Monthly Archives: May 2013

Beyond The Bars

Here at B-cycle, we are firm believers that sharing is caring. So we want to share all the joys of an annual membership with a special someone in exchange for the sharing of awesome photos. To kick off our summer season, we will be running a social media campaign titled…(drum roll please…)

“BEYOND THE BARS”.

BTB 1

We know you’ve been taking your B-cycle cool places. And we know you are going to keep taking it cool places. And well, we wanna know about it! It’s time to take your joy rides from the streets to the tweets. Whenever you’re cruising around, send us your Beyond the Bars photos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email your photos to info@madisonbcycle.com.

BTB 2Notice the composition here in our sampler photos? Show us what is beyond your B-cycles sweet red handle bars. And remember to use the hashtag #beyondthebars on both Twitter and Instagram! Not only will we be sharing your photos so you can obtain ultimate B-cycle celeb status, but we will be holding a contest for the best of the best at the end of the summer. We will make  a Facebook album and then you can vote for your favorite! Whoever takes the photo with the most “Likes” will win a free annual membership. Sounds fun, no? 

Here at B-cycle, we are about way more than bike sharing. We are about life sharing. So share with us your best #beyondthebars moments this summer. 

BTB4

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Brats and Bikes.

So. There is this not-so-famous song by the not-so-talented Ke$ha. But hey, we love to hate her, hate to love her. Today is one of those days where ya just love her. The holiday weekend is upon us and party music is in the air – as well as the smell of brats. We couldn’t help but take a little creative liberty and re-work Ke$ha’s not-so-classic “Boots and Boys” as an expression of our deep excitement to be a part of the annual Johnsonville Brat Fest. We’ve re-written the lyrics below to be more our style. We present to you “Brats and Bikes.” Music video to follow? Maybe. Just maybe.

our newest brand ambassador.

world’s cutest b-cycler

20130524_184936Brats and Bikes

Brats and bikes. Oh.

I think it’s time that I mention
I’ve got myself an obsession
For the smell, for the touch
For that mustard-covered stuff.

I know I’ve got myself a habit
But I gotta bike now.
To the Brat Fest, right in town
Let me break it down.

20130524_184844I check it out, and I ride off.
So see what I got?
I got brats and bikes.
I can fit so many on my trike.
I gotta say it.
I eat my brat so pretty as I ride my bike in the city.
Watch out, brats and bikes.

Give me brats and bikes.

Give me brats and bikes.

Bikes.

20130524_184858I’ll buy quite the collection.
For the excellent condiment section.
Johnsonville brats, big red bikes.
Oh, don’t forget the trike.
My basket holds brats like a champ.
All along the bike path.
Check it out, ride it ’round.
Oh, lookie what I found (a special brat fest station!)
Brats and bikes!
I can fit so many on my trike.
I gotta say it, I eat my brat so pretty as I ride my bike in the city.
Watch out, brats and bikes.

20130524_184908Give me brats and bikes.

(Crazy for you, crazy for you)

Give me brats and bikes.

(I’m crazy for you, you yummy brat you)

Give me brats and bikes.

(Crazy for the trike)

Give me brats and bikes, oh, oh.

 Long story short – ride a B-cycle to Brat Fest. Grab your gang and go. The $5 access fee is waived all weekend and 30 minute trips are free, per usual. It’s basically free to ride all weekend. So get your brat and bike on. B-Team will be waiting for you with swag and smiles. And send us all your best Brat and Bike photos – @Madison_Bcycle

clear eyes. full mouths

clear eyes. full mouths

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From Camp Randall Station to Willow Island. 26 minutes flat.

view from the John Nolen bike path as we cruised home from Brat Fest

view from the John Nolen bike path as we cruised home from Brat Fest

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But I already own a bike…?

The most common question I get asked is “Why do you have a B-cycle membership when you already own a bike?”

Well friends, since you asked…

Avoid the skunk. Take a B-cycle.

Avoid the skunk. Take a B-cycle.

Reason #1: Fenders

My skinny little tires on my road bike probably couldn’t fit fenders even if they wanted to. The configuration of my bike is just too narrow to hold fenders. And frankly, fenders can kind of look uncool on a road bike (no offense to anyone). I personally feel my bike would lose its’ street cred if it had permanent fenders. So what do I do when it rains (like it has every other day for the past three months…)? Well, I grab my B-cycle. Fully equipped with giant fenders to keep my backside dry and clean. Too many times have I seen a poor souls with a giant mud stripe down their back and thought “If only they had taken a B-cycle instead…”.

Reason #2: Nights Out Downtown

OM NOM NOM

OM NOM NOM

My apartment is pretty centrally located, and I consider myself pretty lucky that the Plaza is basically in my backyard. Just like the cast of Cheers, The Plaza is my neighborhood bar, equipped with $2 Long Islands on Thursdays and a magical condiment known as Plaza Sauce (don’t ask, just go). But not all my friends care for the crowd at Plaza, so when they text me to meet them at Gennas, I always oblige. Until I’ve been walking for 30 minutes and I’m sweating profusely. Any time I set out on any adventure on foot, I am reminded how foreign walking is to me. I’ve saved so much time by having a bike in Madison. I can get anywhere I need to be in under 20 minutes. Madison is really big on foot. And I am able to defy all elements of time and space on a bike. But I am not about to lock up my rather costly pearly-white road bike outside a bar all night. Don’t trust myself. Don’t trust anyone else. So having a B-cycle membership eliminates this risk, saves me tons of time, and makes cross-town bar-hopping excursions rather enjoyable. So when my friends text me to tell me they went to Jordan’s Big Ten Pub instead of Genna’s AFTER I’ve already trekked there, I don’t have to curse the day they were born. I just hop on my big red bike and go. And I can make it there before the next song even comes on the karaoke machine.

