About Madison

Maps

Bike Map (pdf)

Request bike map

Bus Map

B-cycle Bike Share map

A college town at heart, Madison also the state capital of Wisconsin. Wedged on an isthmus between two large beautiful lakes, Madison is teeming with great views and segregated cycle tracks connecting most major areas. It’s a laid-back, mellow town with fantastic food and some incredible breweries, and the infrastructure is good enough to make it easy for even beginners to experience the town by bike without being intimidated.

City Guide

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Culture

Similar to Portland, Madison has evolved to the point that doing everyday things by bike is just normal. Unlike Portland, however, Madison has not really used the idea of the bicycle as a means to define itself, so you don’t have the bike-themed extremes, quirks, and oddities that Portland does. It’s just incredibly easy and normal to go do regular things on a bike here. If you’re coming from a place where arriving at work on a bike would cause people to question your sanity, you’ll find it incredibly refreshing.

Etiquette

Hand signals and “On your left” are common but not strictly enforced by peer pressure. As ever, both remain a good idea, and common courtesy. The huge student population on the near-west side means you can expect to find a lot of less-experienced city bikers from State Street out past the University. You can spot them by the bags of groceries dangling precariously from their handlebars, and hear their unloved chains singing out a squeaky song of woe and neglect.

Safety

For the most part, your major destinations are well-served by dedicated cycletracks, which means your ineractions with vehicle traffic are minimal. Cars here tend to be more patient and understanding than in some east coast cities, and many of those Madison drivers are also cyclists, which always helps.

Security

Bike racks are pretty easy to find, and bike theft is no better or worse than you’d expect for a city of severl hundred thousand. Use a good U-lock around town, and bring your bike in at night if you can. 

Routes

The bike routes below were curated by local chefs, artists, writers and organizations.  Download a map and enjoy the best bike ride in and around Madison!

Bikes

Spinlister

Spinlister is like the Airbnb of bikes!  Use promo code, BIKABOUT, for $10 off

Bike Share

Madison BCycle - $3 for 30 minutes

Rentals

  • Budget Bikes - $10+ daily for hybrid, mountain, road, vintage, trailer, trail-a-bike with helmet, lock and map
  • Red Bike Project - FREE bike rental from Budget Bicycle when available

Tours

Hop Head Beer Tours - $40 with bike, $62.50 without bike.  Tour includes tasting at three downtown breweries.

Shops

Places

We're constantly updating this list of our favorite bike shops, coffee shops, restaurants, museums, scenic vistas, playgrounds, ice cream, microbreweries and more in Madison!

Lodging

Hotels

Madison only has one inn currently, the Mansion Hill Inn, that provides bikes for guests, but we'd love to change that!  Click here for the lodging directory.

 

AIRBNBS IN Madison

Get $25 off your stay by clicking here.

Transportation

City Transit

Metro Transit - 100% of bike racks on buses 

Train

Amtrak Empire Service (Chicago, Minneapolis) - boxed bikes allowed as checked bags

Bus

  • Badger Bus (Milwaukee) - $10 for fully assembled bike stored under bus
  • Megabus - folding bikes only

Cars

Airline


Support Local Advocates

Bikabout donates 25% of annual revenue to local advocates. You, too, can power better biking in Madison and Wisconsin by becoming a member of any of Wisconsin Bike Fed!