Bike News

Monday Update: Wilson St (again), lessons from abroad, Rev ride

Let me start with a quick reminder about our fundraising, membership, and volunteering drive: It’s the season when we start planning for the new year, and even an organization like ours that’s run 100% by volunteers needs some funding. So please consider making a donation or joining/renewing your membership. Thanks!

Exciting news for the Badger State Trail: The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Belleville is going to turn its historic train depot on the Badger State Trail into a business serving people biking the trail.

(Old) Belleville Train Depot

Photo: Jimmy Emerson, DVM CC-BY-ND

Speaking of Madison Bikes: We have our most important board meeting of the year on Monday: It’s election day for our board of directors. With eight seats open, we have an exciting roster of candidates on the ballot. Stay tuned for an announcement of the new board members!

Also on Monday, join the friendly weekly winter ride around Lake Monona, a.k.a. the MEAThead. Meet at Ford’s Gym for a strict 7pm departure.

And for a final Monday event, join Bike Fitchburg for their monthly meeting. 7:30 pm, Fitchburg public library.

On Tuesday, there will be a public input meeting about Wilson Street. “But didn’t they just have two Wilson Street corridor meetings?”, you may be asking. Yes, but this one is for the other end of Wilson Street, near Blount/Willy/John Nolen. It would be nice to have a more integrated process for planning the whole of Wilson Street, and maybe that’s a point to make at the meeting. 6:30 pm, Madison Municipal Building, Room 111.

On Wednesday, you can join the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee meeting. We’ll definitely talk about Wilson Street, and so if you want to be part of our efforts to make Wilson a better street for people on bikes, join us! 6 pm at the Bendyworks office (106 E Doty St #200).

On Thursday, get up early to catch a free webinar on “Jumping in with Both Pedals: Lessons from Rapid Implementation of Cycling Networks. Alain Boulanger from Paris City Hall and Manuel Calvo from EstudioMC in Sevilla will discuss the social, design, and political aspects of forward-thinking mobility, and share insights on the efforts to elevate the state of bike networks in both cities. We could surely use some more rapid implementation of a cycling network in Madison, and there’s lots to learn from other cities.

On Thursday night, join Revolution Cycles for the “ride that only comes one time a year. Meet at the shop at 6pm, and then roll out at 6:30 for “a slow roll/no drop, counter clockwise to the Holiday Lights at Olin Park. Fat Bikes are encouraged but not necessary.”

Bike News

Monday Update: Fashion Show Recap, Thanksgiving, Ho-Chunk Day

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It’s a holiday week: On Thursday, many people will celebrate Thanksgiving, and on Friday it’s Ho-Chunk Day. So there aren’t many other events happening this week.

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Let’s start with a quick recap from Saturday’s Winter Bike Fashion Show. About 100 people came to the High Noon Saloon, which I think makes it the biggest show so far! Our MC, Luis “LuckyVoy” Martinez of local LatinX radio station Digital 206, presented our “models,” that is Madison area winter riders of all varieties. Models shared their wisdom of how to keep riding in the winter: To wear or not to wear goggles (and how to keep them from fogging up), how to turn a thrift store sweater into leg warmers, how a pair of 1950s army surplus wool pants are the best piece of gear, whether you can use studded tires even when there isn’t ice and snow, and many more. Meanwhile in front of the High Noon Saloon, Madison Metro had parked a full-size city bus so that people could practice putting their bike on the bus rack. At the end of the show, some lucky attendees won great door prizes, courtesy of Saris and Planet Bike. Stay tuned for more pictures and maybe some video footage from the event! Thanks to everyone who came to the event, and to the people who made the show happen! A special shout-out goes to Pepe, our events committee chair, who was unfortunately not able to be there on Saturday.

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This week

While not much is happening this week, Madison Bikes never rests: Our board meets this Monday, and we’re excited to get to meet the people who are running for our board of directors. We’ll host a speed-dating session with them to get to know them better and give them a chance to learn more about what it means to be on the board of an all-volunteer bike advocacy organization.

We’re not the only bike advocacy group meeting on Monday: Bike Fitchburg is having their monthly meeting tonight at the Fitchburg Public Library. I imagine there will be some celebrating, as just last week the Fitchburg council approved a budget amendment that allows the construction of shoulders on Whalen Road between Seminole and Mutchler. Bike Fitchburg put a lot of work into making that happen.

On Saturday, head to Waterloo for some cyclocross racing: The Battle of Waterloo is starting at 8 am.

And on Sunday, Bombay Bicycle Club is hosting their last ride of the season, the “Frezaroo 26.

One thing to put on your calendar early: On Monday, November 26 (a week from now), there will be a first public input meeting about the Bassett Street corridor study. It’s always good to have some people from the bike community at these meetings. Seven pm at the Madison Senior Center (330 W Mifflin).

