Bike News

Winter Bike Fashion 2019: Photos!

Just before it got really, really cold, the 9th edition of the Winter Bike Fashion Show took place on November 2. With record attendance of 125 people, we had a successful event. An edutainment event in the best sense, twelve people from the community who already bike in the winter, shared their knowledge and showed off their outfits to those who aren’t yet riding in the winter. Our awesome photography crew — Dan Stout and Mark Renner — produced these great shots of the event. Still to come: video of the Q&A for those who couldn’t make it.

Thanks to our models, event volunteers, Natalie Kuehn for designing the flyer, the High Noon Saloon for hosting us, Teddywedgers for feeding us pasties, and the local businesses who donated door prizes: Bloom Bake Shop, Cafe Domestique, The Cargo Bike Shop, EVP Coffee, Fitchburg Cycles, Planet Bike, Slow Roll Cycles, and Saris.

For lots more pictures, check out Dan’s or Mark’s full albums.

Brittingham Boats and Planet Bike let us borrow their bike racks. Subtle hint to the High Noon Saloon: You need more racks! (Photo: Dan Stout)

Gina, one of our great volunteers at the event (Photo: Dan Stout)

Our board member Baltazar introducing the MC. He had also led a group ride to the Show from Monona Terrace.

Our MC for the night, Luis LuckyVoy Martinez, and our board member Liz (Photo: Dan Stout)

Our first model, Eric, who works at Freewheel Community Bike Shop and will soon hold his own winter biking workshop there. When it’s really cold, he resorts to wearing a motorcycle helmet (Photo: Dan Stout)

Terry is in her 60s and has been car-free for many years. She bikes year-round. (Photo: Dan Stout)

We were super excited to have Yang Tao as a model. When he’s not on stage as a model, he’s Madison City Traffic Engineer. He’s been winter-biking in Madison for 16 years! (Photo: Dan Stout)

Our board member Elysha and her daughter Abby are veterans of the Winter Bike Fashion Show. Watch out for them when they ride around all winter in their family cargo bike or on their own single bikes.

Tim–uh, I mean “Yukon Cornelius” riding in on his sled! (Photo: Mark Renner)

Alder Grant Foster (District 15) and our board member Pete informing attendees about a city budget amendment that would expand snow and ice clearing from 5 to 7 days a week. (Photo: Dan Stout)

Our photo booth had great accessories: Snotcicles, ice beard, foggy glasses (Photo: Dan Stout)

Photo: Dan Stout

Beth and her winter commuter bike. She bikes from the east side to her job on the west side, and she “refuses to let weather determine my happiness” (Photo: Dan Stout)

Caleb’s secret weapon for winter biking: Electric gloves! (Photo: Dan Stout)

One model, Nick, failed to wear his winter biking outfit! Or did he? No, in his velomobile he is protected from the elements and can get away with just wearing a sweater. (Photo: Dan Stout)

Winter biking can (but doesn’t have to be) expensive. Carlton talks about how as a grad student on a limited budget he slowly accumulated and refined his gear over time.

Heather and her three kids (who were slightly distracted by the velomobile…)

When Andy isn’t busy running his bike shop in Lake Mills or Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison, he does recreational rides, no matter the season.

Michael has been doing the winter bike thing since the 1990s. Not only does he ride for transportation; he also has participated in exploits like the Triple-D, a 70-mile offroad bike race in Iowa in the depths of winter.

Q&A with the models. I believe the question was how to deal with snot…

Renowned local artists Jenn and Nicole had painted bike-themed winter scenes that helped us raise over $300 in the silent auction.

Let’s end with some pics of the audience and more volunteers:

Happy Winter Biking!

Bike News

Action Alert: Path clearing, Vision Zero

The Common Council is going to finalize the city’s operating and capital budgets this week, starting on Tuesday. That means it’s time again to make your voice heard for biking, walking, and traffic safety. There are two items below that could use your voice.

  1. Thanks in no small part to your response to our previous action alert, a budget amendment to clear our arterial shared use paths such as the Cap City and SW Path clear of ice and snow 7 days a week passed at the Finance Committee. However, now Alders Moreland (District 7) and Tierney (District 16) have proposed an amendment that would eliminate that funding (among other things such as funding for bus rapid transit positions and more staffing at Pinney Library). Please contact your district’s Alder and the whole Common Council to oppose cutting the funding for path clearance.
  2. In the capital budget, there is an amendment to allocate $350,000 to “advance the implementation of Vision Zero, which seeks to eliminate all severe injury and fatal crashes on City streets.” Vision Zero is an approach to traffic safety that views every crash as preventable, that looks at the problem from a systemic perspective, and that acknowledges that humans will make errors, but builds a “forgiving” system that means those errors don’t lead to people getting killed or injured. Many US cities such as Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York have adopted Vision Zero, and this funding would help us jumpstart Vision Zero in Madison as well.

