Bike News

Weekly update: Leap day fun at FB4K and more

Last week’s snowfall made for a gorgeous scene along the Lakeshore Path.



Madison Bikes Community Meeting will be at 6 pm at Bendyworks (106 E Doty St )This is where the magic happens and Madison Bikes gets stuff done with the help of YOU. This month we will be talking about the timeline for Bike Week, a new website, weekly updates, and a possible update on he Wilson Street project.

Bike Fitchburg monthly meeting will be at the Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg. From 6:30 to 8:30pm.


Bombay’s Challenge Event Training Series (BCETS) Orientation will be at the Fitchburg Community Center, Stoner Prairie Dining Room, 5510 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg. Social hour begins any time after 6:30 pm (drinks and light snacks provided). The program begins at 7:00 pm and should end about 8:15 pm.

Individuals who have signed up (or are considering signing up) for BCETS are invited to attend the 2020 orientation meeting to learn more about this year’s training program and meet other cyclists who want to improve their fitness and hill climbing skills.

During the orientation meeting they will provide additional program information, review the ride schedule, and offer other details and training advice. The meeting format will allow for interaction and opportunities to ask questions. If you are still on the fence about participating in BCETS this year, please join them for the meeting to gain insight about the program.

The first ride is scheduled for March 7.  So make sure you are getting in shape!

For additional information, online registration, and FAQ or check out the Facebook event.


The Transportation Commission will meet from 5 pm to 7 pm in room 215 of the Madison Municipal Building. The agenda can be found here.

UBRC will hold a class about Annual Maintenance and Cleaning Your Chain from 6:00 to 7:30pm

University Bicycle Resource Center, 600 N. Park Street. Class will be taught by India Viola, local bicycle advocate, educator and former Madison Bikes board member. Keep your bike running smoothly throughout the year. You will learn and practice best techniques for cleaning and lubricating your chain and other routine maintenance. Bring your bike, if you’d like, or look on with another student. Free Planet Bike blinky light set to the first five (5) attendees.

All events are free and are held at the University Bicycle Resource Center in the Helen C. White Garage (Lot 6) at 600 N. Park Street, unless otherwise noted. There is no registration required. Classes are first come, first served (limit 20 people per event).


The Disability Rights Commission will meet at 5 pm in room 215 of the Madison Municipal Building and is scheduled to have a BRT Routing Presentation.  The agenda can be found here.

A brown bag talk titled “Planning for a Future with Autonomous Vehicles” will be held at Robert F and Jean E Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies from 12:30 to  1:30pm. Brown Bag with Asli Gocmen, Associate Professor of Geography & Environmental Studies

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) promise to be a transformative force to shape the future of our society.  Their potential benefits for individuals and communities include increased traffic safety and efficiency; increased mobility for individuals who have limited mobility options; and increased accessibility for individuals with limited resources to access healthy food, jobs, education, and health care.  AVs are also expected to significantly impact the way our land is used and have great implications for the sustainability and livability of our communities. For instance, in a future with AVs, parking needs could dramatically change, requiring urban planners to allocate parking spaces much differently than they have over the past several decades.  So how are communities planning for this future? Our recent research examines that question through a survey of municipal planners across the United States. In this presentation, I present how AVs may impact our built and natural environment as well as findings from our survey. Our survey finds that for the most part, communities have not started planning for a future with AVs and that the conceptualization of AV impacts on the built and natural environment vary amongst planners. More information is available hereFacebook event


Join Madison Bikes @ FB4K (2031 Zeier Rd) on Leap Day for a fun afternoon of helping to refurbish a few of the 823 bikes that FB4K collected for local area youth. No experience necessary – just a passion for getting your hands dirty and hanging out with fun people for a few hours.

Volunteer tasks include:

Cleaners – Each bike gets a good, thorough cleaning before moving on to the next stage. Just bring yourselves, we’ve got supplies!

Preppers – Take care of the easy stuff, mechanically speaking: Grease seat posts, change tires, swap saddles, new grips, new pedals, etc.

Mechanics – Knowledge and skills required. Change cables, adjust shifting, adjust brakes, true wheels, adjust bearings

Facebook Event

Quarry Ridge Winter Workday: Brush Clearing and Cutting Back Invasive Species. Meet in the Parking Lot at 1:30pm. No Experience Required. Please check the event flyer for complete details.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Bike News

The polar vortex can’t stop us!

Last week

Of course, our Winter Bike Anywhere Day and our commuter stations had to be on the coldest day of the year –⁠ this past Friday. All the media outlets made it sound like stepping outside would mean certain injury or death, but despite the cold, we had a hardy crew visit both of our commuter stations: one outdoors in Law Park and the other in the toasty lobby of HotelRED.

