Biking with Steph: Hello, Sunshine!

Hi Madison Bikes Community, I'm Steph! I am a new member of the Madison Bikes Board, an avid cyclist and coffee drinker. I will be contributing to the Madison Bikes blog on a weekly basis to provide a voice of bike-related encouragement, insight, and amusement. While I am not a bike expert by any means, I am obsessed with all things bike-related and look forward to sharing my thoughts on a new topic with you each week!

If you are reading this, it means you have survived another Wisconsin winter. Congratulations, you did it! The grey snow mounds have receded, abandoned gloves are re-emerging alongside sidewalks, and the long hygge is over.

If you have followed my other blog, you will have read about some of the joys and struggles that come from winter biking. I honesty feel like I became a better biker by learning how to safely commute to work by bike in the winter. Last week, I took my bike into Revolution Cycles for a complete tune-up of my commuter bike. Even with the City of Madison doing a nice job with plowing and sanding bike paths on the near east side, my bike did not endure the winter with grace. One quick lookover by Rev Cycle’s Matt DeBlass confirmed that most of the components on my bike were shot and needed to be completely replaced.

After my bike underwent an extreme makeover, I also swapped out my studded tires and have felt as if I am flying down Madison’s bike lanes. It has been great to see other Madisonians out on their bikes too! I know that commuting to work through the isthmus can be a pain, but bike-commuting in this weather can be a delight. In fact, according to CityLab, biking to work has been shown to lead to more happiness than driving or using the bus.

For those just getting back on their bikes, some may be discouraged by the amount of sediment found on bike path and lanes. I have heard from seasoned riders that this sediment has made them feel uneasy. It’s true that there are parts of my commute to work that remind my of riding along Lakeshore path on UW Madison’s campus. I believe that street cleaning will be performed in the next few days or weeks, so I hope bikers don’t get too discouraged!

Bike Lane on Gorham St.

Of course, if you feel like there is a segment of bike path or street that needs attention, do not hesitate to use the City of Madison’s “Report a Problem” site

Here's to hoping that you all can get out and RIDE!

P.S.: If you haven't gotten enough bike content yet or you're bored at work, Reddit has a Daily Cyclist Thread that is just wonderful. 

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