Eau Claire holds first Santa Cycle Rampage

Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 7:04 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Cyclists in Eau Claire got together for the city’s first Santa Cycle Rampage Sunday afternoon.

“We’re just getting a bunch of Santas together. We had a couple different routes just to keep things fun and festive, also safe for everyone that is riding it,” said Brandon Lafave, an organizer familiar with the Wisconsin Bike Fed.

That group started the first Santa Cycle in Milwaukee where they are based out of.

“Two main reasons that we’re putting this on is, number one we just want to have a fun holiday social group ride where people of all types of biking abilities and types of bikes can get together and spread the holiday cheer,” said Lafave. “And then we’re also just promoting and raising awareness for a couple of different organizations that support cycling.”

The diversity in skill set is something Lafave looked forward to the most when having the crowd of over fifty cyclist show up.

“I love seeing all different people, different abilities, different types of bikes, dressing as Grinches, or elves, or Santa, or rein-beer... reindeer! And just all riding together.”

Amy Marsh is one of the cyclists in the Santa Cycle Rampage, she pedals for the holiday spirit.

“It’s just great getting all the cycling community here together and ride bikes and have fun and dress up and be festive,” said Marsh. “This should be an annual event where we all come together and ride around and hopefully don’t fall down.”

Blake Olson heard about the event through social media.

“I saw it on Facebook a little while ago and thought ‘oh, this is perfect!’... I have a Santa costume and was like ‘this would be perfect for me to do,” said Olson.

Garret Denney, Josh Rizzo and Andrews Dercks rode together with friends, and they loved the experience of being out on the Eau Claire streets spreading holiday joy.

“Seeing that many people dressed as elves, reindeer, Santa just booking it up and down the streets is incredible,” said Denney.

And the trio says events like these do great things for inclusivity and bring even more people together.

“I think it’s one of the best things about Eau Claire right now is biking has become this huge thing that pulls in beginners, expert riders and everyone in between,” said Denney. “Seeing them in the streets in the summer or dressed as Santa around the holidays it’s pretty awesome.”

“Yeah this was a great event because it was slow, anybody could be a part of it,” said Rizzo.

“Very inclusive to everybody else. I met a lot of people that we bike around all the time with here and some new faces as well. So I think it kinds brings in everybody together here,” said Dercks.

The Eau Claire Santa Cycle Rampage had been originally set for Saturday afternoon but was rescheduled because of logistics.

The event, which is also held in other cities, is traditionally set for the first Saturday of December. To get on the mailing list for next year’s event, you can go online.

The Eau Claire Santa Cycle Rampage is raising money for the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Bike Chippewa Valley, and CORBA. You can make donations online.