President: Harald Kliems
Growing up in a small town in Germany and later going to university in Berlin, Harald never thought of himself as a cyclist—he just used his bike to get places. After coming to the US for grad school, using a bike somehow required lots of things, among them identifying as “a cyclist.” And so he did. Trained as a psychologist and sociologists of science and technology, Harald now works as a researcher in pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Not having a car in his household, he rides his bike all around town, and he wants to make Madison a place where people of all ages and all abilities can do so too. Harald also somewhat regularly blogs at Ride or Pie!? and serves as the president of Madison Bikes since 2019.
Vice President: Marybeth McGinnis
Marybeth grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. After attending college at Penn State and a brief stint outside of Washington, DC, she moved to Madison four years ago. Known for failing her first driver’s test at age 16 for being “too cautious around pedestrians,” she is now happy to live in a place much friendlier to getting around for those who cannot drive. She has worked in tech and for non-profits, and she currently works at UW-Madison. After selling her car last year, she became even more enthusiastic about biking, walking, and taking the bus around Madison. She is happy to talk your ear off about intersection design and enjoys cooking, reading, comedy, and excitedly pointing out bollards.
Secretary: Liz Jesse
Liz grew up in Madison and after college moved to the Washington D.C. suburbs for several years, followed by a ten year stint in Sheboygan, WI. However, it was only after moving home to Madison in 2015 that she truly began to appreciate the city’s vibrant bicycling culture. She is now a year-round bicycle commuter (eight miles round trip), but also enjoys recreational road riding and bicycle camping/touring during the warmer months. Liz works as a science outreach specialist/educator at the UW Biotechnology Center and is an active member of the UW-Madison Science Alliance, a science outreach advocacy group on campus. She lives on Madison’s near-west side with her husband, Ben, and their two adorable rescue dogs.
Treasurer: Mark Shahan
Mark first became involved in Madison bicycling through the UW Hoofers Outing Club starting in 1983 while attending graduate school in biochemistry. After graduating, he gravitated towards bicycle advocacy and cofounded the Bicycle Transportation Alliance of Dane County (BTA) in 1993. One of the early efforts of BTA was helping fundraise for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin (now the Wisconsin Bike Fed) as the Bike Fed transitioned into a truly statewide advocacy organization. Mark has served on numerous City of Madison committees and commissions, including 12 years on the Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Commission (7 years as chairperson) and the Committee for the Design of the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path. He continues to serve on the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee. Mark’s advocacy for bicycle friendly growth, transportation facilities, and policies is an outgrowth of being a year-round bicycle commuter for over two decades. Mark takes care of the finances of Madison Bikes as its treasurer.
Eleanor Conrad has been a member of Madison Bikes since 2016. One of her favorite aspects of the organization is the promotion of accessibility to those who might not see themselves as a typical cyclist (athletic, investing in expensive gear and multiple specialized bikes, and fearlessly sharing thoroughfares with cars) because she is not Lance Armstrong She is the Jolly Postman. She rides her lemon on bikepaths and quiet side streets to get groceries in flip flops, until she comes to a steep hill where she has to get off and push her bike the rest of the way. Eleanor would like her parents to know that, although she sees helmet requirements as a barrier to ridership, this is an old photo; she wears her helmet consistently these days.
Grant grew up in small town Wisconsin where a bike meant freedom and adventure. After graduating from the UW, he spent years broadening his perspective living and travelling abroad. He now lives on Madison’s eastside with his wife and two sons who all get just about everywhere they need to go by bike. Grant is the Director of Health Information at Dean Clinic and is convinced that active transportation is the best medicine. He served as a member of Madison’s Pedestrian Bicycle Motor Vehicle Commission and Long Range Transportation Planning Committee for many years and is now running for public office. Grant was president of Madison Bikes from 2015-18.
Kyle grew up in Madison and took Madison’s bike infrastructure for granted until he moved to Detroit, the Motor City, after college. After experiencing a few years of long car commutes and virtually non-existent bike facilities, he realized his error and moved back to Madison. Now Kyle’s whole family (wife and three kids) are passionate year-round bike riders. They are a one car family and own two long tail cargo bikes, in addition to just about every size kids bike. Kyle works at the UW as a Researcher and Lab Manager for the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC) investigating new electric motors and drives for the aerospace, automotive and industrial applications. He joined the Madison Bikes board in 2020.
