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A guide to Madison BCycle


The bikes are capable of reaching speeds up to 17mph. | Photo by @sprinkmandowntown

In less than one week, BCycle is returning to the 608 — 300+ e-bikes rolling all over the Isthmus and beyond. Before the bikes come out of re-tire-ment on Tues., March 15, we’re reviewing best practices to get cycling this season.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Buy a pass.

At a kiosk, on the BCycle app, or online — riders can opt for a number of passes ranging from 30-minute sessions to annual memberships. Check out membership options and decide based on how much time you plan to spend in the saddle this season.

2. Find a bike.

With 50+ docks all over Madison, finding a BCycle is wheelie easy. Using the interactive station map tool online + in the app, riders can see the closest docks to them with how many bicycles are available.

3. Get to riding.

Unlock + undock your bike by following the prompts from the BCycle app. Be sure to follow any and all safety guidelines — a helmet is highly encouraged for all riders. You are officially ready to roll, so get ready for a spoke-tacular time.

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It’s easy to find one of 50+ stations all over the 608. | Map via Madison BCycle

You’ve got a bike, the 608 is your oyster — now what? Check out a few of Madison’s most popular bike routes + some stops to make along the way.

UW-Madison Arboretum Loop | 6.3 miles | Beginner

Make the most of a 30-minute BCycle pass with this short + scenic loop. Ride alongside Lake Wingra before jumping on the bike path taking you past Wingra Park + Vilas Park Beach.

Lake Monona Loop | 11.96 miles | Intermediate

A ~1 hour loop taking riders past some of Madison’s most famous destinations including John Nolen Drive, Monona Terrace + Olbrich Gardens.

Pro tip: On the far side of Lake Monona — roughly halfway through the loop — is the Monona Bait & Ice Cream store. An absolute must-try when the shop is open in-season.

Boardwalk Bridge | 24.8 miles | Advanced

This ~2 hour route leaves from Olin Park following the Capital City Trail before moving to the Lower Yahara River Trail to explore the Capital Springs State Recreation Area + the Waubesa Wetlands State Natural Area.

Looking to build your own itinerary? Check out the city’s Low-Stress Bike Route Finder and map a route of your own.

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