FAQ on the Vehicle Registration Fee (also known as the “Wheel Tax”)

There has been a lot of discussion, as well as confusion, about the “Wheel Tax” that the mayor has proposed as part of the upcoming budget. So we thought we’d try to answer some of the questions that have popped up as well as explain why we think that bicyclists should care about it. 

What is a wheel tax?

Simply put, it is a local registration fee for your car. Each year you have to renew the registration on your car with the state of Wisconsin, and this is just the same as that registration fee, except this additional fee goes to the city of Madison if your car is registered to an address in the city. You will pay it at the same time as you pay for state registration, and the state will send the money back to the city.

Why is the city doing this now?

The city has a deficit for the upcoming budget year. This means that we either have to reduce spending or raise more revenue.

The state legislature has made it very difficult for cities to raise additional funds for their budgets. There is a cap on how much they can raise property taxes each year. But Madison is growing, and many people would like to have a better transit system. This money will allow the city to both fund basic services (police, fire, parks, garbage pick-up, social services) as well as maintain or expand transit. 

Without additional revenue or cuts in other areas, current Metro service would need to be cut. This would mean less frequent buses, shorter service hours, or the elimination of whole routes. Part of the wheel tax revenue would also be used to provide more summer bus passes to youth or bus passes for people with low incomes. 

One big project the city wants to undertake is bus rapid transit (BRT), which has been discussed extensively for the last couple of years. BRT is a special type of transit that is faster than regular buses, but cheaper than rail. There’s a lot of details that we can’t cover here, but suffice it to say that transportation planners, elected officials, and other decision makers in the city have decided that this is the best way to improve transit in Madison. You may or may not agree, but if you want more information, go to http://www.madisonbrt.com/

Having a dedicated source of funding to support transit will also help the city get federal funding. We’ve applied for federal funding before, but haven’t gotten it. The federal government likes to see some assurance that a project will go through, and one way to show that is to have a pot of money. We have to compete with other communities that have dedicated funding for transit from a regional transit authority (RTA), a local sales tax, or other dedicated funding. 

So, I’ve heard that a wheel tax has to be used only for transportation. But I’ve also heard the mayor and others talk about how this new fee will be used for other city services. 

Yes, that is a bit confusing. By state law, local registration fees or wheel taxes can only be used for transportation costs. But right now, we are using property taxes to support transit, walking, biking, as well as driving operations and infrastructure -- everything from snow plowing to patching roads and paths, as well as actually running Metro, buying gas for the buses, and paying the drivers. So what we are really doing is moving some of those expenses off the property taxes and moving them to the wheel tax. But ultimately all the money ends up in the same pot, so now we have additional property taxes to pay for those non-transportation things. If we don’t pass the wheel tax, we are going to have to make cuts somewhere else. 

So for people that like transit, you can think of this as taxes car owners to pay for transit. If you think transit is not useful to you or the city shouldn’t be spending more money on it -- and there are plenty of people out there who feel that way -- it’s easier to swallow that the wheel tax will fund things they want to fund.

Isn’t a wheel tax regressive? If you have a junker car you pay the same as someone with a new luxury car. 

Yes, that is true. No matter your income or wealth, no matter what car you drive: If you have a car, you will pay the same fee. But we don’t have many choices, given the constraints that the state has put on cities. We can’t use many of the tools that are used in other states, like local gas taxes, an RTA, local sales taxes, or other revenue sources (many of which are regressive as well). This is pretty much all we have. And low-income residents are less likely to have a car or multiple cars in their family than those with more money. And low-income residents are also more likely to be dependent on transit. Improvements to transit will benefit low-income residents (and cuts in Metro service would hit them especially hard). The city is also planning on using some of the revenue to provide support to low-income residents to offset the cost of the fee. We are prohibited by state law from refunding the fee or prorating it by income.  

I ride my bike almost everywhere. Why should I care about transit?

