you are interested in becoming a Head Santa, email Santa Dave.

We want to keep the reindeer employed during the lead up to Christmas, so we had to make some changes this year.

We want to keep the reindeer employed during the lead up to Christmas, so we had to make some changes this year.

We did contact all the other business owners where Santas traditionally gather in the morning or at post-ride parties, and they all agreed to roll out the red carpet for holiday merry makers again this year. We even picked up some new places. All the business owners also agreed to sponsor the ride with donations to the Wisconsin Bike Fed. Below is the official list of Santa Cycle Rampage Day sponsors for morning gathering places and post-ride parties. Note that some of these businesses have limited hours for Santas because they have tours and other events.

2016 Santa Gathering Places (Your neighborhood holiday haunt not listed? Ask the proprietor to email Santa Dave to get on the list!):

Of course, the more Santas the merrier, but we don’t expect everyone on the East Side or in Bay View to change their habits, register for the official ride and pedal out to ‘Tosa, just to ride back down to Lakefront Brewery. Santas around Milwaukee are welcome to keep their Rampage traditions and do their own things. You don’t have to register to put on a Santa Suit and spread holiday cheer. You can also buy a shirt or hat without doing our ride. Hopefully the number of businesses who welcome Santas continues to grow over the years, and there are even more people riding around in Santa suits in every corner of Milwaukee, getting more people to try riding bikes in the winter and spending money at local businesses.

This guy gets the award for the littlest Santa with the biggest heart for scooting along on the ride last year!

This guy gets the award for the littlest Santa with the biggest heart for scooting along on the ride last year!

If you have never tried riding around town in a Santa suit, you really should. It is the only time you get honked at riding your bike because people are so happy to see you! We have lots more photos from Days of Santa Cycle Rampage Past here and here on our Bike Fed Photoshelter website.

2014 Santa Cycle Rampage Gallery

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6 thoughts on “Bike Czar: Sign Up for Santa Rampage”

  1. Rich says:

    Did the selection of this route have anything to do with the recent painting of bike lanes on North Ave between 8th and Fond Du Lac (or vice versa)? If so, awesome, it’s about time that stretch got some attention.

    Now, if only we could get drivers to stop using that as a high-speed passing lane, we’d be all set….bollards, anyone?

  2. Hi Rich, the route was mostly because we wanted to start from a bike-friendly bakery, and Cranky Al’s has been a start location for lots Santas for many years. The fact that Wauwatosa did so much to improve North Avenue for bicycling with the green lanes, bike boxes and reconstructed curb extensions also played a factor in us choosing to start the official ride in East Tosa.

    As for cars driving in them, that really only happens in sections without much on-street parking and without curb extensions. Milwaukee didn’t install green lanes, but they have had curb extensions on North all the way east to HWY 175. And we will have a police escort for this ride again, so no worries on the Rampage.

    Using their High Impact Paving Program, the City of Milwaukee has recently added a number of regular and buffered bike lanes on streets where the roadways had more travel lanes than needed by current traffic volumes (Roosevelt is one example). I have definitely witnessed people in cars speeding down the bike lanes to pass on the right in those situations. The Wisconsin Bike Fed would like to see those buffered lanes turned into protected lanes using simple flexible bollards, like is being done in many major cities. Everywhere protected lanes are installed, cycling goes way up. Since they added the protected lane on Kinzie in Chicago, bike ridership increased 55% and bicyclists can now account for over 50% of eastbound traffic in the morning peak hour.

  3. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    People this is great idea. Doubtful that there will be more bike lanes along the busy hi ways as the fund is broke. Unless the bikers, our family included put up money for them.
    However one thing that we did in the 80’s that everyone really appreciated was to open them Milwaukee Mile at stake fairi park for riders to race, workout train for various sports on Safe sites. Hopefully we can do that agin cause it is fun and safe. Meet fellow cyclists.

  4. Actually, the City of Milwaukee and most other communities around the state have added a lot of new bike lanes this year with paving projects and there are many more planned for next year. While paint is cheap, we agree that our transportation fund is broken and needs more money just to maintain what we have. That is a conversation for a different blog post though. This is about the Santa Cycle Rampage, just a fun holiday ride not a policy post.

    What did it cost to open the Milwaukee Mile? Did the riders pay to ride? Who organized and insured the riding? It is certainly an interesting idea. There have been a number of bicycle road races on the track in recent years, but it has not been opened for casual riding to my knowledge.

  5. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    My feed back has been tha the Tosa deal is not good and will be killed in future.
    The Milwuakee Mile was the greatest thing for bike racing. We did it through he West Allis Rec. Dept. It cos us $50 per day and we charged $1. It was great fun for 10 years but then the Juniors all grew up. Dede won the Junior World Championship. Kuspa was on national team.
    My son and daughter won 29 state championships, our team: Team West Allis won 45 medal in state competition one year. We used it for “Wheelin Weekend” the three day competition we had over labor Day that drew 1800 entries from 82 thru 90.
    Our family loves cycling but have lost 4 friends killed in accidents on these busy streets. We had for too many trying accidents till e got people off any busy streetts.
    I believe that the State Fair Mile sits empty and could use some PR. Open on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4 till dark and it would pay for tislef. You need insurance. I have tried to get the Pettit center to do it.
    You want to talk some day, come over or call. 414-258-1719

  6. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    We are big cycling enthusiasts and have been for 40 years.
    We got an awful lot of people into the sport, and won national Championships, World championships, 2 of them, tons of state champions ships, Olympic medals ,but have not backed the effort to put these lanes on busy streets: North ave etc. Too dangers.
    Bike trials, she applies to ride, safety above all else. Losing friends is really tough.
    if I wish to ride around Milwaukee, I have all kinds of ways to go, without endangering my self on Bluemoind, Norh Ave, Burleigh etc.
    Rode my bike to work for years. Still ride the bike trails almost every day around the calendar.
    Work on that.

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