(Madison, WI) Trek Bicycle President John Burke, joined by Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, as well as city and community leaders, launched the “Ride the Drive” event to media last week, just before swinging a leg over their bikes and leisurely pedaling over to City Hall for an outdoor lunch in the sun.
Burke, Cieslewicz, and the assembled guests had a little help, though, from a full police escort which provided safe passage through the busy, downtown Madison streets.
A 6-mile loop from John Nolen Drive to East Washington and around the Capitol Square, “Ride the Drive” takes place from 8 a.m.—2 p.m. on August 30 and will transform some of Madison’s busiest streets into a public promenade. During the event, a variety of Madison’s signature roads will be closed to vehicle traffic, allowing participants to bike, skate or walk through some of the city’s most beautiful, but usually heavily trafficked, streets. Last Thursday’s “Ride the Drive” prologue offered participants and spectators a taste of what’s to come.
“This is an incredible opportunity to open the city up so that people can ride their bikes, they can walk, they can Rollerblade, they can really get out there and see their city from a lot of different vantage points,” Burke remarked during a short press conference held in Olin-Turville Park prior to the prologue ride.
Mayor Cieslewicz followed up by saying, “Madison is proud to be a bicycle and pedestrian friendly city. Not only does this encourage healthy lifestyles for our citizens, but the biking industry also contributes millions of dollars to our local economy.”
Cieslewicz was careful to note that no taxpayer dollars would be involved in the family-friendly event. “We are going to raise all the money that’s necessary to pay the police costs and other costs privately,” he emphasized. In addition to Trek, other sponsors include the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, AT&T, Group Health Cooperative, Isthmus/TheDailyPage.com, Saris Cycling Group, and radio stations Charlie FM, Triple M, and WOLX.
"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 during the conference. “Bogotá, New York City, Chicago, and Melbourne have opened up their streets to bicyclists and pedestrians to give them the chance to see their city in a whole new light.”
For more information, visit the “Ride the Drive” webpage at http://www.cityofmadison.com/ridethedrive.