Madison needs to move away from depending on cars and get more people using other modes. Fewer cars on the road both directly benefits bicyclists by making the roads safer and more pleasant, and it will free up space for better bike infrastructure, bike parking corrals, and other things we want. But that is only going to happen if we give people alternatives to driving their private cars. Transit is a key piece of that.

And a lot of people who bike also use transit, when they don’t want to ride because of weather, illness, carrying a bunch of stuff, traveling with people who don’t bike, or even just because they are tired. Transit allows us to throw our bike on the bus if we have a flat tire or the weather turns nasty. Transit lets less committed bicyclists or new bike commuters know that they have a back up. It allows more people to bike because they know they won’t be stuck if something happens. Bicyclists should all be out there pushing for more and better transit, because it just makes it easier to bike, even if you never use it. 

Monday Update: Tired of 'cross yet? Sorry, there's more

Madison Bikes had a great time at the Science Fair on the Square last Friday.

First things first: If you missed our action alert yesterday: There still a little bit of time to send an email to the City's finance committee and support a budget amendment that would expand winter path maintenance. Find all the details in yesterday's post.

Some construction updates (for a complete list of updates go to the Bike Madison newsletter linked at the bottom of the post):

  • Many of you have been wondering when the traffic signals at the new Willy/Blount diagonal crossing would be turned out. Well, there's been small progress, and at this point the lights are flashing. According to the Bike Madison newsletter, they should be fully functional by the end of this week.
  • Starting next week, there will be a detour on the SW Path. Reconstruction of a culvert will close the path east of Midvale until the end of the year. The detour will be via a temporary protected bike lane on Midvale, Yuma, and Council Crest.

On Monday and Wednesday, there will be Open Houses about the proposed Wisconsin River Recreation Bridge in Sauk City. The Monday one is from 6:30 - 8:30pm at Wisconsin Heights High School in Mazomanie. The Wednesday meeting is also from 6:30 - 8:30pm at River Arts Center (Sauk Prairie School District), 105 9th St., Prairie Du Sac. More info on the project on Facebook.

On Wednesday, it's your last change to attend the Cyclocross Practice series organized by Madison Parks, Capitol Off Road Pathfinders, L5 and Neff Cycling. Starts at 5pm in Marshall Park.

This Friday is the last Friday of the month, which around the world is the day for Critical Mass. After a successful Critical Mass as part of the Climate Strike, there has been interest in making it a regular event. Meets at 6pm at the beer garden in Olbrich Park.

On Saturday, there's another cyclocross race. Come to Angell Park in Sun Prairie for this year's CrossFire race. Includes costumes, a kid's race, and free entries for first-time cyclocross racers.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org 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.

Action Alert: Keeping our paths accessible 7 days a week

It’s city budget season in Madison, and we want to alert you of a budget amendment that would greatly improve winter maintenance on our major shared use paths.

What’s the current situation? On primary paths, such as the Cap City or the Southwest Path, snow will usually be cleared by 7am from Monday on Friday. Smaller paths and trails will be cleared by 4:30pm, also only Monday to Friday. On the weekend and on holidays, snow and ice clearing depend on staff availability, which often means no clearing happens.

Why is this a problem? Those of us walk, roll, and bike on the paths during the winter know all too well what the consequence of not clearing the path 7 days a week can be. The immediate impact is that if you have to rely on paths on the weekend to get to work, run errands, or reach your nearest Metro stop, you’re often out of luck. What’s worse: Not clearing the snow for more than 48 hours (or 72 hours if it’s a long holiday weekend) means that snow will be compacted, rutted, or have turned into ice by the time the plows and sweepers come around. This greatly reduces the effectiveness of the clearing operations and can have negative impacts for many days or even weeks to come. If we want bicycles to be a viable transportation option in Madison, we can't focus only on weekday 9-5 commuters.

What is proposed? The amendment to the city’s operating budget, sponsored by Alder Kemble and co-sponsored by Alder Foster, would allocate additional funding for snow clearing. This would allow Engineering and Parks staff to increase service on weekends and holidays so that clearing on arterial paths can occur within 12 hours after a winter event, weekday, weekend and holiday alike.

