Who we are

Grant Foster

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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 currently serves as a member of Madison's Pedestrian Bicycle Motor Vehicle Commission and Long Range Transportation Planning Committee. Grant is the current president of Madison Bikes.

 

Harald Kliems

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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 regularly blogs at Ride or Pie!? and serves as the vice-president of Madison Bikes.

 

India Viola

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India Viola co-founded We Are All Mechanics (WAAM) with Ali Dwyer in 2003 and together they teach the fundamentals of bicycle maintenance in Madison.  Before that she took turns as a woodworker, scientist, and bicycle mechanic. India is an avid cyclist, who has used her fleet of bikes for commuting, off-road adventures, touring, and general enjoyment. In addition to teaching with WAAM, India is a dedicated bicycle advocate, loves being a mom, and uses her PhD in zoology to be an academic advisor for undergraduate zoology majors at UW-Madison. She aspires to use all of her skills in a multi-disciplinary approach to learning, teaching, and perhaps in some small way to improve the human condition. India is the Secretary of Madison Bikes.

  

Mark Shahan

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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.

 

Pepe Barros

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Pepe grew up in a big city far south of Madison. Santiago, Chile watched him grow and experiment with all kind of adventure sports to end up attracted by the steep mountains and the Downhill Mountain Bike competitions he used to attend with his friends. While being a strong bike commuter in the wild streets of Latin America he traded adrenaline for advocacy and studies. While becoming an industrial engineer he traveled all throughout Chile helping to grow environmental awareness by cycling. He spent the last 5 years developing social-emotional skills in several public schools in different regions of Chile and in 2016 he happily got married in Milwaukee and worked the warm season as a Mobile Bike Repair Coordinator for Wisconsin Bike Fed. In October of 2017, Pepe, his wife and their fat cat moved to Madison and they all hope to be helpful to the city and its growing bicycle community by creating and supporting spaces where everyone can feel safe, confident and gather as a big family, no matter your origins or beliefs.

 

Baltazar De Anda Santana

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Baltazar is an immigrant who grew up in Mexico and came to the United States when he was 23 years old (He is now 41). Because of biking and a healthy life style, Baltazar lost 95 pounds and reversed a pre-diabetic diagnosis. Some years ago, when Baltazar's drivers license expired (and because of his immigration status he was not able to renew it) he started using biking as his main means of transportation. Baltazar is now able to get a drivers license (he became a Legal Permanent Resident in 2016) but he has chosen not to buy a car and continue using biking as a main means of transportation. In the short time that Baltazar has been biking in Madison, he has found that unfortunately there is a bike racial disparity and bike inequity in the city of Madison. Baltazar does not want to be one of the few Latinos who bike. His goal is to bring more people from the Latino/African American/Hmong communities into biking. As more people bike, there is going to be a yet higher need for better biking infrastructure in Madison. Madison is currently a great place for biking. Unfortunately it is only a great place to bike for just few members of the community. Baltazar believes this can change.

 

Liz Jesse

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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.

 

Becky Jollay

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Originally from Columbus, GA, Becky earned her BFA in digital media from the University of Georgia where she first began her love affair with bicycles. At the end of her time in Athens, she heard the rumor that you could bike everywhere in Madison, WI. It was on this rumor alone that she, and Hero the cat, relocated to the Midwest. Becky has been an avid Madison cyclist since 2008. Earning her MS in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison in May 2017, strengthened her love and advocacy of sustainability and accessible mobility. She currently works for The Barbara Hochberg Center for Jewish Student Life as their development associate.

 

Kate Konkle 

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Kate moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 2008 (by way of Pennsylvania and Alabama) and rekindled her love for riding on the trails and roads of the Chippewa Valley. Two years later she moved to Madison for a position at the UW Population Health Institute and her love for riding (commuting, recreational road riding, mountain biking and racing cyclocross) grew as she made more friends in the Madison cycling community. In her day job, she helps communities create positive change, including policy changes to increase active transportation, to improve health, and she is happy to be part of similar work right here in Madison.

 

Michael Lemberger

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Michael is a lifelong Dane County resident and has been commuting year-round by bicycle in Madison since 1989. He is also an avid all-conditions rider, writing occasionally about those adventures on his blog.