Don’t forget, you can find times, locations, and more details of these meetings and events on the Madison Bikes Community Calendar. If you’d like to submit an event, send it to

Bike News

Monday Update: More ‘cross, bike touring, equity

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I just got back from Cambridge, MA. My significant other lives there for the year, and while I was visiting, I had the opportunity to attend a rally for safer bike infrastructure. Organized by local bike advocates Cambridge Bicycle Safety, the rally was part of a petition campaign to hold the Cambridge city council accountable to their promise of building a 20 mile network of protected bike lanes by 2023. In Madison, we don’t even have an official bike plan with measurable goals — and I think it’s showing. I’d be curious to hear what the Madison Bikes community thinks about campaigning on this issue.

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Anyways, I’m back in Madison now, and here’s what’s going on this week:

A quick reminder that you can still apply as a model for the Winter Bike Fashion Show (11/17). Deadline for applications is 11/2. So go ahead and apply, or encourage your friends to be part of this fun event!

The week starts out with Bike Fitchburg’s monthly meeting on Monday night. I suspect they’re going to talk about the Fish Hatchery Road reconstruction. The next public meeting for that project is scheduled for November 8. Based on what I have heard from the previous meeting, there is a real danger that the reconstruction is going to focus primarily on making driving easier, instead of designing a street more amenable to walking, biking, and public transit. So mark the date, or go to the Bike Fitchburg meeting tonight to learn more. 6:30-8:30pm at the Fitchburg Public Library.

On Tuesday morning, come to the Capitol Square for a press conference on the release of a report on transportation equity in Wisconsin. The Sierra Club and 1000 Friends of Wisconsin will present the report that “analyzes who is being served and who is left behind by our transportation priorities.”

On Wednesday, you’ll have to make decisions:

  • You could go to the Transportation Commission meeting at 5pm (City-County Building 351). Two agenda items of interest: An updates on the Bicycle Center at Judge Doyle Square, and an update on the Wilson and Bassett Streets transportation studies. As a reminder, when the city council decided to not include bike infrastructure in the recent reconstruction of West Wilson, they promised to study the corridor and its role in the bike network more comprehensively.
  • Alternatively, you could howl at the moon while riding your bike. Spoke Haven and Bombay Bicycle Club are hosting a Full Moon Ride around Lake Wingra. Meet at 6pm at Westmorland Park.
  • And if you’d rather stay inside and hear about other people’s bike adventures, go to the Hawthorne Branch of the library to hear Kent Wegner talk aboutExploring the Former Ottoman Empire by Bike.” Starts at 6pm.

And on Sunday, you can watch or participate in cyclocross racing at Angell Park in Sun Prairie. The “Cross Fire” races start at 8am. Alternatively, you can support Madison’s local radio station WORT by participating in a Day of the Dead Bike ride that takes you from brewery to brewery. Starts at 11am at Parched Eagle Tap Room, and requires a $15 dollar wrist band.

Bike News

Monday Update: Unity, Vintage Rides, Jump Jam, Fashion Show

We may be getting the first frost of the year this week — which is a great opportunity to announce the 9th edition of the Winter Bike Fashion Show! November 17 from 1-4pm at the High Noon Saloon. Admission is free; no tickets required! You can RSVP and share the Facebook event. If you haven’t heard of the WBFS: It’s an event where members of the bike community who bike year-round showcase how they manage riding in the cold. They’ll model their bikes and gear, and there will be plenty of opportunities for the winter-biking-curious to ask questions and learn. Stay tuned for more details and our call for models.

The Cap Times ran an interesting story about lack of access to safe and comfortable bike infrastructure on the South and North Sides. Baltazar De Anda-Santana, who works for the Bike Fed and is on the Madison Bikes board of directors, took a reporter on a bike ride around some underserved areas near Park Street.

Our mountain biking friends Capital City Offroad Pathfinders have just launched a big fundraising campaign. It is aimed at “returning our existing trails to the state they were designed, and in many cases much better. More sustainable, more accessible, and more fun! Our goal is to raise $80,000 to bring in professional builders who can come in and accomplish things in weeks that would take our volunteers years to achieve.” Watch the video to learn more:

This Week

Monday: If you want to get involved with organizing the Winter Bike Fashion Show mentioned above, come to the Madison Bikes events committee meeting tonight! We always appreciate having new people involved. 6pm, Barriques on Park St.

On Wednesday, the city’s Transportation Commission was supposed to meet. It appears the meeting has been canceled.

On the weekend you’ll have a whole lot of bike events to choose from. If you’re into cyclocross, ride out to Badger Prairie County Park in Verona for the Badger Prairie Cross race on Saturday. There will be food, drinks — and probably exciting ‘cross racing. First races start at 9am.