What you can do? If you think clearing the path 7 days a week is a good idea, consider sending an email to the Finance Committee, supporting budget amendment 4 (“Snow & Ice Control on Arterial Shared Use Paths”). The Committee meets tomorrow (Monday, 10/21), and so submit your comments ASAP. To help members of the committee understand the importance of keeping the paths clear and accessible 7 days a week, it can be helpful to share your own experience, whether you’re walking or riding on the paths in winter. Do you rely on biking and walking as your primary means of transportation? Have you had a crash because of  snow and ice on our paths? Is it difficult for you to get to your job because have to work on weekends? Are there specific problem spots that you regularly encounter on the primary and secondary paths? After all, if you own a home in Madison, you are expected to keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice all week. It’s hard to argue that different rules should apply to the City.

Who to send your email to? Below are the members of the Finance Committee. It’s also a good idea to include your district’s alder, as ultimately the whole Common Council will vote on the budget. You can find out who your alder is here.








Monday Update: Cold, 'cross, and a brake workshop

We had some warm weather for the first part of the week, but as of Friday colder weather has moved into the area. Winter is coming. If you didn’t know, Madison Bikes hosts an annual Winter Bike Fashion Show to show people just how easy it is to keep biking throughout the winter! This year’s Winter Bike Fashion Show will be hosted at the High Noon Saloon on Saturday November 2nd from 1 to 4 PM! More info here.

If you want to join the Madison Bikes Board of Directors, you have until October 20 to throw your cycling cap into the ring. More info in last week's blog post.

This Week

Wednesday, October 16

At 5:00 PM the Transportation Commission (TC) will meet in Room 215 of the Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King Boulevard. One agenda item is on a toolkit for traffic safety. Hopefully that toolkit includes all options to improve the safety of all non-motorists, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Read the full agenda here.

From 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM at Badger Prairie County Park there is a free Cyclocross Practice opportunity. Badger Prairie County Park is located at 4654 Maple Grove Drive in Verona. The free cyclocross practice is sponsored by the Capital Off-Road Pathfinders, L5, Neff Cycling, and Madison Parks.

At 6:00 PM, there will be a Basic Brakes Class at the University Bicycle Resource Center in the Helen C. White Garage (Lot 6) across from the Memorial Union. Bring your bike and learn from India Viola how to identify and use your barrel adjusters and how to clean braking surfaces! Free Planet Bike Blinky lights to the first five (5) attendees! No registration is required and anyone is free to join! Classes are first come, first serve, limit twenty (20) people.

Saturday, October 19

If you head out to Trek's headquarters in Waterloo, you can put your cyclocross skills to the test. "GPJO 2019: a cyclocross celebration" will host races all day starting at 9 am. More info here, or you can go straight to the registration here.

If you're more interested in road biking, join the Trek Store West for the El Diablo Gran Fondo, a supported 92 miles to Devil's Lake and back. It seems like registration is free. More info here; starts with a breakfast at 7:30 am; departs 8:30 am.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org 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.

Application deadline extended - join our board!

Want to become more involved in local bicycle advocacy? Consider joining the Madison Bikes board of directors.

We have already received several exciting applications. But it's not too late to throw your hat into the ring! We are extending the application deadline to October 20.

Madison Bikes is looking for people who are dedicated, passionate, strong communicators, good compromisers, organized, and able to commit time and energy to promoting biking as a priority in the city of Madison. There are no paid staff and everything we do—from fundraising to advocacy to communications to events—is done by our volunteer board and volunteer committee members.

We are currently accepting applications for up to eight seats on the Madison Bikes Board of Directors, with elections taking place in December.

Our organization is committed to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic board committed to equity in our work. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, and other groups who are underrepresented in bike advocacy.

