Remember how Bike to Work Week got its start here as Bike to Work Day? It's happening again. With the 2011 edition designated for June 6-10, Madison's Bike to Work Week is extending beyond the bounds of that single work week to encompass the previous Friday.
The focus remains on Bike to Work Week, officially opening Monday, June 6. But the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin prefaces the week on Friday, June 3, with "Gear up for Bike to Work Week." Scheduled for 8:30-10 a.m. in the lobby at 222 W. Washington Ave., the event will feature representatives from the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin along with coffee, pastries and other enticements to boost anticipation for Bike to Work Week proper.
Expectations are bound to soar from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, June 5, when Ride the Drive again converts John Nolen Drive and other principal downtown traffic arteries to bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfares. Replete with music, activity stations, food and other vendors arrayed along a route including parts of John Nolen and North Shore drives, East Washington Avenue and Blair, Carroll, Frances and Main streets, Ride the Drive affords a preview of what the city transportation infrastructure may look like once gas prices pass thresholds few can afford and all roads and highways become utopian biking and hiking paths.
Bike to Work Week ensues the following day with commuter stations offering free coffee, complex carbohydrates and minor bike repairs 7-9 a.m. each morning. In partnership with Madison Sourdough and Monty's Blue Plate, Just Coffee is sponsoring the east-side station at the Capitol City Trail/East Isthmus Bike Path's South Ingersoll Street crossing. Dream Bikes sponsors the west-side station at the Southwest Commuter Path's Regent Street intersection. Centurion Cycling, Planet Bike, Saris Cycling Group and Williamson Bicycle Work sponsor the downtown site along the Capitol City Trail at South Broom Street.
Amanda White, the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin's associate director, says one of her favorite aspects of Bike to Work Week is the way these stations afford opportunities for "community building." From an advocacy perspective, she adds, "we hear so many stories about people who have never biked to work" but are using Bike to Work Week as incentive to try it.
On Tuesday, June 7, the downtown site moves to the corner of King and South Pinckney streets, where your friends here at Isthmus welcome participants in "Rollin' to Work with Mayor Soglin." Starting at 8:30 a.m. from the Southwest Commuter Path's Glenway Street crossing, it finishes outside Isthmus offices with remarks by Hizzoner, amid displays and a congenial gathering of bike commuters.
"Pedaling for Pastries" follows on Wednesday, June 8, from 7:30-9 a.m. along the Capitol City Trail near South Broom Street, with more complex carbohydrates (courtesy of Crèma Café) and a drawing for a three-bicycle Saris Bones car rack.
Thursday morning sizzles from 7-9 a.m. with Planet Bike's "Bacon on the Bike Path" extravaganza, featuring free Nueske's bacon -- plus coffee and other breakfast goodies -- along the Lake Monona Bike Path a few pedal rotations west of Monona Terrace.
The whole shebang culminates in Friday evening's grand finale, with a screening of New Belgium Brewery's Clips of Faith film tour at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Park.