How to contact your alder? The easiest way is to email to This will distribute your email to all members of the Council. Alternatively you can use this contact form. If you don’t know who your Alder is, you can find out here. We recommend sending your email to all Alders. Please also include your full name and your address so that Alders know you actually live in their district. Please send your email before noon on Tuesday, November 12.

The emails don’t have to be long–the alders will thank your for being brief–but it helps to put them in your own words and say why this is important to you. Below is sample language, but we suggest you add a sentence or two of your own.

“I oppose the removal of funding from the operating budget for snow and ice control on arterial shared use paths adopted by Finance Committee amendment #21: $65,000, as proposed as part of operating budget amendment 1b.”

“I support the capital budget amendment 19, which would allocate funding “to advance the implementation of Vision Zero, which seeks to eliminate all severe injury and fatal crashes on City streets.”

Bike News

Winter Bike Fashion Show on the radio!

Our board member Pepe and two of our volunteer models for the Winter Bike Fashion made an appearance on local radio station WORT this morning. If you missed it, you can listen to the segment here (if the embedded player doesn’t appear, try this link:

We hope to see you and your friends this Saturday at the High Noon Saloon! You can get a preview of some of our models on our Facebook page:

Bike News

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 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

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.,,,,,,

Bike News

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!

Bike News

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 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

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 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: MTB things, the TIP, and a grand path opening

Let’s start this weekly update with some fun pictures: As our board member Grant pointed out, our Badger Band is a biking band!

If you ride past the band practice field at this time of year, you’ll see tons of bikes parked there. On my way back from work, I hung around a bit and took pictures of the band members biking themselves and their instruments back home.

More shots here.

Happy Labor Day!

I’m going to have to take it slow today: Bombay Bicycle Club hosted their Wright Stuff Century as a fundraiser for Free Bikes 4 Kidz yesterday. I did the 64 mile route on the tandem, and after all those hills I’m pretty sore and tired. But it was a great event, benefiting a great local bike charity! Thanks to all the volunteers that made it happen.

Photo credit: Karla King/Bombay Bicycle Club

If you’re reading this early and have energy for some manual labor, go to the trail building day in Cross Plains:

The CP trails are riding great and our locals are getting the itch to finish the remaining west loop and turn the out-and-back in to a full loop. We will be renting an excavator the weekend of Labor Day and are looking for helpers to hand finish behind our equipment crew. No experience necessary and family members are welcome. We will supply hand tools and refreshments, but please bring your own gloves, water, and bug spray.

Starts at 9am, more details here.

On Wednesday, you can practice your cyclocross skills. Capital City Offroad Pathfinders, Madison Parks, Neff Cycles, and L5 are offering weekly clinics in parks around town, both for newbies to cyclocross and more advanced riders. This Wednesday they’ll be at Badger Prairie County Park, starting at 5:30 pm. More details.

Also on Wednesday, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board is meeting. The big item on the agenda is the public hearing on the Draft 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program for the Madison Metropolitan Area & Dane County, a.k.a. the TIP. This is an important document that lays out the budget for all regional transportation projects in the next four years. Unfortunately, it is a long and rather unwieldy document, which makes it difficult to digest and comment on. You can find it in all its 123-page glory here. The meeting takes place at the City-County Building, Room 351, 6:30 pm.

The event I’m most excited about this week is on Saturday morning: It’s the ribbon cutting for the new Blackhawk Path segment in Shorewood Hills! This is a great addition to our low-stress bike network, as you no longer have to ride on Marshall Court and make awkward right/left crossings at University Bay Drive. Come and celebrate at 9 am at the University Station mall. And in the meantime, check out our video of the new path:

If you want to test fancy mountain bikes, you can join Giant Bicycle for two demo events this weekend: At Quarry Ridge on Saturday from 9-4; and at the Blackhawk Trails on Sunday between 10-4. Click the links for more details.

Finally, the Fair Share Coalition is looking for volunteers for Bike the Barns. Sign up here.

It’s Liv, over at FairShare again! I’ll keep this short: we are still looking for folks to fill up volunteer slots for FairShare’s Bike the Barns, on September 15th. With up to 800 riders, 4 farm stops (each with live music, farm tours, and food), and an after party featuring 7 local food vendors, there are a lot of hands that go into making this event a success.