The Madison Bikes board is an all-volunteer working board. We expect board members to:

  • Attend our monthly board meetings (6-8pm every third Monday of the month) and our Community Meetings (4th Monday)

  • Participate in one or more of our focus areas and work on tasks between meetings

  • Have passion for our organization’s vision: Making Madison a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place in the city and neighboring communities year round.

Other examples of things our board members do:

  • Write for our blog

  • Plan, organize, and promote events such as Bike Week or the Winter Bike Fashion Show
  • Attend city-held meetings (public input meetings, City Council meetings, local and regional transportation committee meetings)

  • Mobilize the community to advocate for bike projects
  • Meet and liaise with community partners (neighborhood associations, non-profits, other bike advocacy groups)
  • Contribute to fundraising and organizational development efforts

If you are interested in joining our board, please complete this application form by October 20. If you would like to nominate someone other than yourself, please forward this post/email to them and ask them to apply.

Our executive board will review all application submissions and follow up with all applicants with next steps.

Have questions? Email Heather!

Monday Update: Cyclocross and not much else

2 cyclists riding down the hill after passing through a tunnel at Red Rock Park in Colorado


This week


The Winter Bike Fashion Show modeling application extended deadline ends today. Read more about what it means to be a model, and how to apply here. No experience needed. 



It's cyclocross season! Whether you're cross-curious or are already a 'crosser but want to improve your skills, the weekly cyclocross workshop series by Madison Parks and partners is for you. This week, the workshop is happening at Orchard Ridge Valley Park on Wednesday from 5:30-7 pm. Free and open to all.



Join the iconic Badger Prairie Cyclocross race! Come race, spectate, or both. 2019 will feature food and beverage vendors, one of the largest prize payouts in Wisconsin, a Uni-Cross race, and more! More information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/384635395539004/


As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org 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.

We need YOU. Speak up, volunteer, be a model


Once more, we just want to remind you that YOU are important in making the city a better place to bike and to help others feel comfortable on the city streets and paths. Speak up about what you care about; talk to city staff, your alder, your employer, the management of the places you shop, or other decision makers. Help us out by volunteering and donating. And be an example to others, like maybe being a model of how to get around by bike. (See below for an upcoming chance.)

Although we still have warm weather coming up this week, we can all feel the chill creeping into the air. But not only is it not time to put your bike away, it’s actually time to start thinking about how to equip yourself and your bike to ride all winter.

We are busy planning the Winter Bike Fashion Show, and just in case all our blog posts and Facebook messages have escaped your notice, remember to mark your calendar for Saturday, Nov 2 at the High Noon from 1:00-4:00 pm. Invite your friends, especially the ones who think you are nuts for biking in the winter. Or maybe you are winter-bike curious? This is just the event for you. And it’s family friendly.

BUT…. We will need models! Would you be willing to share your wisdom? Show off your favorite cold weather clothing trick? Talk about fat vs studded vs skinny tires? Explain how your route changes – or doesn’t – when there’s ice and snow to deal with? No experience needed. Just fill out this form, and we’ll contact you. (It says the deadline is Sept 30, but if you are interested, just let us know.)

And if you want to help us with the event, your input and time would be quite welcome. We are an all-volunteer organization, so drop us a note if you want to help with this event or any other aspect of the organization.


Last week

Have you ever seen that velomobile cruising around town? The State Journal ran a story about Nick Hein, the owner, so now you can read all about the vehicle and the man who pedals it.

Another bicyclist was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver, this time on the 900 block of South Park St. Unfortunately, this part of the road does not have bike lanes, despite what the article says. There are sharrows in the right lane, but that treatment is completely inadequate for such a high-volume road, where drivers often far exceed the 30 mph speed limit.

This past Saturday, the city sponsored a Bike and Talk Action Workshop to discuss how to more safely get around the south side and what improvements need to be made to make the area safer. Maybe they talked about the lack of bike lanes on Park St?


