Madison Residents Bike to Work

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

Wheels are spinning because of some free bikes. Madison is one of 20 cities chosen to be apart of a nationwide Bike to Work program. Fifty residents wrote convincing essays explaining why they want to bike to work.

Mark Werner says, "I've been riding the bus, and I wrote about a particular incident where a gentleman fell asleep on my shoulder."

That encounter made him want to travel solo.

For others, like Bridget Rogers, it was about getting healthy. "I wrote in about being a social worker, working with youth, always encouraging youth to do things for their own health and wellness, and yet kind of abandoning mine," she admits.

Plenty of people receiving the new bikes are just trying to dodge high gas prices.

Bill Limbach acknowledges, "I don't want to bring my car to work, so this is a perfect alternative."

While this all sounds great, how is a bike going to safely stand up to the daily hustle and bustle of traffic? Dane County Executive, Kathleen Falks, has one solution.

Falk says, "sharing the road, and being a responsible bike rider is really important."

To make commuting by bike safer, Dane county is investing big money in grants. Like $20,000 to Madison for a pedestrian-bicycle safety program, a total of $3100 to Fitchburg, Stoughton, and Maple Bluff for better bike paths, and $15,000 to Nine Springs Creek for a bike bridge. While the improvements will probably be helpful for bike riders, veteran cyclist, Marjorie Ward, wants motorist to remember, "just be aware that bicyclist are out there. They have a right to the road."

And if cyclists and motorists can commute together this program might just take off.

Schwinn bikes donated the gear, and Bicycling Magazine found the cities. This Bike to Work program comes just in time for National Bike to Work week which runs through May 20th.


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