Hi Madison Bikes Community, I’m Steph! I am a new member of the Madison Bikes Board, an avid cyclist and coffee drinker. I will be contributing to the Madison Bikes blog on a weekly basis to provide a voice of bike-related encouragement, insight, and amusement. While I am not a bike expert by any means, I am obsessed with all things bike-related and look forward to sharing my thoughts on a new topic with you each week!
Earlier today, I found myself grumbling the old saying “Wisconsin has two seasons: winter and construction season” while biking from Madison’s east side through the hairball intersection.
While it is easy to whine about the exponential growth of orange construction barrels in the past few weeks on Madison’s east side, I’d like to focus on something more positive. Recently, I recalled an acquaintance referring to my SASY-area home being located in “biker’s paradise”. It’s true. Even with the construction, I am so lucky to live in a neighborhood that is as bike-friendly as it is.
Here are seven reasons why I live in a biker’s paradise:
1. There are so, so many bike groups that start their rides from this part of town including ones held by Spoke Haven, Cargo Bike Shop, Brazen Dropouts, and Revolution Cycles.
(Brazen Dropouts Saturday ride)
2. Lots of local businesses care show they ‚ù§ bikers with lots of bike parking outside their establishments and/or by participating in the Bicycle Benefits program.
(Bike parking by Mint Mark)
3. There are a lot of bike trails/paths on this side of town, including: Capital City, Yahara River, Sherman Flyer, and Starkweather Creek.
(Biking on the Cap City Bike Trail)
4. Some of our residential streets have sharrows in the middle of the travel lane. This symbol provides cyclists with extra validation that we can take the full lane, instead of smooshing to the side and hoping for the best.
5. The near east side has wayfinding signage for places like Middle Earth and the Space Station.
6. The Monona Lake Loop meanders through residential segments of the neighborhood.
7. There are TWO bike-friendly intersections with biker-focused stoplights and green lane markings.
(Intersection at Dunning and Atwood. How many bikes do YOU see in the photo!?)
(Intersection at Blair and Mifflin.)
Sure, not everything about any neighborhood is perfect. However, the near east side is pretty darn close though; you should bike on over for a visit and see for yourself.
Happy biking and tailwinds!
P.S. Haven’t gotten enough bike-related content yet? Check out a video clip from last week’s Amstel Gold Race. A veritable nail-biter (especially the final few minutes).