Peter began to see the potential for bicycles as a healthy and sustainable form of transportation while attending college in Missoula Montana. After moving to Madison in the late 1990s to attend graduate school and start a family, Peter began to advocate for bicycles as a student representative to the UW Madison Transportation Committee. He continued to volunteer for bicycle infrastructure and policies while towing his two children in a beloved bike trailer while his career as an environmental geologist exposed him to details of the energy and water impacts of various sectors of the economy. Peter’s work experience includes environmental investigations, remediation, and permitting at an engineering firm (2001 – 2005), environmental policy, research and advocacy as the staff scientist for Clean Wisconsin (2005 – 2011) and continued environmental work as an independent consultant for clients in the public, private and non-profit sectors. He has served as a board member for the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute at UW Madison and the Bayview Foundation, a low-income housing provider in his neighborhood, and on local, state and regional commissions and task forces. Peter lives in a 102 year old home in downtown Madison where he also hosts guests as a licensed short term rooming house.
Robbie has been biking for transportation since her parents let her cross the street alone. Both professionally and personally, she is a fierce advocate for improving transportation options, including walking and biking. Her advocacy journey started as one of the first employees for the Wisconsin Bike Fed and continued as a Madison alder for six years. As a League Cycling Instructor, Robbie has taught everything from how to bike to work in winter to how to keep your cool in the heat of rush hour traffic.
Jim has lived and bicycled in the Madison area his whole life. Finding his bicycle to be a more reliable, more affordable, and healthier form of transportation, he ditched the car lifestyle in late 2013 and has been car-free since. Around the same time, he began actively learning about the issues surrounding bike advocacy in order to help make Madison a place where anybody can bike anywhere conveniently and comfortably year-round. Jim first learned of Madison Bikes at the 2017 Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap, and became active with the Advocacy Committee a few months later. Having graduated from the UW-Madison’s College of Engineering in December 2018, he hopes to put his knowledge to work in a bicycle-related field and help promote biking everywhere, but most importantly in his home city of Madison.
Annette grew up in Panama City, Panama. She learned how to ride a bike the hard way. Annette received many scrapes and bruises until she finally mastered balancing herself after her older sister took off—and threw away—the training wheels of their shared bike. She has had a bicycle since. Annette became car-free when she moved to Washington, D.C., and dared to commute to work on her bike—when she was not using public transportation. She felt instant freedom and autonomy. Annette mainly continues to transport herself using her trusted decade-old bike and public transportation. She is a runner who has participated in several fun bike rides. Annette plays Capoeira when possible and since becoming a Madison resident, has taken up paddle boarding and walking on the frozen lakes. Annette is a communication professional passionate about social equity in policy. Her goal is to increase the awareness, love, and sense of community a bike lifestyle can bring to people of all ages and abilities, especially to the Black and Latinx residents of Madison.
Aaron came to Madison in 2016, having spent most of his life in Dallas, TX. Arriving from a city where hour-long car commutes are the norm, and safe travel by bike is nearly impossible, he quickly fell in love with Madison’s bike infrastructure and vibrant cycling community. By 2018, he and his family went car-free, and he became a full-time, year-round bicycle commuter. Aaron also enjoys riding recreationally, and exploring our regional trails and state and county parks while bike packing. He hopes that through improved bike infrastructure and culture we can build communities that are more vibrant, healthy, and sustainable places to live, work, and play. Aaron works for UW-Madison and serves the campus community as a member of the Campus Transportation Committee. When he’s not on a bike, Aaron is probably doing some combination of cooking, baking bread, camping and hiking, making music, photography, and watching Liverpool FC.
Caitlin recently moved to Madison from Milwaukee to fill the position of Dane County Education and Engagement Programs Manager with the Wisconsin Bike Fed. She is energized by the strong partnerships in the bike and active transportation community. Her favorite kind of biking is biking with friends, and leading youth bike camps and events for the county’s youngest cyclists. Aside from biking, Caitlin enjoys swimming and paddling in the lakes, perfecting her homemade kombucha recipe, rock climbing, and day-dreaming of future travels.
Former Board Members
For a full list of former board members, go here.