State bicycle companies have opened up a bicycle exchange that lets riders swap out their old bikes for new ones.
Bicycle Exchange of Wisconsin says the program is designed to make the process of buying and leasing a new bicycle easier and quicker.
The program offers bikes to people who want to try their hand at owning a bicycle.
It is run by Cycle Works, a bike shop in Milwaukee.
“If you want to get a bike that you can take to the office or to the gym, or you just need something that you’re not looking for, it’s an affordable option,” said Cycle Works owner Mike Miller.
Miller said he and his colleagues want to bring the bike exchange to the Madison area and beyond.
“I think the biggest thing about this program is it’s really about bringing people together and helping people,” he said.
The bikes are available to purchase from Cycle Works and other bike shops, and they are to be returned to owners who sign up to ride with the exchange.
Miller says the bikes will be a little different from what he has seen on the streets of Madison.
“It’s kind of more of a hybrid bike that is sort of a mix between an old and a new model,” he explained.
The exchange is located at the Madison Metropolitan Market, where it offers a range of bikes from about $1,500 to more than $5,000.
Miller’s company is looking to increase that number.
“We’re really trying to help out all the local businesses to get these bikes out there and help them get the bikes out,” he added.
Wisconsin has more than 1,200 bicycle shops and bike shops like Cycle Works are seeing an increase in interest in the bike industry.
The state Department of Transportation says bike sales have increased more than 7 percent since 2010.
It says the bike market is projected to grow by $2.4 billion by 2021.