Made in Wisconsin | Cycling Art

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I live on the cheese border…

for those of you that don’t know where that is, well it’s the northern border of Illinois and the southern border of Wisconsin, hence cheese border. And while I’m lactose intolerant and can’t eat cheese or any dairy I most certainly can ride my bike in Wisconsin – and do most frequently.

My love of cycling in America’s Dairyland has been carrying on for a quarter of a century, yep I’m that old. But while I can’t eat the cheese I’ve have made many friends in Wisconsin on my journeys through the state. Friends and relationships that have allowed me to further exercise my love for cycling through my cycling art. Since creating images is how I make a living, finding companies, events or individuals that are interested in my work is a big part of my work.

Wisconsin has lead me to many great long term relationships, none better than with The Wisconsin Bike Federation. I guess you could say we have a mutual goal in knowing the more cycling is exposed to the mainstream (non-cyclist) the safer it can be for all of us. Their work in promoting safe cycling, bike lanes, alternative transportation, trails and the sport of cycling is second to none. If you don’t belong to the WBF you should.

Which brings me to the “Made in Wisconsin” part of this story. The Bike Fed has an annual Fundraiser Gala Event and as you can guess it won’t be happening in person this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. So an online event is being held along with great items from the many cycling centric businesses in Wisconsin that you can either purchase or bid for in an auction. When Kirsten Finn, Executive Director of the WBF asked if I could participate again this year the answer was a very quick yes. Find an explanation of the WBF Event here.

In past years I’ve drawn on location at the event and the work was auctioned to raise funds. This year presents a different challenge so the idea was to look at all the great businesses and towns I’m connected with in Wisconsin and with their permission created a “Limited Edition WBF Series” of signed and numbered prints. These prints use parts of the original work created for my clients but they’ve been redesigned using the city or town in Wisconsin as the marquee title. And while they don’t have to be purchased as a group, I’ve made sure that if they are – they certainly look good together.

Sparta, Wisconsin

Ben Bikin’ and the Elroy-Sparta Trail, if you live in Wisconsin, you know them. If you visit here to ride, you’ll hear about them. I was fortunate enough to be asked to create three images for the town of Sparta. This one focused on the train tunnels along the Elroy-Sparta Trail.  Bid to Purchase and Support WBF

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Cycling in Wisconsin wouldn’t be the same without Wheel & Sprocket, still owned and run by the Kegel family for two generations. With the largest inventory of Trek bicycles in the state ( except for Trek ) W&S has enough store locations to keep the wheels turning on bike paths and county roads across the state. Bid to Purchase and Support WBF

Cable, Wisconsin

If you go to Cable, bring a bike, and your appetite. Maybe best known for mountain biking through the Chequamegon National Forest you can always find amazing empty roads if that’s your thing. My client Deneen at VeloCafe in Cable, was happy to let me redesign her half skier – half cyclist poster to make this very unique image of Cable,Wisconsin for the WBF. Bid to Purchase and Support WBF

Waterloo, Wisconsin

A big red barn, rolling hills and cyclocross, for me that adds up to Trek bicycles. Making their corporate headquarters in Waterloo, Trek is the cornerstone of the cycling industry in Wisconsin. Over the years I’ve created digital images, drawings and paintings for a variety of Trek events and businesses. From drawing on location at the UCI World Cup Cyclocross in Waterloo to drawing pictures on the last day of the Tour de France in Paris at the Trek Travel hosted party. John and Tania Burke have always been supportive of my work and I’m very grateful. Bid to Purchase and Support WBF

Four Images. Five Prints. Don’t hesitate.

To make these prints a little more special, we’ve made less of them. There are only five prints each of the four images. Each is signed and numbered. That’s not how I usually work but creating a less available image is a way to enhance desirability. As they say, less is more. So if you’re at all interested in helping support the Wisconsin Bike Federation so they can keep doing amazing things, I would suggest you don’t wait too long. Like cheese on a platter at a Wisconsin picnic, these prints will go quickly.

Bid to Purchase and Support WBF

Follow Michael Valenti:

Michael Valenti is "The Veloist" - He is an avid cyclist and artist known for his Cycling Art work. Each year Michael chases the Pro Peloton at the Tour de France and other major cycling events. He is available for event and corporate cycling related projects as well as personal commissions for art.

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