The week ahead


Another open house to gather ideas for a plan for Law Park will be held 6:00-7:30 pm at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, 501 East Badger Rd. Since this is an important walking and biking corridor for all of us, your input is important. There have been five open houses, and this is the last one, so if you can’t make this one and still want to provide input, email city staff at LawPark@cityofmadison.com.


Two miles of the Cap City Trail will be closed for resurfacing. The section that will be closed is between Fish Hatchery Road and Seminole Highway. Work is expected to be completed sometime in November. More information is available in this State Journal article.

If you are curious about cyclocross or want to practice, stop by Badger Prairie County Park, 4654 Maple Grove Dr, Verona, from 5:30-7:00 pm. A series of practices are happening now through the end of October. There is always a beginner and intermediate option. More information about what to expect and the groups putting it on is available on the Madison Bikes Community Calendar.

Also Wednesday is the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MPO) meeting at the Water Utility Building, 119 E Olin Ave, from 6:30-8:30 pm. The MPO allocates all the federal transportation money for the entire metro region, and this month they will be approving the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), that’s all the projects that might get funding for the next five years. This is done every year with a new TIP, but it’s an incite into where your money is being spent. The MPO will also have a presentation on the  bus rapid transit planning study. Want to see the materials for any of this? You can find them here as a PDF.


For more information....

More information on road projects and upcoming events are available from the city via the Bike Madison weekly update put out by the city Pedestrian-Bicycle Coordinator. This weekly email s much more detailed information about specific construction, detours, and official city business. Thanks for Renee Callaway for keeping up informed.

And if you have a anything to add to the Madison Bikes Community Calendar, send us an email.

Do you appreciate the weekly updates and work that Madison Bikes is doing to improve the city for all ages and abilities? You can donate to support our work.


Monday Update: Anthropocene, Transpo Commission, South Madison workshop

Before we get into the Monday Updates, two quick reminders:

  • Our board of directors call for applications is still open. If you're interested in joining our board, fill out this application form, or contact heather@madisonbikes.org to ask questions -- or come to our Community Meeting on Monday night (see below).
  • We're also still looking for models for the Winter Bike Fashion Show. Applications close a week from now, and so if you want to share you knowledge about riding in the cold, this is your chance! No modeling experience required; we welcome and encourage all body types and physical abilities, and applications from people of color, LGBTQ+ models.

Also note that phase 2 of the repaving of the Cap City Trail has now been scheduled. The segment between Fish Hatchery Rd and Seminole Highway will be closed starting October 2. More info on the Dane County Park page.

Last Week

The Youth Global Climate Strike was the big event last week. News reports speak of over 1000 participants in Madison, some young, some not so young. Some of those participants got to the Capitol Square as a Critical Mass ride. It's been a long time since there has been a Critical Mass in Madison, but turnout was good and a big group of people rode their bikes from Olbrich Gardens down East Washington Ave to the Capitol. It looks like there is some interest in future rides and there is now a dedicated Facebook page.


This Week

Are you interested in being involved with organizing our Winter Bike Fashion Show? Help us work on a project that would expand winter bike path maintenance from 5 to 7 days a week? Or just want to know more about Madison Bikes? Then you should come to our Madison Bikes Community Meeting on Monday night. We'll be at Bendyworks (106 East Doty Street, Suite 200) from 6-8 pm. If you plan on coming, please shoot a quick email to harald@madisonbikes.org.

Also on Monday night is Bike Fitchburg's monthly meeting. On the agenda will be a recap of their Take Me to the Border fundraising ride. 6:30-8 pm, Fitchburg Public Library.

Wednesday is a busy day.

The Transportation Commission has their regular meeting. On the agenda:

  • Expanding the current Snow Emergency zone: This is good news for biking. Parked cars often impede snow clearing close to curb, which then narrows the space available for biking.
  • Relocating the intercity bus terminal
  • Adding speed humps on Lake Edge Boulevard between Maher and Major

It's cyclocross season! Whether you're cross-curious or are already a 'crosser but want to improve your skills, the weekly cyclocross workshop series by Madison Parks and partners is for you. This week, the workshop is happening at Olbrich Park on Wednesday from 5:30-7 pm. Free and open to all.

