Madison Bike Map (Map Review)

Bruce Thompson and Doug Shidell, Madison Bike Map. Minneapolis, MN: Bikeverywhere  2011.

Reviewed by Francis Stanton

If you are looking for a great resource of potential bicycling roads in and around Madison, Wisconsin, this map will serve you well. It covers in detail the central portion of Madison, as well as all of Dane County and part of Iowa County to the west.

The 22” x 34” map has two sides: one has the overall view at a very readable scale, and the reverse has Madison detailed, plus a legend and an attractive front cover. Folded, the map is about 4” x 8” and because of the tear and water (and sweat) resistant “paper,” it can be carried along easily in a jersey pocket.

For commuters, this map is helpful in planning the daily ride, and perhaps some alternate routes as well to keep things fresh. There is good coverage of the excellent trails and rideable rural roads in and around Dane County for recreational riders.

This third edition continues to be well researched, with colorful and clear cartography. The coloring of the map makes it easy to read in low light; plus it works fine for the roughly 8% of males who are colorblind.

Area parks are shown with symbols for parking, drinking water and restrooms. Users should be aware that restrooms and water availability are seasonal in these parks.

Although a rider could put together a pleasant ride with this map, it doesn’t indicate specific rides. For that, you may want to look at a guide with various loop and trail routes.

My only suggestion would be to add more convenience store symbols, as only a few are shown on the eastern portion of the map.

All in all, this map is an essential guide, and reasonably priced at $10.95. Check them out at or a local bike store.

Biographical Information on the book’s authors:

Doug Shidell is the former bicycle columnist for Silent Sports Magazine (15 years) and (5 years). Doug started Little Transport Press in 1984. He has been writing and publishing articles and books on bicycling since 1971.

Bruce Thompson, is the route researcher for the Madison Bike Map. He enjoys exploring the byways and bike trails of Wisconsin, and operates a website, , that describes long-distance bike routes across Wisconsin. He has served on the Milwaukee school board, started a software company, and owned a Montessori school. He is currently a professor and program director for the MS in Engineering Management at Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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