Also on Saturday, is the MadTown Unity Ride. Every month, ride celebrates the South Side’s unity and diversity and connects people in the communities. The rides are specifically aimed at Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community, the Senior community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-to moderate-income community in the Madison Southside. Unity Rides are always at a family-friendly pace and about 7-10 miles long. Meet at Villager Mall on Park St at 10am.

Your third option on Saturday: Head to Quarry Park if you want your mountain bike to catch some air. It’s the Quarry Park Jump Jam. Event starts at 10; contests start at 11:30. Rain date is Sunday. And note that the event is at Quarry Park, not Quarry Ridge.

On Sunday, bring out your lugged steel bikes, wool jerseys, and toe clips for the Bombay Bicycle Club Vintage Ride. Meet at the Vilas Park shelter at 10am and then ride down to Paoli.

Bike News

Final call for applications: Madison Bikes board

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Madison Bikes envisions a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place in the city and neighboring communities year round. This vision requires a culturally diverse and pluralistic board committed to equity in our work.

We are currently accepting applications for up to seven seats on the Madison Bikes Board of Directors, with elections taking place in December. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, and other groups who are underrepresented in bike advocacy. There are also a variety of attributes and skills that the current board has identified as beneficial; they are listed below:


  • Lives or works on the South or North side of Madison
  • Parents with kids
  • People with different riding abilities
  • Seniors


  • Grant writing
  • Non-profit organizational development
  • Legal background
  • Accounting background
  • Past/current board member on other boards
  • UW partnerships
  • Non-profit background
  • Recruitment
  • Public relations/media

If you are interested in joining our board, please complete this application form by October 4. If you would like to nominate someone other than yourself, please forward this post/email to them and ask them to apply. And if you can’t make the deadline but would really like to apply, shoot a quick email to

Bike News

Monday Update: It’s party time (and some other news)

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Important things first: It’s the week of our Madison Bikes Party and Fundraiser! There will be food, there will be a photo booth, there will be beer — and most importantly: There will be lots of awesome people who care about biking in Madison! Please support us and get your tickets in advance! You can also just show up on the day of the event, but having your ticket in advance will make things go more smoothly. Big thanks to our sponsors American Family Insurance, Starting Block Madison, Jonny Hunter of Underground Food Collective fame, and Rockhound Brewing.

Also a reminder that you can join the Madison Bikes Board of Directors. The party on Saturday will be a great opportunity to meet current board members and ask questions. More details here.

Last week

El Tour de la Familia Latina celebrated their first birthday. Big shout out to the BiciClub Latino de Madison for putting together these rides! While the weather was great for the celebration, the ride was overshadowed by news that several immigrants had been detained in the Madison area by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Photo credit: Baltazar de Anda

This week

If you live in or ride through Monona, consider taking action on a stretch of bike path that would close a gap between the Cap City Trail and an already existing path along South Towne Drive. Madison Bike community member Bruce has written a draft email to Monona city officials that you can use. The meeting about the path is tonight at 6pm already, so please act quick.

Tonight, Monday, Bike Fitchburg has their monthly meeting. I imagine they may be celebrating the opening of the newly built shoulders on a stretch of Whalen Road — something the organization had been fighting for hard. 6:30pm at the Fitchburg Public Library.

On Wednesday, the Transportation Commission has their monthly meeting. On the agenda are the following items:

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There should be a livestream of the meeting, or you can subscribe to an audio podcast version here.

On Thursday, come to the Cargo Bike Shop for their workshop on the “Art of Bicycle Commuting.” Or, since this workshop is primarily aimed at people new to commuting by bike, send your friends who are interested in bike commuting but haven’t made the jump just yet. Yours truly and our board member Michael will both give brief presentations. Thursday, 6:30pm.

One bike advocacy fundraiser is good. Two is even better. Join Bike Fitchburg for their Pick Me Up at the Border Ride. It’s an annual event where you meet at the Capitol in Madison and ride all the way to the Illinois border (or however far you’d like to ride) on the Badger State Trail. Meet Friday at 7pm on the Capitol Square. $15 suggested donation.

Remember, if you have an event that you’d like us to include on the Community Calendar, send it to us.

Bike News

Join the Madison Bikes Board of Directors

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

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.

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Our current board of directors

We are currently accepting applications for up to seven 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. At a minimum, we expect board members to:

  • Attend our monthly board meetings (6-8pm every third Monday of the month)

  • Participate in one or more of our committees, attend their monthly meetings, 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 like our party, our presence at Ride the Drive, 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 4. If you would like to nominate someone other than yourself, please forward this post/email to them and ask them to apply.

A great opportunity to informally chat with current board members will be our party and fundraiser on September 29.

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

Still have questions? Email Kate!

