Friday, August 28, 2009

Crazy or Brilliant? Ride the Drive

I admit I'm not entirely sure what to make of Madison's Ride the Drive set for this Sunday, August 30 from 8 am to 2 pm. On the one hand, I like the emphasis on biking and walking free from cars. But, we are talking about closing down some major streets for six hours. Here's the map. John Nolen will be closed at Olin Avenue up to and including Blair Street, plus part of East Wash. I admit my first reaction was 'Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?!' But, read on...

From Madison city web page:

Come celebrate Madison's commitment to healthy, active lifestyles by riding, walking, skating, or strolling along some of our city's most beautiful streets. FREE, open–to–the–public, and a family event with plenty of activities and entertainment along the 6–mile route for kids and adults of all ages, Ride the Drive is a whole new way to experience our great city.

Bring your neighbors, bring your friends, bring out the entire family, and join us for a car–free, care free celebration of Madison.
According to the Isthmus article, ride the drive events are all the rage from Bogota to Portland:

"Events like Ride the Drive are happening very successfully in cities around the world," Kevin Hardman, Executive Director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin said. "Bogotá, New York City, Chicago and Melbourne have opened up their streets to bicyclists and pedestrians to give them the chance to see their cities in a whole new light. The Bike Fed is excited to be participating in this tremendous opportunity for Madison."
Music, food, art, a parade. Hmmmm. Worth a look see.


  1. Heather here:

    Check out Cyclovia from Bogata on this YouTube video:

    The main streets of Bogotá and other Columbian municipalities, are closed to automobiles every Sunday and holiday to allow for uninhibited, non-motorized use. Blocked off from seven in the morning until two in the afternoon, the streets are filled with pedestrians, skaters, and bicyclists, enjoying the opportunity to freely use the streets.

  2. Ok, if NYC can shut down 5th ave, the FDR drive, the 59th St. Bridge, portions of the BQE and the Verazzano Narrows Bridge to allow 35,000 bike riders to ride on city streets each year, Madison can shut down John Nolen Dr. for a couple hours.

    I'll be there, and will be fun to ride. Hopefully there'll be a decent turnout.

  3. What the hell?? Started in Bogota in 1997?

    History of the 5 Borough Bike Tour starting in 1977.

    Had a blast, can't wait to see what the formal number estimates are going to be. There were a LOT of people out there today...