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Rediscovering Madison: Two Weeks Without a Car

September 21st, 2011

I have been driving my car and learned to depend on it for almost every day since I turned 16. Two weeks ago my eyes were opened when my old Subaru Forester broke down. I pushed it into a parking spot off the street and began walking, biking and using mass transit to get from point A to B.

I live in Madison which is a bike friendly town, but I just never knew how much it was until now. I have biked to the bar, biked to the restaurant, biked to see friends, biked to a car dealership… I used to only get out my bike when I wanted to get in a workout and put some miles down on a backcountry road, but now I have learned that I want a bike in my life every day. I want to bike everyday!

I get out see the sun, listen to the wind and experience Madison in a slower but more intimate feel then I did before while driving. This new experience has also brought me to places that I have never been before and away from the suburbs, away from the chain stores, away from the 10,000 sq. foot grocery stores. I am buying local, I am eating local, and experiencing what this city is really all about.

I grew up in Madison. I moved back after college and never knew the East side of town like I do now, all of which I am still learning via my bike.

Jon Jugenheimer is an Osprey sales rep with Ames Adventure Outfitters. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, is addicted to climbing and loves fried chicken.

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