Bike News

Weekly Update: Flooding, Our Party, Bike Fitchburg

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Credit: nulrich89

The flooding in Madison and Dane County is probably still on everybody’s mind. Our Facebook group saw over 100 new members in the days after the initial rains. A crowdsourced map of bike path closures, created by Madison Bikes supporter Paul Wilson, has been viewed over 30,000 times. Please continue updating the map — the city told us that it has been very helpful. And you can sign up to volunteer to help with sandbagging.

Many of the regions mountain bike trail systems were damaged by the rains as well, especially Blackhawk and Pleasant View. Capital Offroad Pathfinders has more details and is always looking for volunteers to help with trail repairs and maintenance.

Madison Bikes Party

Our big party to celebrate biking in Madison is coming! Save the date: September 29, noon! Thanks to our great location sponsors Starting Block Madison and American Family Insurance, the party will be in the beautiful new Spark building on East Washington Ave. Ticket sales will go live shortly, and we’ll have more details for you.

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Kudos for the great flier to our new volunteer Natalie!

Fish Hatchery Road

Last week the first public meeting about reconstructing Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg took place. Improving bike facilities doesn’t seem to be high on the agenda:

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However, based on a report from a Bike Fitchburg member who attended the meeting, there was some discussion “complet[ing] the multi-use path along the west side of Fish Hatch to the Beltline Bridge and create a bike/ped under road crossing at the Nine Springs water way. Better lane designations were recommended specifically near the Green Way Crossing intersection with regard to cyclist riding north of Fish Hatchery and the automobiles gaining access to GWC or the eastbound beltline.” Bike Fitchburg will probably discuss the project at their monthly meeting, tonight at 7pm at the Fitchburg Public Library.

Wright Stuff Century

The highlight of Bombay Bicycle Club’s ride calendar each year is their Wright Stuff Century. You can ride between 32 and 125 miles in the hills west of Madison. More details and registration here.

Remember, if you have an event that you’d like us to include on the Community Calendar, send it to us.

Bike News

Flood Map: Please contribute

In the aftermath of the flooding in Dane County, Madison Bikes supporter Paul Wilson has create a Google Map where everyone can add reports about flooded or washed out bike paths. We were just contacted by the city, and they’re asking people to contribute to this map (instead of using the Report-a-Problem website). There’s still a lot of water going downstream, and so flooding will continue to be an issue.

Link to the map:

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If you have issues adding to the map, you can still use the Report-a-Problem form.

Please respect bike path closures, and be safe out there! And thanks to Paul and the community for providing up-to-date information on biking conditions.

Bike News

Madtown Unity Ride: This Saturday (8/11)

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We at Madison Bikes are excited and proud to be supporters of the Madtown Unity Ride, a monthly community bicycle ride to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together! The Unity Rides happen every second Saturday of the month. So join the August ride this coming Saturday and help make it a success.

MadTown Unity Rides are organized by local groups to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together..The target audience for these rides is Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community, the Senior community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-to moderate-income community in the Madison. We use these rides as a vehicle to increase social cohesion at the neighborhood level, as well as highlight the assets and inequities which exist in neighborhoods across the Madison Southside.

The ride has been planned to travel through different neighborhoods in the Southside of Madison. Ride will start at the Villager Mall on Park Street and ride through the places that have become a landmark within our communities like the Urban League, the Villager Mall, Centro Hispano, Literacy Network, Madison-Area Urban Ministry, Omega School, Madison College South Campus, Penn Park, and Boys and Girls Club..

Ride will stop at Penn Park to participate of the Freedom, Inc. Festival and at the Badger Rock Neighborhood Center for the unveiling of their Bicycle Fix It Station (This Bicycle Fix It Station is possible thanks to the JUST Bikes coalition and the sponsorship of the Madison Community Foundation)

Join us as we ride through the Southside neighborhoods. THIS IS A FAMILY RIDE. WE WILL RIDE SLOW.


Date: Saturday August 11, 2018

Departure Time: 10:00 am

Starting Location: Villager Mall on Park Street (2300 S. Park Street Madison WI)

Ride distance: 7 miles

No bike, no helmet? No Problem. You can borrow a bike and helmet to use during the ride.

We will have snacks, music, water and fruit.

Here is the link to the facebook event:

Here is the link to register for the ride (Registration is free)

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√önase a grupos locales para un paseo mensual en bicicleta comunitario para celebrar la unidad y la diversidad de Madison Southside y para conectar a nuestras comunidades.

Fecha: Sábado, Agosto 11, 2018
Hora: 10:00 am

Inicio de la Recorrida: Villager Mall on Park Street (2300 S. Park Street. Madison, WI)

Distancia: 7 Millas
Ruta: Sur de Madison

¬øNecesita una bicicleta o un casco para usar durante el viaje? Tenemos bicicletas y cascos para prestar

Apoyo mecánico disponible antes del viaje gracias a Down with Bikes.

¬°Gracias a todos los socios, colaboradores y voluntarios por su apoyo!