If you'd rather stay indoors, come to Union South for a free screening of Anthropocene, a "stunning sensory experience and cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet."  First come, first serve; doors open at 6:30.

On Thursday, you have another opportunity to go to a Bus Rapid Transit Open House. Mayor Rhodes-Conway really kicked off her Metro Forward campaign last week, and bus rapid transit is a key component of her plan. The open house will be a good opportunity to learn more and ask questions. Madison College, Truax Campus, Room D1630, 1710 Wright Street, 6-8 pm

We at Madison Bikes believe that to enable more people to bike, we need to have a seamless network of low-stress bike facilities, covering all of our neighborhoods. The south side is one area where that network has many gaps that need improvement. As part of the update of the South Madison Neighborhood plan, the city's bike/ped coordinator Renee Callaway is hosting a Bike and Talk Action Workshop on Saturday: "bike and talk about how to make it easier, safer, and more fun to get around on the south side. [...] this is a way to show city staff the best and not so great places to get to on bike. Bring your bike as there will be a group ride to start the day. If you prefer not to bike with the group join the workshop at 2:30pm back at the Goodman South Library.  Inside if weather is uncooperative. Sat, Sept 28, 1 – 3:30pm. RSVP here.


As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org 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.

Wednesday Update: Death in Monona, Law Park, Climate Strike

Editor's note: Apologies for making our Monday Update a Wednesday Update this week. If you're interested in supporting our Update team, send an email to harald@madisonbikes.org.

Last Week

On Saturday a person riding a bike, Kay Larson, was killed on a Madison area road. This time on West Broadway, which is a Dane County highway just south of Monona, at about 1:40 AM. The Police Report states the bicyclist was riding erratically prior to the crash. Although Broadway has bike lanes, they are in poor condition and littered with debris--some of it even quite large--making it difficult to not ride somewhat erratically to avoid it. It is legal to take a lane past the debris and bad conditions, however it would present further risks to bicyclists especially with traffic regularly going 10 miles per hour over the already high 40 mile per hour speed limit, and distracted and drunk driving being a constant problem. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to Dane County to better maintain bikeways on their roads.

Last week’s heavy rains have also flooded a part of the Military Ridge State Trail. The flooded section is an underpass of US-151 just west of Verona that the DNR knows chronically floods because of the permanent installation of a depth gauge. You can take an alternate route around the flooded section using Nine Mound Road and a paved path near the Epic campus.


This Week

On Monday and Tuesday, Madison Bikes and the City hosted a delegation of elected officials, state, regional, and city planning staff from all around Utah. Bike Utah, the statewide bike advocacy organization had organized the trip to promote biking and allow the delegation to learn from Madison's bike successes and challenges. We had a great time showing them around on a guided tour on BCycles and hearing outsiders' perspectives about our city.

Wednesday,September 18

From 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at Badger Prairie County Park there is a free Cyclocross Practice opportunity. Badger Prairie County Park is located at 4654 Maple Grove Drive in Verona. The free cyclocross practice is sponsored by the Capital Off-Road Pathfinders, L5, Neff Cycling, and Madison Parks.

The third Law Park Community Workshop is being held at 6 PM, this time at the Madison’s Central Library, located at 201 W. Mifflin St. in Madison’s downtown. As mentioned above, you can learn more by heading over to the city's Law Park Master Planning process web page. You can also fill out the public survey or send in your thoughts via email to LawPark@cityofmadison.com.

Also at 6 PM, there will be a free Flat Fix Class held at the University Bicycle Resource Center in the Helen C. White Garage (Lot 6) at 600 N. Park Street just across from the Memorial Union. Learn how to fix a flat tire with confidence by bike advocate India Viola. Bring your own wheel to practice with or look on with another student. You can bring your own tools to learn with if you like, otherwise tools will be available. Free Planet Bike Blinky light set to the first five (5) students.