Thanks to our sponsors, volunteers, and all the people who came by to say hello, share a cup of coffee, or grab a snack. We love seeing you, even if your beards, eyelashes, and face masks are covered in frost.

The week ahead

And now that our event is past, the weather has warmed up, the sun is setting later each day, and we are all thinking of longer rides with less need to bundle up. The city schedule is pretty light this week, and there are just a couple of community meetings.


Transportation Policy and Planning Board will be meeting at 5:00 pm in room 215 of the Municipal Bldg. There isn’t anything specifically bike-related on the agenda, but several items might affect streets and issues important to bicyclists. The TPPB will again be considering the downtown routing of the future BRT lines. Some alternatives may affect infrastructure or bicycling comfort level on some streets, and all alternatives have trade offs. The choice is mostly about putting BRT on the Capital Square vs the outer loop, but there are a few variations on those two main alternatives. They will also be looking at the west side route options, but those both are less thorny and less likely to affect bicycling routes.

The other issue on the agenda that may be of interest is an update on the Wilson St project that we have written about in the past. There are no new materials available for this agenda item, and no decisions are going to be made at the meeting.

If you are interested in this meeting, you can attend in person, peak to any agenda item, or watch the meeting on line.

Madison Bikes Board of Directors will be meeting at 6:00 pm at the Central Library. All are welcome to attend. Our next working meeting –⁠ the one where we have more discussions for volunteers –⁠ will be next Monday, Feb 24, at 6:00 pm at Bendy Works on E Doty St.


Wisconsin non-partisan primary. A national election year can be very confusing in Wisconsin because there are FOUR election days. February is the primary for non-partisan elections. That means winnowing down the slate to two candidate in the following races: Supreme Court, School Board, and County Supervisor. So make sure to vote on Tuesday. If you need information on how to register, where to vote, or what you need to vote, go to this statewide site or check out the League of Women Voters, who also publish candidate answers to help you pick your candidates.

What are the other dates and what are they for?

  • April 7: Election of Supreme Court, School Board, and County Supervisor AND the presidential primary.
  • August 11: Partisan Primary for state Senator, state Representative, and US Representative. No US Senate race in Wisconsin this year.
  • Nov 3: National and state election: President, US Representative, and state Senator and Representative.

Also Tuesday, the UW will host another Crossroads of Ideas discussion, this time on Affordable Housing in Dane County. These are always interesting sessions, as they bring together the academic, business, and public sector participants for a lively exchange of ideas. One way to make housing more affordable? Make sure people have good transportation choices instead of being tied to driving everywhere.


Hands-on suspension service session at Slow Roll Cycles, in the Lake Edge Shopping Center, 4118 Monona Dr. This is a more advanced class, and you need to have attended one of the earlier classes and enroll. There is also a fee. More information can be found here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Bike News

Monday Update: Winter Bike Day, Andersen St, Transpo Commission

Phew, that was more snow than expected! I only went on a short ride earlier on Sunday, and on the fat bike it was slow-but-fun. Be prepared for possibly challenging conditions on Monday, especially on side streets. Once again, I’m really happy that the City has allocated funds to clear the paths on weekends. Our Facebook Community group is a good place to get and discuss the latest info on path conditions.

Last Week

On Monday I had the opportunity to meet with the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s new executive director, Kirsten Finn. We had a good talk about the Bike Feds priorities and how the Bike Fed and Madison Bikes can work together to make biking better for everyone. Stay tuned: We may be hosting a joint event later this spring.

The Transportation Policy and Planning Board approved a resolution that would prohibit personal delivery devices (a.k.a. delivery robots) from operating on city sidewalks except where specifically approved. You may have seen these devices on the UW campus, making food deliveries to residence halls. State law allows the operation of the devices but gives cities the ability to restrict them on sidewalks or bike paths. The ordinance approved at the TPPB meeting only addressed sidewalks.

The TPPB also got the ball rolling on possibly reforming the city’s bike/ped enhancement and the neighborhood traffic management programs. These are pots of money that can be used for smaller infrastructure improvements for people walking and biking, such as speed humps or pavement markings. The current process for deciding which projects are and aren’t funded, and out of which pot of money could probably use some improvement, and the board will work on that for the next couple of months.

News also broke last week that the Judge Doyle Square project — and with that the new Bike Center there — will be delayed by several months. Instead of March, June is now the projected opening date. Big bummer for Freewheel Collective who will be operating the center.

