Do you enjoy driving with your windows open enjoying a relaxing breeze and fresh air? Why not get that same feeling while getting some exercise and doing your part for the environment? Madison has been named a Gold Level bike friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. What this means is that there are plenty of bike paths, lanes, and boulevards to get you to and from anywhere in the city. If there was ever a time to ditch your car and start biking, this is it. But if you're new to this whole biking thing, don't' worry, here are some resources to get you pedaling in no time!
Madison B-Cycle: The biggest change to Madison cycling landscape is last year's introduction of the Madison B-Cycle stations. Sponsored by Trek Bicycles headquartered in Waterloo, WI, B-Cycles offer cheap and easy bike rentals for Madison residents, students, and visitors. Simply check out a bike at one station and return to any of the other 20+ locations throughout the city. Bikes are regularly maintained and rotated making sure there is one when you need it. Find a map of B-Stations here.
Red Bike Project: Located just south of campus, Budget Bicycle Center offers a free bicycle rental program for anyone in Madison. In Spring, donated bikes that have been painted red are made available to all to be used throughout the warmer months free of charge (assuming they are returned come winter). Supplies are limited, get yours early. You can follow @RedBikeProject on twitter for updates or get more information on the website.
Bike Madison: The city of Madison's official website offers an array of information and services for cyclists in the city. Register your bike, plan a bike route, and keep up on the latest news.
Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin: The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization that works with people throughout the state to make bicycling safe, accessible, and fun. They are active in state politics, host cycling events, provide free bike valet, and educate people on the benefits of cycling. Their website offers lots of information and services for all types of cyclists and lists of upcoming events and current campaigns.
Bombay Bicycle Club: The Bombay Bicycle Club is not only an English indie rock band, but also Madison's largest cycling club. They offer planned rides from 25 to 50 miles in and around Madison that are open to anyone.
Freewheel Bikes: Freewheel Bikes is a community bike shop located on S. Park St. that allows anyone to come in, use the tools and parts, build and repair bikes, and share their knowledge and expertise. A great resource for those just starting out to get some hands on experience.
Bicycling is a safe and healthy form of recreation and transportation that many have already embraces. With so many resources, a plethora of bike shops, and a cycling infrastructure second to none, Madison is the perfect place, and now the perfect time to stop burning gas and start burning calories.
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