With so many reasons to participate in Bike the Barns and Bus the Barns — the delicious food and drinks, terrific live music, gorgeous rolling route through southern Wisconsin — we wanted to ask some of our long-time riders and volunteers why they ride! The first rider we’re going to hear from is Ashley Kuehl.
Ashley is a long time FairShare/Partner Shares supporter, volunteer, curious food eater, and avid bicyclist. In her free time, if she’s not riding her bike around Madison, she’s likely “in the kitchen experimenting with something that’s hopefully delicious in the end.”
Ashley, how long have you been participating in Bike the Barns, and what inspires you to ride?
Six years! It’s hard to believe considering my first year of participation I joined on a whim! When I registered for that first ride in 2014, I didn’t even own a bike in Madison at the time. I purchased an older steel road bike from the 80’s two weeks before the ride took place. BTB in a way kicked off my love of cycling, not to mention my love for CSAs.
What I find most inspiring about this ride is the event-paving behind the scenes. Having been involved in the planning of BTB rides in the past as a volunteer, I know the incredible amount of work it takes to orchestrate this ride for a large group of people. I’m excited to see how all the planning elements have come together and also see what new things the staff of FairShare have planned for this year.
What are you most excited about for this year’s ride?
Every year of of BTB is a little different for me. Some years I ride, and some years I volunteer. This year, I’m most excited to be a rider and fundraiser. When I do raise funds for Bike The Barns I try to do so in a fun way that treats my donors too. One year I shared a portion of my community plot garden with those who contributed larger amounts. Another year I gave a way homemade raspberry jam.
This year, I’ve been dabbling in the art of making sourdough bread. As a way to practice my new hobby and share something I’m proud of, I’ll be giving away homemade bread to my donors themselves or to nearby food pantries for each donation of $30 or more.
What is your favorite way to prepare summer vegetables? Any perfect recipes?
I recently tried a corn risotto dish at a potluck, and honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it. By far, it’s the best summer veggie dish I’ve tried this year!
That’s tough to say. I think the watermelon is lucky if it escapes a squashing defeat.
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Bike the Barns is FairShare CSA Coalition’s largest fundraiser. Proceeds benefit our organization and the Partner Shares Program, which helps low-income families afford farm-fresh veggies. When you sign up for Bike the Barns, you help families in need buy organic food grown right here in Wisconsin by a CSA farmer. The event features farm tours, gourmet local food, craft libations, on-farm activities and live music.
To learn more about Bike the Barns and to register for the Sept 15 ride, Click Here!