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Ride the Drive?

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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby mrak » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:56 pm

jjoyce wrote:We went, albeit for only the last hour. Maybe it was because the weather was PERFECT, but I loved the feeling of pedaling up John Nolen Drive with impunity. It occurred to me that even when you're on the bike paths, you have to be somewhat deliberate and keep up a certain speed.

But on the wide road with plenty of room, people were going at all sorts of speeds and that made it that much more fun. I don't remember feeling like that on a bike since I was 12.

I have to kind of laugh at all these people who came out against the event because they couldn't get any kind of point to it. Why does there have to be a point other than allowing people to enjoy their city in a weird way?

I really enjoyed goofing around in the street, and watching others playing too.

Play doesn't need to be loaded with meaning.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby depinmad » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:07 pm

my daughter and i went, around noon, and absolutely loved it. riding up john nolan drive was a total blast, and all the crazies on the old style bikes and dressed as clowns and disco dancing cracked us up. i vote for it to be a regular sunday thing during weather appropriate months.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby roadkill bill » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm

Yes, indeed, it was a glorious event. People laughing and having fun in the same streets that normally are seen as dangerous places for families and anyone not encased in metal and glass.

The number of kids - and adults acting like kids (in a good way) was heart warming. One of the most popular activities was drawing in the street with chalk.

Of course, the sourpuss contingent on madison.com are griping about an event they probably didn't even attend. Fortunately, there are also those extolling the virtues of public streets really being public for six hours yesterday.

One thing that the crap apples say is that we already have plenty of paths for walking and biking, so how come we need to close the streets, too?

But anyone who rode John Nolen noticed, and as Jason mentioned, there was space! Little kids or slow-as-molasses bicyclists weren't worried about getting mowed down by the stronger and faster bicyclists. Walkers were able to walk side by side, even with a dog. People were sitting on the curb having a picnic, or just talking to each other.

There are too many conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists on the paths because there isn't enough space for the demand. When streets get too crowded, we often add another lane. Perhaps we need to double or triple the size of the existing paths - or even encourage faster users to use the street. But that might mean [gasp] bicyclists in the street! Then the motorists will really be having a fit.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:38 pm

I was reminded that single-gear cruiser bikes are not meant for the hill going up to the Capitol on East Wash, nor am I in any sort of shape to be attempting it with such a bike.

But it was fun nonetheless. Fun to roll slowly past the drummer who was set up under Monona Terrace. Random and surreal. Great weather.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby Marvell » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:45 pm

I agree that it was a fantastic event, but I think the fast-as-hell bikers should get a little love too.

How about in future events (assuming that there are some) one lane is designated as the through lane? I had to gear all the way down a number of times, and at one point was forced to dismount completely, because of the clots of humanity that had spread themselves entirely across the roadway.

I dig that it's a chance to just do your thing in these spaces that we, the public, paid for - and believe me, I'm all for people meandering about. But I just think it would be nice for the people whose thing is hauling ass to have a chance to do that as well, without worrying about running over the odd clown/penny-farthing driver.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby depinmad » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:46 pm

when we were under the terrace it was a guy playing a bagpipe. intense.
my daughter complained about the east wash hill as well, but when we conquered it we celebrated with lemonade from a cart on the square.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby jjoyce » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:51 pm

We cruised under MoTerr while JoAnne Pow!ers was doing her thing. Normally, she's annoying as hell to my ears. But the echoey tunnel and the vibe of the event made it pretty cool. There was a small group gathered to watch her play.

I thought it would have been cool to have some spotlights illuminating the hidden mural, something a lot of people never take the time to view.

I need a bike that's more upright. My mountain bike is not well suited for social biking.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby Exploding Pinto » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:43 pm

On the John Nolen stretch, I found myself thinking of Sci-Fi flicks with a character suddenly and seemingly one of the last inhabitants on Earth. It felt completely bizarre and foreign to be on that road with no cars. Awesome.

Thanks for the post-apocalyptic feeling and hope it returns (the event—NOT the apocalypse).
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby boston_jeff » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:15 pm

Yes, felt post-apocalyptic approaching Monona Terrace. Loved it, great weather, fun times!
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby jjoyce » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:15 pm

As we were cruising down John Nolen, my ten-year old son said, "It's like cars were never invented!"
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:57 pm

Exploding Pinto wrote:Thanks for the post-apocalyptic feeling and hope it returns (the event—NOT the apocalypse).

Quite a shame the season isn't right to have the Statue of Liberty out on the lake.

(Yeah yeah, I know, wrong lake.)
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby ArturoBandini » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:18 pm

It was a great event. I didn't get to ride, I wore a day-glo vest and guarded an intersection. I ride enough as-is and already love it.

From my observations, the 'roadies' were the worst-behaved participants at the event. It seemed like the more spandex you had on, the more likely you were to be going too fast around my (blind) corner intersection. Hey roadies, this event wasn't organized for you!
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby HOMOsapien » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:58 pm

I was there at 0815. I still had my wits about me, I'm glad. I saw a car go through the intersection of Wilson/Williamson and John Nolan while a traffic cop was signaling to stop... The car didn't stop, or slow, and missed a biker by about 10ft... The biker, of course, wasn't paying attention. How could you not see a car in that wide open area? Why would you keep going when a cop in blaze orange is signaling for you to stop? I also saw a nice pile of puke on State St. Other than these fine acts of predictable human stupidity, it was a great ride.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby Violet_Skye » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:15 pm

Sucks to have been laid up with a bum foot for this event. When is the next one?
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby snoqueen » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:29 pm

"...like cars were never invented" is about right. So much fun!

True mini-story: A friend of mine who was raised in Monona (and we're old farts now) says as a little kid she learned to ride her bike on what is now the old beltline, Broadway. Was it under construction, or blocked off that day? Nope. That's just how few cars there were 40-50 years ago. It's hard to grasp the magnitude of change we've seen in one lifetime.
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