Burke Will Bike Into Icy Lake Michigan to Raise Money for Vision Zero Efforts

Burke plans to purify himself in the waters of Lake Michigan.
Burke plans to purify himself in the waters of Lake Michigan.

This seems like a good time to thank Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke for his years of advocacy for biking, walking, and transit, since it’s not clear whether he will survive the group’s upcoming fundraising stunt.

In an extreme twist on the famed Ice Bucket Challenge, Burke plans to ride his bike into the ice-water basin that is Lake Michigan in January to raise money for Active Trans’ work promoting Vision Zero and other street safety initiatives. If he’s able to raise $5,000 within the next few weeks, he will take a long bike ride off a short pier, risking fatal hypothermia in the name of safety.

If this sounds like a fool’s errand to you, Burke doesn’t disagree. “Call me dumb, crazy or both, but on January 19th I will bike into Lake Michigan to raise money for the Active Transportation Alliance and our work to make streets safer and better for people biking and walking,” he says. He’s calling this fearless feat “Bike the Ice,” since registration for the 2017 MB Bike the Drive opens the same day.

Presumably the time and location for the plunge will be announced once Burke meets his fundraising goal, so it will be possible to pay your last respects wish him good luck in person. Alternately, you’ll be able to watch a live feed of the (hopefully) death-defying dive on Active Trans’ Facebook page from the comfort of your cubicle.

“I know it will be nasty cold, but it’s nothing compared to the tragedies that far too many people endure due to traffic crashes,” Burke says. That’s all well and good, but what does his bike mechanic have to say about this? Even if he doesn’t wind up a human icicle on a bicycle, surely his hubs, headset, and bottom bracket will need to be overhauled.

Want to see Burke go through with his insane plan? Donate here.


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