For six hours on Sunday, six miles of downtown Madison, Wisconsin streets were closed to motorized traffic, giving cyclists, walkers, runners, and inline skaters a rare opportunity to experience some of Madison’s most beautiful streets in a whole new way. Modeled after similar events held throughout the United States—all taking inspiration from Bogota, Colombia’s original “Ciclovia” event—“Ride The Drive” was as much about highlighting the bicycle as a viable transportation option as it was about promoting healthy, active lifestyles and engendering community fellowship. With plenty of fun, family-oriented activities along the route—which included a one-mile lakeshore cruise down John Nolen Drive, a run-through Madison’s vibrant State Street, a picturesque ride up East Washington Drive as it crests the hill to the State Capitol, and a lap around the Capitol Square—the event took on a street-party, festival atmosphere.
As the event’s co-sponsor, Trek played a key role in the “Ride The Drive” celebration.
“We fully embraced ‘Ride The Drive’ for couple of reasons,” noted Trek’s Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs, Krista Rettig. “First of all, Madison has set its sights on becoming the most bicycle-friendly city in America. Trek wholeheartedly supports that goal, and ‘Ride The Drive,’ by recognizing and bringing together the local cycling community, was an important signal of Madison’s commitment to that effort. We were absolutely thrilled to help make ‘Ride The Drive’ such a huge success.
“Secondly, Trek, through its 1 World 2 Wheels commitment, has set its own goal of getting people to ride their bikes more often for trips of two miles or less. One of the impediments often cited by potential bike commuters is concern about riding in traffic. By removing that barrier to entry, if only for a few hours on a Sunday, our hope is that ‘Ride The Drive’ will show these riders just how do-able both the distance and the ride can be. If even just a handful of the thousands of riders who participated in ‘Ride The Drive’ decide on Monday morning to leave the car in the driveway and take the bike instead, it’ll be a great success for 1 World 2 Wheels.”
Though no official date has been set for the next “Ride The Drive,” the overwhelmingly positive response from participants, as well as Madison’s commitment to make bicycles an integral part of the city’s transportation solutions, almost certainly guarantees future events.