Thursday, September 19

The Transportation Policy and Planning Board is meeting at 4:00 PM in room 215 in the Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King Boulevard. There’s an item on the agenda regarding a Winter Bike Maintenance Policy Update and Budget Ask that might include an action item, so feel free to send an email to the board in support of improving bike route maintenance in the winter. Link to the full agenda.

Friday, September 20

At 9:00 AM the Global Climate Strike is taking place. Students and workers alike will strike to protest humanity’s continued dependence on fossil fuels. You can read about the strike in Madison here, or read more about the Global Climate Strike on their Facebook Events page or their website: ycatwi.org/sep20

As part of the Global Climate Strike there will be two Critical Mass Rides to Support Climate Action. At 11 AM the ride will go from Olbrich Park to the top of State Street, and at 7 PM the ride will go from the top of State back to Olbrich Park. If there are fewer than 25 people the ride will follow Willy Street and if there are more than 25 people it will follow East Wash. Read more about it on their Facebook Events page.

Saturday, September 21

Saturday is the 21 anniversary of the creation of Surly Bikes, and to celebrate Revolution Cycles is hosting a Sub-24 Hour (S24O) ride/bike-camping trip from their shop to Sandhill Station campground in Lake Mills. Meet at Rev Cycles at 12 PM, and the ride will start shortly thereafter. You will need to supply your own bike (doesn’t need to be a Surly), camping gear, and food.

Sunday, September 22

The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup Waterloo starts at 12 PM. The event will be at Trek’s headquarters at 801 W. Madison Street in Waterloo and will be free to attend. This is the largest cyclocross event in the U.S. and promises to be a lot of fun. Family friendly and a festival atmosphere. Read more about it at their Facebook events page.


As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes.

Be a Model for the Winter Bike Fashion Show!

Photo credit: Dan Stout

UPDATE: Application deadline has been extended to 10/7

We’re looking for Madison Bikers of all ages to share their expertise in dressing for winter weather! Madison Bikes is excited to host the 2019 edition of the Winter Bike Fashion Show on November 2nd from 1-4 pm at the High Noon Saloon. As a volunteer model, you’ll come dressed in your own gear, walk the catwalk, and share some of your personal tips for winter riding to encourage others to ride more this season.

Photo credit: Rob Streiffer

You don’t have to be a year-round cyclist to apply, it's cool if you're new to riding in the cold, and no modeling experience is required. Are you a summer cyclist who’s found a good way to extend your commute into the late fall with a few extra layers? Do you have a teenager who manages to get around town by bike with very little specialized gear? Are you a parent who has figured out how to keep your kids warm for weekend adventures on the bike path? We want to showcase winter biking and winter bikers in all their many forms!

Photo credit: Dan Stout

Application deadline: Monday Sept 30th. 

We’re looking for:

  • year round bikers to show off their biking clothes and bike gear
  • Shoulder season (late fall or early spring) riders to show off their biking clothes and bike gear
  • Adults and kids (both kids who ride their own bikes, and kids who are transported by bike)
  • Gear for winter biking and demo bikes- how do you adapt your bike for winter riding?
  • We love DIY solutions that make it easy and inexpensive to giving winter biking a try!
  • We strongly encourage people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ winter riders to apply!

To apply, please complete the following questions and submit to Nicole at winterbike@madisonbikes.org by Monday Oct 7.

  1. When/where/why do you bike in the winter?
  2. What do you wear on a typical winter ride?
  3. What’s one change you’ve made to your clothing and/or biking setup that’s made it more comfortable to ride when it gets cold?
  4. Do you have a winter biking story that may motivate others to ride in winter?
  5. What is your favorite thing about riding in winter?
  6. Optional: Attach a photo of you in your biking clothes and/or you with your bike that we can in promotions for the Winter Bike Fashion Show

Photo credit: Rob Streiffer


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