Frequently Asked Questions

Ride the Drive | Sunday, August 27, 2023 | 9am to 1pm

This page is continually updated until the day of the event. (Last update 03/10/2023).

What is Ride the Drive? 

Ride the Drive began in 2009 as a free, community event celebrating Madison’s commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle and the tradition continues in 2023. For each Ride the Drive event, select city streets are closed to motor vehicles, to allow event participants to stroll, roll, pedal or glide along the designated route. One or more parks along the route serve as a hub for family-friendly activities. Participants can begin their RTD journey anywhere along the designated route. 

What roads will be closed and when? 

The following roads (map) will be closed from 7:00am to 2:00pm:

  • Proudfit Street / N. Shore Drive beginning at W. Brittingham Place, continuing to John Nolen Drive 
  • John Nolen Drive from Olin Avenue to E. Wilson and Williamson streets 

Is the Olin Park Boat Launch open? 
Yes! The service road gate between Olin Park and Turville Point Conservation Park will be open while John Nolen Drive is closed. 

Is the Madison Boats at Brittingham Park open? 
Yes! In addition to participating in Ride the Drive, Madison Boats at Brittingham Park is open for business. 

What if I live along the route? 
Roads and street parking along the routes will be closed on Sunday, August 27 from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm to motor vehicle traffic. Please do not park on the route streets from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Contact a volunteer or Police Officer for directions around the route.

How do I get to downtown Madison? 
The minimal road closures for Ride the Drive allow for continued easy access to downtown. There are several main road options leading to State St. and downtown Madison. Open main roads include East and West Washington Ave., Park St. and University Ave. All downtown businesses will keep their regular Sunday hours. Visit Downtown Madison for more information. 

How can I volunteer as an individual or a group? 
More than 70 volunteers are needed on the day of the event. See Volunteer for position descriptions and to register. 

May I donate to this event or become a sponsor? 
Yes! Ride the Drive graciously accepts online monetary donations through our Madison Parks Foundation. Please add Ride the Drive 2023 as the "In honor of" recipient. If you're interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact

Is the event rain or shine? 
Yes! There is no rain date for Ride the Drive. We will make our best attempt to host the event rain or shine; however if there is a threat of inclement or severe weather, safety is our primary concern and we may cancel, delay starting, or end the event early. We will update Ride the Drive and Madison Parks' Facebook, and Twitter pages if the event hours or status changes.

Is there water available at the event? 
Yes, water is available at the information stations located at each park. We encourage everyone to bring a water bottle.

What’s the best way to experience Ride the Drive? 
Ride the Drive has three “hub” locations at Brittingham Park, Law Park and Olin Park. Each park offers food, entertainment, restrooms, water, information, and more. You can begin your Ride the Drive journey at any of these parks or anywhere along the 4-mile route.

What is the cost to attend? 
The event is free to attend. No matter how you experience Ride the Drive – by foot, by pedal or by wheel - there is no cost to attend Ride the Drive. Some vendors offer food or other items for purchase with cash and at some locations, with a credit card. Businesses and organizations may participate in Ride the Drive as a vendor. See Vendors for more information.

Is Ride the Drive an accessible event? 
Yes! The 4-mile route is completely accessible. Disabled parking is available at Law Park. Each of the three parks provides accessible portable restrooms. 

Do I need to bring cash or will vendors take a credit card? 
Cash is accepted at all vendors, however, there may be a few that accept credit cards.

May I bring my dog? 
No, pets are not allowed. Per MGO 23.315  animals, including dogs, are not allowed anywhere within the perimeter of the event, with exceptions for service animals.

Where are the restrooms? 
Accessible restrooms are available at all three parks. Brittingham Park restrooms are located in the shelter. Olin and Law parks have portable accessible restrooms and hand washing stations near the activities. 

Where do I leave my car, and rent a bike?
Parking in downtown Madison is free all day/evening on Sundays. Additionally, we encourage participants to ride a bike to the event. Park your car near a Madison Bcycle station, located throughout the city and ride to the event.

Are RTD t-shirts available for purchase? 
Yes! RTD 2023 t-shirts may be purchased by cash or check from the Info Station at each of the four parks. Adult sizes S-4XL are available for just $10 each. Checks are made payable to "City Treasurer" and no bills greater than $20 are accepted. 

Don't see your question answered? Submit your question to