Madison Bike Week is from June 1 through June 8, 2024!
Newsletter Weekly Update

Get out and ride

People gather before the Madison Bikes and Madison is for People social ride on Friday, August 25, 2023
Photo by Beth Skogen

In case you missed it last week…

Social Ride with Madison is for People

After a stretch of weather that made any physical activity — or even being outside — extremely uncomfortable, if not dangerous, the weather cooled just in time for our social ride in partnership with Madison is for People. It was a great ride, with more than 50 people joining us, far more than we expected. After meeting at Law Park by Machinery Row, we rode counterclockwise around the lake and ended at the East Side Club for socializing and beverages. 

Madison is for People has geared up in the last year to push for more housing and better, denser land use in the city. This makes walking, biking, and transit use easier as well, and gives more people an opportunity to live where car-free or car-lite living is practical. There is a lot of overlap in our messages, and it was great for the two groups to learn a bit more about what the other was doing.

In addition to learning about each other and enjoying a relaxed ride, this event made clear that there is a real desire for rides that make everyone feel welcome, rides where we take it slow and just enjoy the company.

What else should we do at community metings?

We’ve been looking for ideas on what we should do at our monthly community meetings, and these rides are one idea. What else would you like to see at the community meetings, especially when the weather is less accommodating to being outside? Talks and information? Movies? Social opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to see, or maybe if you have an idea that you’d like to present. You can email us at

The week ahead

There aren’t any city meetings that directly affect bicycling, but if you are ever interesting in seeing what committees are doing, you can access the weekly city meeting schedule and then click through to agendas on the city’s website. For instance, you might want to know what the Plan Commission or the Sustainable Madison Committee is up to this week. 

There are a couple of bike-related events this week. We won’t be holding our usual community meeting, because we just had the social ride. 

Monday, Bike Fitchburg will be meeting on at 7 pm at Oasis Café, 2690 Research Park Dr E, Fitchburg. 

Friday, the Bi-weekly Ride for Trans Rights will meet at 6:00 pm at Law Park. More information can be found at their Facebook event.

Watch out for your bike

There has been an uptick in stolen bikes posted on our Facebook Community page. Maybe this is due to all the new people in town and thieves taking advantage of people not locking their bikes, or maybe all the moving in and out has allowed unauthorized people into buildings and garages. Either way, be especially careful to lock your bike if you are in a new apartment or aren’t sure about the security of a location. And remember that you can register your bike or report a stolen bike at the BikeIndex, a national database. 

And watch out on the streets too

With all the new people in town, as well as dorm move-in Aug 30 and Sept 1, there are a lot of people that aren’t used to seeing bicyclists everywhere. And people may be lost, frustrated, tired, or generally unaware of how things roll (and walk) in Madison. Bike crashes go up significantly every year in late-August and early-September, so take it easy, and have some patience with all the new folks.

Join our board!

If you would like to help with our mission, consider joining the Madison Bikes board of directors. We are an all-volunteer organization, so the board both shapes policy and the activities we undertake as well as often doing the day-to-day work. We are always looking for people to join the board, as people step down, move, or need to change their time allocation. Everyone has a talent and skills we can use, but most important is probably enthusiasm to move bicycling and policy forward in Madison. Fill out the application by September 29. Terms start in January.

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.

E-Mail Newsletter Weekly Update

Bikeways meeting recap; social ride on Friday

Last weekend was RAW weekend: The Bike Fed organized the Ride Across Wisconsin, with people biking from La Crosse all the way to Milwaukee.

Last week’s update didn’t include the public information about the 2023 Bikeways improvements that took place on Thursday. The Bikeways program is a pot of money in the city budget to create small improvements to the bike network, or to repair parts of the existing network. This round there are four projects:

  • UW Arboretum Entrance: This is a 10’ shared use path connecting Manitou Way with McCaffrey Drive, which is the western entrance to the UW arboretum. This project is contingent on the granting of an easement from the University of Wisconsin. It includes an RRFB pedestrian crossing.
  • Odana Road Cycletrack: This is primarily an on-street, two-way protected cycletrack on the south side of Odana Road from Wedgewood Way to Charles Lane, where it connects with a spur of the Southwest Commuter Path. This project is adjacent to the Odana Hills Golf Course. It includes new curb and gutter and limited pavement replacements near Wedgewood Way as well as the Southwest Commuter Path spur.
  • Lakeside Cycletrack: This is an off-street, two-way cycletrack on the south side of Lakeside St connecting two sides of the Bay Creek Neighborhood in south Madison. It includes the removal of parking on the block, pavement replacement, and new curb and gutter. This project has been discussed in a public informational meeting for 2022 Bikeways.
  • Elver Park Path: This is a repair of an existing path in Elver Park between McKenna Boulevard and South Gammon Rd., and a section of the Greentree Park Path north of McKenna Boulevard. This project will include a new culvert at the north end of the path to improve drainage.

You can watch a recording of the August 17 meeting here and send any additional feedback to The next step is that the city will take the input and then bring the projects to the Transportation Commission later this year. We’ll keep you posted.

Social ride this Friday

Remember: This Friday, Madison Bikes and Madison is for People are hosting their joint social ride. Start at the Law Park BCycle Station at 6pm and ride around the Lake Loop until we hit the East Side Club for a get-together. The weather forecast looks great, and so we hope to see many of you! Facebook event link.

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.

