Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Packers 'Bike Brigade' one of the most beloved training camp traditionsSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Packers 'Bike Brigade' one of the most beloved training camp traditions
GREEN BAY - Of all the traditions that make the Packers franchise special for fans, one activity stands out as one of the most unique in the NFL. And it's thanks to some of the players youngest fans.

Day one of training camp kicked off today... Newswatch 12's Lyndsey Stemm takes us to the Bike Brigade.

Training camp is much the same for all NFL teams: weeks of grueling practice in the summer heat; players showing off what they've built on during the offseason; it's where starters are made and jobs are earned. But in Green Bay it all starts on teeny... tiny... bikes.

"We were way over there by the Oneida Nation gate and there was like this open area where all the Packers came out. And we just stood there with our bikes. And you could ask all the Packers to ride on your bike," says Jason Yaeso, from Shawano.

"Getting picked out of everyone else here; I think that's just a rush of adrenaline," says Jonathan O'Connell, from Suamico.

Legend has it nearly fifty years ago Vince Lombardi saw some of his players riding local kids bikes out to the practice field. He decided it should be a daily training camp ritual to help players connect with fans. And in true Packer form, connect with fans they did... and have been doing ever since.

"The kids really like it. They get to be with some of their favorite football players; riding bikes with them. I think it's a great tradition. I'd never seen anything like it when I came in as a rookie," says Bryan Bulaga, Packers Offensive Tackle.

They lined up by the dozens this morning to taxi the men in green and gold to practice.

"I got number 69 to ride my bike, and I think his name was Brian. And we talked about how old I was," says Madison Fellons, from Winchester.

"(We talked about) how I play baseball and football and basketball," says Ethan Sauer, from Green Bay.

"I had M.D. Jennings ride my bike because he rides my bike every day, because he's my permanent rider," says Callie Vanlaanen, from Ashwaubenon.

Some players pick new kids every time. But some form a bond that first time and become permanent bike buddies.

"I just raised my hand and he picked me," says Vanlaanen.

The hilarity of seeing a grown man on a bike with training wheels has never gotten old. But some players operate on the theory that the bigger the man, the tinier, and pinker the bike.

"It's tough for anybody to ride a bike like that. I think I saw James Starks with a bike like that and he just had the little girl ride it and he walked next to her. I think I had one of those my rookie year too," says Bulaga.

No matter the size of the player, the kid, or the bike, this tradition gives the teams youngest fans an experience they'll remember forever.

"We get to see Packer players in person and not on a TV screen," says Sauer.

"It's pretty cool. I get a Packer to ride my bike every day," says Vanlaanen.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/22/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you what Ascension St Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander is doing for the families of victims of the helicopter crash last month in Hazelhurst.

We take you to Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua where two groups of students received awards from a national cable network for documentaries they put together.

And we'll show you how a Tomahawk Middle School teacher showed her students real world skills by teaching them how to garden.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Natalie Reimert is learning real world skills inside a greenhouse outside Tomahawk Middle School. 

"[We learn] how to take care of them [and] how to grow them from the little tiny seeds to what we get on our dinner plates," said Reimert, who's a seventh grader. 

+ Read More

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police need help finding the suspect in an armed robbery. Wisconsin Rapids Police Department release video of the suspect today.

Police believe this man walked into the Jimmy Johns on 8th street Sunday night, showed a gun, and demanded money. The employee handed over the cash.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - A big tour bus with C-SPAN's logo on the side pulled into Lakeland Union High School on Tuesday.

The public affairs network arrived to help celebrate the work of students at the school. Four students were recognized for their winning projects in C-SPAN's Student Cam contest.

That contest drew 3,000 video entries.

"The fact that we had two groups of students winning here from Lakeland Union High School is pretty much a big deal," said C-SPAN Marketing Representative Shannon Augustus. "We're super happy to be here in Wisconsin."

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Some people need to rely on movies and books to learn about certain parts of history.
One Wisconsin Vietnam veteran wanted to make sure that wasn't the case for Rhinelander middle school students.

Paul Miller spoke at James Williams Middle School Tuesday.He was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1967.
Miller said he wanted to share his experience and how the war impacted him. He doesn't want that part of history to be forgotten. 

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - An electric utility company is asking for regulatory approval to construct a $196 million gas pipeline near the Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing complex in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that We Energies filed documents last week with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission seeking approval for the nearly 50-mile (80-kilometer) pipeline.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A Wisconsin-themed outdoor landscape will soon accompany the new Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River.

The library reopened in December after a $2.8 million renovation and expansion project.

On Monday, volunteers started creating a rain garden and planting native flowers and grasses on the grounds.

"You have a new outside, you have the building, a new inside of the building, and we wanted to make sure that the landscaping complimented it," said Quita Sheehan of the Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here