 

Kevin Mulcahy

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After growing tired of the constant bustle of Chicago, Kevin’s family sought to relocate to a more family and bike friendly city and found Madison in the summer of 2015. With work experience based mostly in the arts and non-profit membership/ development, Kevin now works for the University of Wisconsin Foundation. A year round cyclist, but certainly not ashamed to ride the bus in the depths of winter, Kevin wants to help foster a better understanding of the benefits of a more bikeable Madison.

 

Heather Pape

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Heather grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Madison in May of 2016. She chose to move to Madison with her husband because of the flatness and bikeability. Heather is a big fan of multi modal transportation and using the bus system to extend her biking miles. She works as a Business Systems Analyst at Conney Safety and is the Madison Bikes volunteer coordinator.

 

Raj Shukla

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Raj is a family dude, Madison-lover and sometimes-radical environmentalist. To him, a bike means less pollution, less stress, more health, more pocket change and more chances to hear the birds sing. He works as Executive Director of River Alliance of Wisconsin and chairs the Sustainable Madison Committee, a city advisory council that works toward environmental goals. Raj and his wife can be found chasing their three young children around their near west side neighborhood, through Madison's beautiful parks and into the occasional ice cream shop.

 

Robbie Webber

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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.

 

Hank Weiss

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Hank Weiss works in public health as an injury prevention epidemiologist. His family returned to Mad City in 2014 after an academic and government service career spanning Madison, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and New Zealand. While in Pittsburgh, his 80 year old neighbor turned him from a casual cyclist into a serious bike tourer. In New Zealand, he combined his professional and personal interests in bicycle safety with an active role advocating for improved cycling infrastructure locally and nationally. Not content with being pigeonholed into any certain type of cyclist, he likes to rotate his cycling around his road bike and his e-bike (and laments leaving his mountain and cargo bikes in New Zealand). Coming back to Madison, he was thrilled to see the wonderful examples of off-road infrastructure, but quickly found how much needs to be done to make Madison a truly connected city where cycling is an easy choice for all. He realizes that real safety is indicated by the absence of danger, not by an absence of injuries.

 

Former board members

Emily Sonnemann (2016–2017)

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Emily first fell in love with biking zooming down the block on her banana seat bike fondly referred to as the “Pink Cadillac.” Family bike and camp trips to favorite spots such as the Elroy-Sparta trail solidified her life-long love of biking. Nowadays you’ll find her zooming around town, shredding the dirt trails, or even heading to Michigan on her “fast bike” or her “fat bike.” Emily and her family ride everyday for fun and for transportation–around the lake, off to get groceries, to campgrounds near and far, commuting to school and work, and of course to get ice cream. “It’s our family culture. We ride because it’s good for us - for our health, for the environment. Biking promotes a more human connection to our neighborhood and beyond. We have different experiences and conversations with our kids when we’re out on our bikes. Most of all, biking is just fun and we love it!” Emily joined Madison Bikes with the hopes to promote that same love of biking to all and has hopes to help strengthen Madison’s biking infrastructure and culture to make biking everybody’s first choice for a mode of transportation. Emily is a teacher and childcare provider and lives on Madison’s Near East Side with her husband and two children.

 

Chuck Strawser (2016–2017)

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Since 2009, Chuck has been the pedestrian and bicycle transportation planner for the Transportation Demand Management unit of University of Wisconsin–Madison, where (among other things) the bike parking capacity has grown from 8900 spaces to nearly 14,000, overtaking the amount of (very expensive) car parking on campus. He served six years as a program manager for the Wisconsin Bike Fed, the statewide bicycle advocacy organization, including two different stints (2002 and 2007) as interim Executive Director. Chucks also served on the city of Madison’s Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Commission for many years. As a graduate student at UW-Madison, Chuck had the opportunity to intern with faculty in the Urban and Regional Planning department on a project to write the state of Wisconsin’s model ordinance for local municipalities to accommodate traditional neighborhood (“new urbanist”) development. Chuck has been advocating for better bicycle transportation facilities for more than two decades (and effectively implementing them for somewhat less time).

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