Newsletter Weekly Update

Ride For Your Life, MPO Updates, Move In/Out Season

Photo: Harald Kliems, Bike Parking at Great Taste of The Midwest at Olin Park

Ride For Your Life Madison

Sarah Langenkamp was a mother of two and a US diplomat. She provided assistance to Ukraine in the early days of the Russian invasion before being forced to evacuate to Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two sons. Last August, Sarah was riding her bike home from her son’s elementary school when the driver of a flatbed truck struck and killed her.

In the wake of Sarah’s tragic death, her family organized Ride For Your Life in Washington D.C. to advocate for infrastructure, technology, and policy changes known to prevent crashes that kill vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sarah’s sister Alicia, along with the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Madison Bikes, and Trek Bicycles, are hosting Ride for Your Life Madison. The ride will be held in memory of Sarah and countless other cyclists and pedestrians killed by drivers in a country where transportation policy and infrastructure choices continue to prioritize motor vehicle convenience over public safety.

The ride is Sunday, October 1, 2023. Bicyclists will ride 5-6 miles at a slow pace, and pedestrians will walk 1 mile through Madison to the steps of the State Capitol. A rally to raise awareness of the need for pedestrian and cyclist safety will then be held. Ride staging begins at 2:00pm at Brittingham Park, and riders will depart at 2:30pm. The ride will end on the steps of the Capital with the rally ending at 4:00pm.

Please pre-register for the ride, and donate or volunteer if you can. All are welcome to join for the ride or the rally.

Madison is For People Ride

As mentioned last week, we are co-hosting a ride with Madison is For People. Both of our organizations believe in a Madison where safe and equitable car-free transportation is accessible to all. We now have a Facebook event page for this ride.

Move In/Move Out Days

Be careful riding this week, as tomorrow is the day leases end for many people in Madison, which means lots of traffic, including potentially many drivers unfamiliar with the area. This issue will increase once UW campus housing has its move in at the end of the month. Unfortunately, it’s best to assume drivers are totally ignorant of your existence when you are alongside, in front, or behind them. This is especially true at intersections. Be aware of your surroundings, ride defensively, and be sure to have lights at night.

MPO Updates

The MPO issued a press release last Wednesday with a list of approved funding for projects significant to safe and accessible bike transportation. Link here if you missed Ben’s MPO explainer for those not familiar. Exciting details include a new multi-use path on the West side of Rimrock from John Nolen to the Beltline slated for 2026, as well as funding for one of the last links connecting the Cap City to the Glacial Drumlin. Link here to look at all that was approved and timelines for implementation.

Group Rides

Tuesday evening is Madison Women’s Cycling Club or the Slow Roll Ride. Friday is the Bi-Weekly Ride for Trans Rights. Saturday you can check out Brazen Dropouts’ morning Row Ride.

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.

Newsletter Weekly Update

Transportation Commission; Parking Rant; Group Rides

A crowd gathers for Saturday's Free Bikes 4 Kidz Slow Roll
A crowd gathers for Saturday’s Free Bikes 4 Kidz Slow Roll | Photo by Harald Kliems

Hello and welcome to another weekly update! In case you missed it, Free Bikes 4 Kidz hosted a South Side Slow Roll on Saturday. The purpose of the ride was to give newer riders experience on group rides, explore our beautiful trails, and of course have some fun. Those of you who participated may see yourselves on the story from Channel 3000.

Transportation Commission

This Wednesday, August 9th the Transportation Commission will meet virtually at 5pm. Included in the agenda are:

  • A Complete Green Streets project checklist review
  • A public hearing regarding removing residential permit (RP3) parking on Sheboygan Ave between Whitney Way and Segoe Rd.

You can register to comment or tune in to the meeting here.

When it comes to removing parking spaces, I am a huge fan. We give away far too much of our public space for storing personal vehicles when we could be using it for more productive purposes. Not only do street-parked cars take up public space, but they also pose a risk because they block drivers’ ability to see cyclists and pedestrians. Depending on the street configuration, they can also be an issue when cyclists have to ride in the “door zone” and risk being hit by an opening car door. The city of Amsterdam is aware of these problems and in 2019 they decided to remove over 10,000 parking spaces from their city center. I realize we are not and will never be Amsterdam, but a person can dream, right? If we could take just a tiny portion of their ideas and implement them in our city, vulnerable road users like bicyclists would be a lot safer. Unfortunately, a lot of the way our city is configured prioritizes car throughput over pedestrian and cyclist lives. If that bothers you, take action by attending local meetings and and letting your representatives know how you feel.

Madison Queer Bike Ride

Also on Wednesday: the monthly Madison Queer Bike Ride will be taking place, starting at 6pm at Law Park. The route for this month will be the Cap City loop. It will be a casual party-paced ride with a stop along the way for food and socializing. Check out @madisonqueerbikeride on Instagram for more info!

Save the Date: August Community Ride

We haven’t had a community meeting in a while, but we have something good planned for you later this month. Mark your calendar for Friday, August 25th when we will be co-hosting a bike ride and social event with Madison is for People. Madison is for People is a group that wants to make housing more sustainable and affordable, and make car-free living possible for more people in Madison. The ride will meet at 6pm at Law Park, take the lake loop counterclockwise, and end at the East Side Club for food and beverages. Stay tuned for more information about the event in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see you there!

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading. If you want to hear more about how parking sucks, or if you just enjoy painfully long urbanist videos, you may like this one on minimum parking requirements from Climate Town. It’s a truly eye-opening deep dive into the laws that force builders to create way more parking than we actually need, the damage that causes to our cities, and what we can do to improve the situation.

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.