I found the New York Times' Frugal Traveler cheering Madison, during a Sunday morning trip through my reading que.
Seth Kugel followed his readers' directions for a short trip to the capital cty, where he found ample bike paths, dining options and, of course, beer:
"Madison is the only gold-certified Bicycle Friendly Community east of the Mississippi, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been amazed that almost my entire route to and from the Parsonage (in McFarland) was on bike trails or roads with separate cycling lanes.
"The friendly sales staff at Machinery Row Bicycles rented me a solid hybrid from Wisconsin-based Trek for $20 a day and sold me a nifty, two-sided red and white flashing light to attach to my helmet for night riding. And though my commute took me past some dreary commercial real estate, I got a chuckle every time I passed the unmanned, self-service pumpkin sale along Marsh Road in McFarland where the sign read “PUT MONEY IN COFFIN.” (A small coffin was available for deposits.) Getting around the city itself was really easy: half the time I was on beautiful bike paths (like the Capital City Trail), and there were bike lanes and bike racks everywhere."
Kugel's tavels in and around Madison suggest that bike paths are an important element in building Wisconsin's tourism industry.
Check out the tale of Kugel's tour here.