Santa Cycle Rampage brought out nearly 700 Santas, Mrs. Clauses, elves, Krampuses and more last year.
Santa Cycle Rampage brought out nearly 700 Santas, Mrs. Clauses, elves, Krampuses and more last year.
The 2015 Santa Cycle Rampage hat.
The 2015 Santa Cycle Rampage hat.
The 2015 Santa Cycle Rampage t-shirt.
The 2015 Santa Cycle Rampage t-shirt.

Santa Cycle Rampage goes from free to fee

The Santa Cycle Rampage has been bringing joy via nearly 700 Santas, Mrs. Clauses, elves, Krampuses (and even a Menorah or two) to Milwaukee for 15 years, but while this ride has become as traditional as a Bing Crosby classic, this year the format is evolving. If you want to participate, you'll be expected to pay.

According to organizer Dave Schlabowske via a blog post on the Wisconsin Bike Fed's site, this year the Santa Cycle Rampage is designed to help raise funds for the cycling advocacy organization. "I told everyone who asked that I was not organizing an official Rampage [but] after much haranguing…my fellow Original Santas convinced me to try one more time."

"In order to revive the Santa Cycle Rampage with the Bike Fed taking the lead…we had to make some changes. What we decided to try this year is to charge a fee for registration with a waiver, get permits and pay for insurance."

The official ride happens on December 5th at 9:30AM. It will begin in the land of green bike lanes at Cranky Al's (6901 West North Avenue in Wauwatosa) and follow in the footsteps of July's successful Polish Moon ride, which was a family-friendly slow ride that avoided stops for alcohol.

If you're disappointed by this, don't worry, there will be plenty of unofficial after parties that should look quite familiar to Rampage veterans. "We did contact all the other business owners where Santas traditionally gather in the morning or as post ride parties, and they all agreed to roll out the red carpet for holiday merry makers again this year," said Schlabowske. "We even picked up some new places."

So what's this gonna cost me?

The price of the official Santa Cycle Rampage is $20 for members and $35 for non-members, but that includes a Bike Fed membership, and a hat or event t-shirt. I dig the hat.

"We won’t make much money [on the registration] because between the free hat or shirt, insurance, and permits, our costs add up to nearly that. We will make money from the sponsors of…

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