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: Mobility Justice with Dr. Adonia Lugo

Another slow week for our weekly update, but we do have a highlight on Saturday!

The bike week starts with Mondays Around Monona, a chill social bike ride around Lake Monona. The ride has been around for a long time, but this week it has a new start and end destination: The ride will start at 5:30p sharp at Capital City Trail and Sugar Ave and end at the newly redeveloped Garver Feed Mill where people will gather for dinner and/or drinks.

On Saturday, I’m very excited about an event centered around the idea of mobility justice with anthropologist and activist Dr. Adonia Lugo! Organized by the JUST Bikes Coalition, there will be a community bike ride, lunch, and a book talk about “Locating ourselves in Mobility Justice: Planning for multiracial and just future streets.” Adonia Lugo is a cultural anthropologist who did her doctoral research on biking and bike activism in Los Angeles. One of the ideas she develops is a tension between physical infrastructure and human infrastructure, as well as the connections (and tensions) between bike activism and environmental, social, and racial justice. This is the schedule for the day:

9:00 am: Helmet Fitting & Bike Checks in the Villager Mall parking lot
10:00 am: Neighborhood Bike Ride followed by lunch
11:30 am: Book Talk (Locating Ourselves in Mobility Justice: Planning for Multiracial and Just Future Streets)/Discussion with Adonia Lugo Cultural anthropologist at the Goodman South Library

If you can’t make the event, check out Dr. Lugo’s book “Bicycle/Race” or listen to a WORT interview with her from last year.

Also keep in mind that the CrossFit Games are happening this week. Be prepared for more people riding, running, and walking on our trails and paths.

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.

Bike News

Monday Update: Transpo Board, and a Happy July 4!

Midwestern summer is here in all its glory: Festivals, heat, humidity, mosquitoes, thunderstorms.

Let’s start this newsletter with — a plug for another newsletter: For the latest information on construction and detours that affect people on bikes in Madison straight from the source, check out the city’s Bike Madison newsletter. The newsletter has been around for a long time, but since Renee Callaway was hired as Pedestrian and Bike Administrator, the newsletter has become much more active again. So if you want to know what’s happening with the construction at First St, the Blair/Nolen/Williamson/Wilson intersection, or elsewhere, consider subscribing to Bike Madison:

A few quick reminders:

If you haven’t done so, please help us make Madison Bike Week better by taking our short survey. We already have over 100 respondents, but it’d be great to get some more. Link to the survey:

And it’s also not too late to support our Pinney Library Rack Raising campaign. Show your support for biking and our public libraries by contributing to our fundraiser. Our goal is to raise $1000 for the new Pinney Library, and we are over halfway there, with $505 raised. You can donate on Facebook or on our website. Thanks to everyone who has already made a contribution.

This (short) week

Mondays Around Monona are back! Join this social ride around Lake Monona with our former board member India. All genders welcome. Ride starts at 5:30pm at the intersection of the Cap City Trail and S. Fair Oaks Ave. Ride ends at Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace (2009 Atwood Ave) Gather for food and/or drinks after the ride.

What a two-way protected bike lane may look like on Broom/Wilson

On Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) is meeting. On their agenda:

The TPPB meeting is taking place at the City-County Building, Council Chambers, starting at 5 pm.

On Tuesday, the Madison Bikes Communications Committee has their regular meeting. Please email if you’re interested in attending.

Another edition of the weekly bike repair clinic at the Latino Workforce Academy is happening on Wednesday.Wheels for Winners, the Latino Academy, and the Bridge-Lakepoint-Waunona Neighborhood Center are offering free bike checks from 5-6:30pm

Cl√≠nicas de reparaciones básicas de bicicletas: Tienes una bicicleta que necesita reparacion basica? La Academia Latina y Wheels for Winners te pueden ayudar con la reparacion. Trae tu bicicleta los miercoles de mayo, junio, julio y agosto. Lugar: Academia Latina, 1917 Lake Point Dr.

And on Saturday, ride around Lake Monona with Cafe Domestique — over and over and over again.

The Lake Monona 100 started as a joke. What’s the most ridiculous way we could spend the day riding our bikes? Where could we ride, for a hundred or so miles, but also have lots of stops for coffee, beer, snacks, swimming, parks, more beer, maybe stop at home for a nap, etc.? How about a bike ride where you’re never more than like 6 miles from a bike shop, and could take a taxi to said shop in case you got a flat tire?

Enter the Lake Monona 100. One hundred miles of bike riding on Madison’s most popular bike route. Or not a hundred miles. You choose how far you ride, where to stop, who to ride with.

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.