And finally, Madison got a new bike shop: Black Saddle Bikes had their soft opening. They’re located on the north side at 601 N Sherman Ave. Congrats to Black Saddle owner Mitch, who has been around the Madison bike scene for a long time.

This Week

Start your Tuesday with Bike Fitchburg’s Winter Commuter Station. Friday is International Winter Bike to Work Day, and Bike Fitchburg is joining the celebration early. Between 7 and 9 am, come to the bike roundabout at the intersection of the Cannonball, Southwest Path, and Cap City Trail for bagels and coffee.

On Tuesday evening a public input meeting about Anderson St between Wright St and Stoughton Rd is taking place. The project includes sewer work and resurfacing the street, but also a new sidewalk and bike facilities on the south side of the street. This is great news, as currently this is a gap in our low-stress bike network between the Starkweather Creek Path and the Reindahl Path. 6 PM at East Madison Community Center, 8 Straubel Court.

The Transportation Commission is meeting on Wednesday. The agenda is focused mostly on transit matters, such as proposed Metro service changes and a study that will look into how we can reorganize our whole transit system from the ground up. 5 pm, Madison Municipal Building Rm 215. Full agenda here.

As mentioned above, Friday is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Madison Bikes like to emphasize that trips to work are only a small part of all trips that can be done by bike, and so we’ll be celebrating Winter Bike Anywhere Day. Join us at two bike stations from 7 to 9 am: At Law Park near Machinery Row we’ll be serving coffee from Just Coffee and baked goods from Madison Sourdough; and on the west side we’ll be at HotelRED for coffee and sweet treats.

You can also sign up and pledge to ride on Friday on the International Winter Bike to Work Day website. Let’s put Madison on the map!

On Saturday, you head out to the west side Trek Store for a chili cook-off. “Just bring a crockpot of your finest chili into the shop by 1pm, and we’ll all do a taste test and vote for our favorite. The winner will be announced at 2pm. All chili chefs will get a $20 coupon, and the all-time winner will get a $100 Trek gift card.”

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Bike News

Monday Update: Commission meetings and a fat bike race

Lots of traffic on the SW Path

Last Week

Sunday’s unseasonably warm and sunny weather seems to have gotten people out on their bikes as evidenced by an uptick in bike traffic recorded by the bike counters. The counter on the Southwest Path showed 405 people biked over it, up from the previous week’s weekday high of 403, and the counter on the Capital City Path soared to 649 people on bikes over the surprisingly consistent weekday numbers between 478 and 505. It is typical this time of year for weekend counts to be lower than weekday counts since there are more people commuting by bike in the winter than people riding recreationally on the weekends. It is important to note, however, that a percentage of weekend bike traffic consists of commuters who work on weekends.

This Week

Monday, February 3,

At 5:00 PM Madison’s Transportation Policy & Planning Board (TPPB) is meeting in Room 215 of the City County Building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. This meeting the TPPB will look at creating a subcommittee to look at Pedestrian/Bicycle Enhancement and Traffic Calming. The TPPB will also discuss BRT updates, and a 2020 work plan which includes the Wilson Street Corridor Study and the Madison Ordinance Analysis of Parking Strategies (MOAPS). Read the full agenda here.

Tuesday, February 4,

Tuesday is Transit/Transportation Equity Day, which is on Rosa Parks’ birthday to recognize and honor the civil rights champion. The Sierra Club is organizing two rallies at the State Capitol in support of funding 11 transit project proposals in Wisconsin, one of the being a Madison Metro one. The first rally is from 7:30 to 10 AM, and the second is from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. You can learn more about these events and RSVP on the Transit Equity Day page on Sierra Club’s website.

Wednesday, February 5,

The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB) is meeting at 6:30 PM in Rooms A&B at the Madison Water Utility Building located at 119 E. Olin Ave., which can be accessed by bike from the Wingra Creek Path. The MATPB will be amending the 2020-2025 Transportation Improvement Plan to include Madison’s east-west BRT line. They are also going to look at designating a section of US-151 as an Alternative Fuels Corridor. Read the full agenda here.

Saturday, February 8

The 5th race in the Hugh Jass Fat Bike Race Series will be taking place at Blackhawk Trails located at 10118 Blackhawk Rd. in Madison. The theme for this race is TOGA PARTY, and participants will be awarded points for racing in a toga. Having flannel/plaid on your body/bike will also earn points. Registration for the event starts at 9:00 AM and the race starts at 11. Registration is $40, or $30 for youths under 16. Learn more about this event and register at their website or on their Facebook Events page.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.