Frequently Asked Questions

Ride the Drive | Sunday, June 6, 2021 | 9am to 12pm

This FAQ page will be continually updated until the day of the event. (Updated 05/26/2021).

What is Ride the Drive? 

Ride the Drive first began in 2009 as a free, community event celebrating Madison’s commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. This tradition has continued annually, with the exception of the pandemic pause in 2020. For each Ride the Drive, select city streets are closed to motor vehicles, allowing 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.

Why four parks? Why my neighborhood? 
As a COVID safety precaution, we’ve made several significant adjustments to this year's RTD. To help disperse participation and to better control crowds, this year’s Ride the Drive will have four simultaneous neighborhood events with limited park activities. The parks and routes were selected through thoughtful and careful planning working with the City’s Traffic Engineering Division. Considerations were made for road construction, availability of parks, and bringing a positive event to multiple neighborhoods. 

What roads will be closed and when? 
See Locations as indicated on each map, routes will be closed from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

Shared Streets Include:
Shared streets will allow motor vehicle traffic on one side of the street. If traveling by motor vehicle, you may expect delays.
  • Monroe Street will remain open to two-way vehicle traffic with controlled access for one block between Commonwealth Ave. and West Lawn Ave. 
    • All Metro bus stops along Monroe St. are open. Route 7 riders may experience some delays. 
  • Seminole Hwy will remain open to northbound motor vehicle traffic only as a shared street.  

Is Warner Boat Launch open? 
Yes, with limited access. If you plan on accessing the boat launch at Warner Park between the hours of 8am and 1pm on Sunday, June 6, you may need to adjust your route.  The launch is accessible only by entering from the south on Farewell Dr. through Maple Bluff. Woodward Drive and Sheridan Drive at the boat launch parking lot are closed and access from Troy Dr. to Woodward Dr. is closed. The WARNER BOAT LAUNCH DETOUR MAP provides an alternate route and alternate launch sites. 

Is Madison Boats at Wingra Park open?
Yes and receive a discount! Madison Boats is open 8:30am - 8:00pm! RTD'ers reserve your Wingra watercraft rental ONLINE for Sunday, June 6 and receive a 20% discount! Offer valid June 6, 2021 at the Wingra location only. Use promo code RTDWingra. 

Is the Wingra Park boat launch open?
No. The parking lot at Wingra Park is closed to motor vehicles. Other lake access points may be found here

What if I live along the route? 

Saris flag

Roads and street parking along the routes are closed to all motor vehicles from 8:00am to 1:00pm on Sunday, June 6. Please do not park on the route streets from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. If you need to leave by car during this time, please see a volunteer or Police Officer for directions around the route. Look for our volunteer Bike Ambassador handing out parade flags donated by Saris at each location! Wave on your fellow RTD'ers as they pass by your home. 

Are RTD t-shirts available for purchase? 
Yes! RTD 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. RTD t-shirt

How can I volunteer as an individual or a group? 
More than 500 volunteers are needed on the day of the event. Do you live on or near a route or in the neighborhood? Volunteer for a shift, and you'll receive a Ride the Drive t-shirt and still have time to enjoy the event! We have 580 volunteer shifts to fill throughout the four events. Positions include setup, cleanup, info booth, bike ambassadors and intersection guides. See Volunteer 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 2021 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 for inclement or severe weather, safety is our primary concern and we may cancel, delay starting, or end the event early. We will update the Madison Parks website, Facebook, and Twitter pages if the event hours or status changes.

Is there water available at the event? 
No. Please bring your own water. 

What’s the best way to experience Ride the Drive? 
Ride the Drive 2021 offers four simultaneous events. Select a location nearest your neighborhood, and stroll, roll, pedal or glide anytime between 9am to 12pm.  Each route is about 2 miles and you can begin your journey anywhere along the designated routes. 

Is there a cost to attend? 
No. 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. 

Is Ride the Drive an accessible event? 
Yes. Each two-mile or less route is completely accessible. 

May I bring my dog? 
No. Pets are not permitted. 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 four park locations, plus Heritage Heights Park. 

Am I required to wear mask?
No. Following the latest guidance from Public Health Madison and Dane County, masks are not required.

Did the hours of the event change?
Yes. At 14-days out of the event, we re-evaluated our staffing and volunteer resources. To ensure we provide a safe and fun event based on resources, we reduced the event by one hour to end at 12pm. Streets will reopen by 1pm. 

Why was the route around Marlborough Park reduced?
Due to limited staffing and volunteer resources, and to ensure we provide a safe and fun event, we have reduced the closed route around Marlborough Park. All activities at the park shelter will continue and a new route using the circular park path is .44 mile. 

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