Ride the Drive: newer, lamer, and less good

Let me be clear about one thing. I’ve always thought that Paul Soglin was a prick.

Now that he’s mayor (again…sigh), he’s proven over and over again that I was not wrong. This Sunday’s Ride the Drive just reinforces my estimation.

Derision panda

Having tried to cancel Ride the Drive once and failed, the Soglin administration did the next worst thing: they changed the route so that it was shorter and interrupted with more signalized traffic stops.

In other words, they are trying to kill Ride the Drive by making it suck.

Now, I’ve always thought that the Madison incarnation of Ride the Drive was kinda lame  — but in previous years it was, perhaps, headed in the right direction. It just needed more community involvement from the neighborhoods through which it passed, more demonstrations and exhibitions that don’t aim to sell you something, and more music scattered around the course.

And most importantly, it needed a lot more food and drink vendors on the route — not just food carts on the Capitol Square. And not just some organization selling hotdogs and lemonade. Madison is full of great local restaurants, many of which come out for one or more of the neighborhood festivals and surely could be convinced to come and sell their wares to (what used to be) thousands of hungry and thirsty riders.

It still needs all of these things.

But I digress. Instead of getting better, it’s getting worse. And if it gets any worse, Soglin will have his wish — he will have sucked the life out of Ride the Drive, and he won’t have to kill it.

Like I said: PRICK.

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