Bikes? Bingo? Bike Bingo!

Bicycle Benefits

Bicycle Benefits has motivated many to take their feet from the gas pedal to the bike pedal for everyday transportation by creating incentives for cyclists and partnering with local businesses. You may have seen the ubiquitous Bicycle Benefits sticker in a store window or on a fellow cyclist's helmet. The program is simple: You can buy a Bicycle Benefits sticker for $5 at participating locations and start reaping the sweet rewards right away. 

Bike! Bingo

In addition to the regular Bicycle Benefits, soon you'll be able to get even more: Madison Bikes and Bicycle Benefits have teamed up for Madison Bike! Bingo this year. Get your bingo card at the Madison Bikes Annual Party (included in the admission) on Sept. 12th (all sales at the event benefit Madison Bikes!) or at participating businesses. The challenge starts on the 12th and you’ll have until October 31st to play and test how bikeable the local businesses are for you! No purchase is required to have your card stamped.

3 Tips for Beginners

I did my first Bike! Bingo last year and learned some strategies to successfully completing the Bingo card.  Here are my three top tips:

1) Gear up

To bike to these places you’ll of course need access to a bike. If you don't own a bike and are thinking about investing in one, Bike! Bingo is the perfect challenge to find out if biking would improve your life. You can rent a bike from one of the many bike shops and test a few styles out before committing, or you can familiarize yourself with the B-Cycle stations that are found in all the best places in town.

You will also need a helmet. To get a stamp on your bingo card you’ll need a Bicycle Benefits sticker attached to your helmet. Find a helmet that is comfortable and looks good on you (you may be wearing it a lot) and then get your sticker!

2) Plan all your stops

This may seem obvious, but I did not do well on this last year. There was one stop on the Bike! Bingo card that was an event, and I didn't plan my route out enough in advance and missed it. A row and a column, ruined suddenly and forever impossible to complete. Won't be making that mistake this year! I plan to get my special events stamp first thing on September 12th at 6pm at the Madison Bikes Annual Party at the High Noon Saloon! Bike! Bingo kicks off that night at the Madison Bikes Annual Party where a $20 suggested donation will you can get you:

  • a bingo playing card
  • a Bicycle Benefits sticker,
  • membership to Madison Bikes,
  • a ticket to a door prize drawing,
  • a fabulous party!

Check out the Madison Bike! Bingo Facebook page or the Madison Bikes website for other opportunities to get your special events stamp.

One of my favorite aspects of the Bike! Bingo game is that it is convenient by design. You're playing a game, but you can also get a lot of errands done in the process.  Is it your Mom's birthday? Take her out to the fancy restaurant on the playing card and get a stamp! Need doughnuts for work? Go to the doughnut shop on the card and get a stamp on your card! Going out for a beer with coworkers? Get a stamp!  Need a "Congratulations" card for your sister? Get a stamp! Have to restock the toilet paper? Stamp it up!

3) Enjoy the Game

Even though many of the places on the card will be convenient to your life, inevitably some spaces will seem too far, or too out of the way. Finding the time to bike to these places can be difficult and stressful, especially for naturally competitive people. If at the end of the month you have completed the entire Bingo card, congratulations! You have won the Bingo and a fantastic prize! But if you find that you can't complete the Bingo card by the end of the month, don't beat yourself up about it. You stayed true to the spirit of the game: You rode your bike more, supported local businesses, and hopefully took some fun pictures. #madisonbikebingo

Thanks to all the local businesses participating in Bicycle Benefits and Bike! Bingo!

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