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Last summer red B-Cycle stations started popping up around Madison. The idea is you rent the bike and ride for as long as your heart desires, then return it to the station when you’re done. It’s perfect for people who don’t want to buy one or just in the mood for a bike ride. I’ve wanted to rent one for a while, but kept putting it off.
This past Sunday Madison hosted Ride the Drive, an event where some of the main down town roads are closed to cars and opened for bikers, runners and walkers. The weather was great and bike rentals were free, so there was no way I could pass on the opportunity.
There were so many bikers out, but it was cool that the event was open to all levels of riders. Some people had fancy racing bikes and were decked out in biker gear, a few did the “no-hands ride because I need to text everyone I know” and parents coached their children on how to ride.
I guess I consider myself a novice biker. I stopped riding when I was younger because I couldn’t handle the embarrassment of being the only one of my friends forced to wear a helmet. Ten years later, non-helmet wearers are in the minority. PJ and I completed one full lap, picking the course up at Dayton and riding it down Bedford, looping back around John Nolen then towards the Capitol and finally back down State Street.
Ride the Drive was a workout. The lap took about an hour and some parts were pretty tough (read: It took me three years to realize how hilly Madison is) But most of all, it was fun.