Summer in the Midwest is gorgeous, so on our visit to Madison, we decided to skip the car rentals and get around town using B-Cycle, Madison’s bikesharing program. I regularly use Capital Bikeshare in DC as part of my daily commute, so I was pretty excited to try a similar program while exploring another city, especially since most of the wedding events and restaurants we wanted to try were within a few miles of our downtown hotel.
Madison was sunny and breezy during our stay, perfect weather to ride down the bike and bus only State Street and explore the University of Wisconsin campus. We made our way out to the Arboretum to admire the lily-pads and tall grasses waving alongside Lake Wingra. Later we rode the bike trails along Lake Monona back into downtown and all the other bicycle commuters made us feel like locals. After a quick freshening up, we hopped on bikes again to ride out to a restaurant on the other side of the isthmus for dinner, stopping to drop off our bikes and watch the sunset on Lake Mendota.
Though Madison doesn’t have quite as many bike stations as DC, but we never found it much of a problem to make it between stations within the 30 minute check-out period. The B-Cycle bikes are a little sturdier and less rickety than the ones I ride in DC, which is great, but the best part of the experience was the amazing bike culture in Madison. Most of the city had amazing bike lanes, and when we did have to share the road, drivers were so attentive, patient, and considerate. The whole city was a cyclist’s dream and I only hope that someday DC will be as safe and stress-free place to bike.