Ride the Drive | Sunday, July 31, 2016
Presented by Trek

RTD Logo

Madison Parks is pleased to bring Ride the Drive, presented by Trek, back for its 8th year! Mark your calendar now for 2016!

Ride the Drive is a community event that turns Madison's signature streets into a public promenade that is open to cyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, and residents out to enjoy car-free streets. Ride the Drive is more than just a bike ride - with music, activities, and fun stopping points along the way - there is something for everyone.


Road Closures

Major streets included in the road closures are:

  • John Nolen Dr from Lakeside St to E. Wilson St
  • Blair St from E. Wilson St to E. Washington Ave
  • E. Washington Ave from Blair St to Pinckney St
  • Pinckney St from E. Washington Ave to Mifflin St
  • Mifflin St from N. Pinckney St to S. Carroll St
  • State St from Mifflin St to Gilman St
  • Gilman St from State St to University Ave
  • Frances St. from Gilman St to W. Dayton St
  • W. Dayton St from N. Frances St to Bedford St
  • Bedford St from Dayton St to North Shore Dr
  • North Shore Dr from W. Brittingham Pl to John Nolen Dr

These roads will be closed at 8:30 am on the day of the event. All pedestrian traffic and activities will be cleared from the roads at 3 pm so that the streets may be promptly reopened for automobile traffic.

Intersections Open to Cars

Although the roads are closed there are crossing points on the routes where Police officers will be directing traffic through intersections. These intersections are:

  • Butler at E. Washington Ave
  • Webster at E. Washington Ave
  • E. Dayton St at Fairchild
  • Johnson at State St
  • Gorham at State St
  • University Ave at Frances St
  • W. Johnson at Frances St
  • W. Washington at Bedford
  • Williamson St at Blair St

The Map of Traffic Crossings below indicates the available routes, streets open to traffic, and places where motorized vehicles will be allowed to cross from different parts of town during the event. All emergency services will have access without delay.

If You Live On the Route

Roads on the route will be closed beginning at 8:30am and reopen at 3pm. If you have plans that day, please be aware that alternate routes may be needed that day. Please do not park on the route. If you need to leave during the event, please contact volunteers at the intersection you wish to cross and ask for an escort out of the area.


Ride the Drive is more than just five miles of roads closed to traffic, the car-free, care free event. There are activities, entertainment, music, and vendors in "villages" on the route. Ride the Drive villages are stopping points along the route that include all kinds of family friendly activities, food, information booths, merchandise tents, art displays, and bouncy houses.

Activity villages will be located in four areas along the route:

Capitol Square Madison Parks Village

  • Live Entertainment: Modern Mod, Sam Lyons, Nfusion, Matt DeBlass
  • University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Adventure Tours
  • Wisconsin River Outings
  • 93.1 JAMZ live remote
  • Madison Parks Merchandise tent: RTD t-shirts, water bottles, backpacks & play MADISON PARKS headbands and pant straps
  • Madison Parks Information Station
  • Madison Parks Balloon / Donation Tent
  • Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
  • The River Food Pantry: Cookies, scones, muffins, and Danish bars
  • Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies

Brittingham Park Family Drive

  • MSCR: Family friendly games, sports, bike decoration, and face painting. FIT 2GO VAN
  • Brittingham Boats: Grilled food, hot dogs, brats, veggie option, ice cream, drinks, and fruit
  • Silly Monkey's Funky Resale: Obstacle course, hula hoops, stilts, and pogo sticks
  • Special Appearance: "Maynard" from the Madison Mallards 12-1 pm
  • Madison Parks Merchandise Tent: RTD t-shirts, water bottles, backpacks & play MADISON PARKS headbands and pant straps
  • Madison Parks Balloon/Donation Tent
  • Madison Parks Information Station
  • Madison Parks Bouncy House
  • Arc of Life Chiropractic: Balance challenge
  • Pots-N-Tots Food Cart: Seasoned tater tots
  • i9 Sports
  • UW Health Pediatrics: Helmet fitting station

