Madisonians like biking, even in winter

Celebrate International Winter Bike Day tomorrow.

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Madison has been recognized as one of the nation’s best cities for bicyclists. | Photo by 608today

Winter in Wisconsin: a time for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. But, there’s very little snow on the ground this year, so why not continue to take up biking? Madison is well equipped for winter biking.

In fact, we were recently named a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists (again). The Platinum designation recognizes Madison for its growing network of bike paths and lanes, and recognizes the city’s bike-friendly policies.

Talking about making friends on two wheels, International Winter Bike Day takes place tomorrow, Feb. 9. Madison Bikes is celebrating.

  • Hot coffee and doughnuts, donated by Cafe Domestique, can be had from 7-9 a.m. in the Monona Terrace parking lot near the bike elevator.
  • Later, from 4-6 p.m. at Working Draft Beer Company (1129 E. Wilson St.), there will be a warm fire and happy hour hangout for winter bike commiserating.

If you’re new to biking in winter, the city offers up some suggestions:

  • Be visible
    Wear bright colors during the day. At night there is no substitute for the best lights you can afford. Reflective strips on clothing, leg bands, vests, and more, also help.
  • Choose your route carefully
    The places that will be best to ride are where cars are driven, not near the side of the street which will stay icy and snow covered.
  • Preventative maintenance
    Make sure your bicycle’s brakes, cables, and gears are in good working order. Have plenty of tread on your tires.
  • Adapt to winter road conditions
    Like driving a car over snow and ice, go slow and brake lightly.
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