Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
Madison, WI
Date: 2006-09-07
Distance: 17 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 0.98 Hours
Average Speed: 17.30 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 3,901 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day




Another fine start to the day with a brisk ride to the Monona Terrace Convention Centre.

    One session after another.

    One has to keep reminding oneself that besides the advocates, these are technical oriented people whose lives are comfortable in living with guidelines and conformity. Processes and solutions tend to be an evolution from what has been done in the past. At no time is there any discussion of who the customer is of the cycling infrastructure. In these sessions there is no discussion as to what it would take to attract more to cycling, to cause people to leave their cars at home and cycle instead for transportation. It seems that they are building their processes for the current cyclist, well, for some of them and definitely not for the timid cyclists.

    My argument is a bit different than this. For a controversial statement, I would put forth that the current processes, guidelines, and thinking are not working and are ineffective. My argument is that these processes and guidelines need to be thrown on the garbage heap and one should start all over, learning from the European experience and methodologies.

    Why do I say that? Well, looking at the low cycling mode split in American cities, except for 2 or 3 which are usually university towns, cycling mode share has not grown to any extend and in fact may have dropped at some places. This is a clear rejection of the processes and methodologies used by engineers and planners. If there has been any growth in any city it has been painstakingly slow. So let’s start over.

    My focus is on people and inducing them to cycle for transportation, not back slapping and conformity of thinking.

    Listened to Gil Penalosa, now living in Canada. He talked about closing roads every Sunday for a few hours so that people could walk and cycle on them without any intrusion form cars. Participation was so high most of us could not relate to it. This was started in Bogotá when he was a Director of Parks. He now plies his trade in Mississauga in Ontario. Having listened to the mayor there for a few times, finally there is some new air present in Mississauga.

    I listened to his brother, who as the mayor of Bogotá, at the World Urban Forum in Vancouver in June. His brother was more electrifying as a speaker and received an impromptu 10 minute ovation. He brought some soul and compassion to a rather dry forum. His message was very simple. To move the social agenda of a city forward, funding had to be shifted from the road portion of the transportation budget. To do that focus had to be getting more people to walk, bicycle, and use transit, rather than driving. He spoke passionately of the role of bicycles in the city of the future. All municipal politicians should be made to listen to him speak.

    Again, I succumbed to the air conditioning system in the convention centre. By the afternoon the sinuses acted up. As a consequence I had to skip the night event and return to an unairconditioned motel room to dry out the sinuses and get rid of the headache. Not a good scene.

    The ride home was fast but took its toll on my discs, especially those in the base of the neck. A bit sensitive now. There are too many rough transitions from the bridges to the path and curb cuts. Painful would be an adequate description.

    For lunch, sushi house number 4 in Madison. Wonder where we will end up tomorrow?


Cycling Facilities



Madison, Wisconsin


Cycling into Milwaukee

    Cycling into Milwaukee really started in Dodgeville some 200 kilometres to the west. From there, most of the trip was on bike trails with occasional sections on roads. Many of these roads had a low volume of motorized vehicle traffic. Some had paved shoulders. Others did not. Some of the trails were interconnected. Others were not and required some road cycling.

    Today, the trip included the Capital City State Trail.


Military Ridge State Trail


Capital City State Trail


Glacial Drumlin State Trail


New Berlin (Greenfield) Recreational Trail


Oak Leaf Trail