Olin Park north of Lakeside Street Parade Drive

  • Have fun with two Helmet Parades 11 am and 1 pm. Wear your decorated bicycle helmet for a parade. Win prizes!
  • Cyclocross and Capitol Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) Mountain Bike Obstacle Course
  • Toast Food Cart: Paninis, lemonade, soda, water, and chips
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites: free water
  • Great views of the lake.
  • Madison Parks Information Station
  • YMCA: Inflatable obstacle course
  • Cupcakes-A-Go-Go

John Nolen Drive just east of Monona Terrace Tunnel
Bike Avenue

  • Trek, our Title Sponsor
  • B-cycle
  • Madison Parks Information Station
  • Wisconsin High School & Middle School Cycling League
  • City of Madison Bike/Ped Representative: sale of bicycle license and bike/ped safety
  • Ride Share/ Madison Area Transportation Planning Board
  • Wisconsin Bike Federation: Bike Fed merchandise, memberships, bike/ped safety
  • Erik's Bike Shop: Bike accessories for sale and will have a tire pump available for checking tire pressure
  • Dream Bikes: Bike safety checks
  • Madison Spinal Cord - Injury Group: provide hand bikes
  • Boulder's Climbing Gym: Climbing wall
  • Madison Water Utility: Water wagon for free water bottle refills
  • Madison Mallards Double Decker Pizza Bus: Pizza, cheeseburgers, funnel cakes, cheese curds


Imagine thousands of happy people passing by your cart or booth space. Now imagine that they are all stopping to buy something from you or hear your message. That is the opportunity we are offering you as a marketplace sponsor, activity host, or food vendor.

Activity Booths

Fun activities in parks and along the routes are a key feature of Ride the Drive. All Activity vendors must either provide entertainment or an activity which engages participants in a type of fitness activity and/or promotes healthy living and exercise. This interactive activity should be the primary focus and not incidental. There is no electricity available onsite and limited water access. Please provide for your own needs. There is a $50 activity fee to participate.

Vendor Booths

With over 20,000 participants, Ride the Drive is a great place to showcase your business, sell merchandise, or promote your services. Vendors are located in a high traffic area with participants passing by your booth. Vendors are provided one table and two chairs as part of their registration fee. There is a $100 vendor fee to participate.

Food Vendors

Food vendors will be located at designated spots on the closed streets along the route. Expect large crowds, last year participant numbers were between 10,000 and 25,000 people. There is limited electricity available onsite and limited water access. Please provide for your own needs. There is a $100 food vendor fee to participate.

If you are interested in participating as a vendor, please complete the Vendor Application.

If you have questions about becoming a vendor, please contact ridethedrive@cityofmadison.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I live on the route?

You will be asked not to park on the road on the day of the event from 8am - 3pm. Please see the route map to see if you are on a road that will be closed. If you need to get to or from your residence during Ride the Drive, please notify an Intersection Guide volunteer for assistance. They will be wearing a bright safety vest and can escort you.

How can I volunteer as an individual or group?

Please visit our volunteers page.

Can I donate to Ride the Drive to keep this event happening?

Yes, we accept donations online and at the event. You can donate online: Donate to Ride the Drive or look for our Donations/Balloon tents at the event. You will get a colorful balloon in exchange for your donation at Ride the Drive.

Is the event rain or shine?

There is no rain date for Ride the Drive. We will make our best attempt to host the event rain or shine. However, please be aware that safety is our primary concern so Ride the Drive may be cancelled or ended early if there is the threat for inclement or severe weather. We will update our website, facebook, and twitter pages if the event will be shortened or cancelled.

Is there water available at the event?

There is water available at information station tents along the route. We encourage everyone to bring a water bottle to the event.

Do I need to bring cash or will vendors take credit card?

This is a cash only event.

More Questions?

Contact: ridethedrive@cityofmadison.com

Presented by

Madison Parks

Thanks to our Sponsors

Mid-West Family Broadcasting