Dog-Bike-BasketReason #3: The Big Silver Basket

I’d like to illustrate this point with a math equation: Toilet Paper + Iced Coffee + Computer Bag + Jimmy John’s Sandwich + Road Bike = Scraped knees, bruised elbows, bruised ego. I should have left my bike, packed up my B-cycle, and just retrieved the bike later. It would have saved me from embarrassment, public harassment, and a lot of neosporin. The silver basket can fit anything. And with the new B-Trike floating around town, set to carry up to 55 pounds – you could literally carry tiny people. Or tiny animals. Or both. The basket is so clutch. I know, I know – I could buy a cute little wicker basket to attach to the front of my road bike. But I refuse to do so for the same reason I refuse to attach fenders. I use my bike for 40% transportation and 60% street cred. Gotta keep my street cred, people.

Reason #4: Badger Games

Camp-RandallRemember that time you tried parking downtown for a Badger game and it kind of made you cry a little inside? Ya…That…

Thanks to B-cycle, you can literally park anywhere downtown, hop on the red bikes, and be to the Camp Randall station in 15 minutes flat. And as I mentioned earlier, I don’t have to worry about carting my bike around and locking it up somewhere where it could potentially be in danger (not that Badger fans ever vandalize anything on Game Day…). And B-cycles have bells. I have been known to ride my red bike a time or two down the bike path singing Sweet Caroline and ringing my bell in pure, childlike joy. Really. You gotta try it.


Reason #5: I’ve always wanted to be in a biker gang.

bicycle-gang-fixies_good-685x456A couple years ago I ventured to Indian Lake on a random Wednesday night. I was shocked at the insane amount of cars piled up along side the entire lake entrance road. Everyone had trunks popped, cold beers cracked, hearty laughs, and they all had shiny bicycles. Apparently there is a biker gang that congregates at Indian Lake. They probably ride 200 miles at probably 200 mph, and then they sit around, drink cold ones, and talk about how awesome they are and soak up eachothers’ awesomeness. Cuz they are, in fact, awesome. I’ve never wanted to be part of a bike gang so bad in my entire life. But my level of cycling isn’t quite at their caliber. Enter B-Cycle. The Biker Gang for non-super-humans AND super-humans alike. We are one on the big red bikes. All we need now is some kind of sweet hand gesture or bird-like call so we can greet our fellow gang members when we pass them on the streets of Madison.

my idols.

What I’d like to believe my friends and I look like on bikes.

Alas. My Top Five reasons why having a B-cycle membership is necessary, even if you already own a bike. And trust me. There is more where that came from.

If you have reasons of your own, please do share! We gladly welcome guest  celebrity bloggers.

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Welcome to Madison B-cycle Melissa!

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Melissa’s notebook and water bottle. Guerrilla marketing at its finest.

Times are a’changing and our team is a’growing! So we’d like to dedicate this blog post to welcoming our new marketing intern – Melissa Faulkner. Melissa was pretty much already running her own guerrilla marketing campaign as she was a student at UW, so we had to have her on our side. She sent us this cover letter when she applied for the job. And well…the rest is history:

“Dear Madison B-Cycle,

My brother Steven (a recent Tour-de-B-cycle finisher) shared your recent job posting with me, knowing I’d be all over the opportunity to work with B-cycle. It was because of Steven that I first began to use B-cycle, but it is because of B-cycle that I have become the “cyclist” that I am today.

B-cycle reminded me of what it was like to be a kid again – to have the freedom to go anywhere and not be constrained by traffic, time, parking, and gas prices. I was so in love with my fat-tired red bike that I decided to purchase my first-ever bike last year. Even though my Trek single speed looks and feels pretty different than those big red bikes, it still gives me the same utility and joy that the B-cycles do. My bike has hardly replaced my need for B-cycle though. I still use B-cycle for every Badger home game and for weekend bar crawls that take me from State Street to Willie Street and back again. If it wasn’t for B-cycle, I would be confined to Library Mall food carts for lunch. But I now have time to cruise up to the capital on 30 minute lunch breaks and indulge in the obviously better selection. I proudly tag my water bottles and notebooks with B-cycle swag stickers, and I am the first to suggest using a B-cycle when my friends wanna get from point A to B. I am notorious for live-tweeting the contents of my B-cycle basket – who knew that silver basket could fit a six-pack of Totally Naked, spicy cheese bread, and a basil plant?

I graduate from UW-Madison this May with my marketing degree and will continue to stay in Madison for the summer and for future years – as I continue to work part time for lululemon athletica. I love the sense of community that I feel at lululemon – and that is also what draws me to work for Madison B-cycle. It is truly a community driven company, and it is clear – even from an outside perspective – that the company culture at B-cycle thrives off fun, team-work, innovation, and creativity. As a B-cycle marketing intern, I will continue to do what I am already doing – spreading my love of the big red bikes to strangers and friends alike in Madison. “

Can we get a collective “Awwwwww” ?

We are so excited to have Melissa here with us as we change the world, one big red bike at a time. And congrats on graduating Melissa!

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Look for Melissa at all our B-Cycle events, including this weekend at Brat Fest. The one thing that Melissa loves more than biking is biking to eat brats.

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The First Tour de TRIKE!

Recently, a brave soul by the name of Steve Wasmund took the B-trike on a Tour de B-cycle. Steve was thoughtful enough to document the experience and share it with the world! 

Read his account of the day below!

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(Photo Credit: Nathan Vergin) 

I was B-cycling back from work and needed to stop by Trader Joe’s. Out of the corner of my eye I see the elusive B-cycle trike parked at the Camp Randall station! I knew my evening had just taken an interesting turn. I did my own u-turn, checked in the 2-wheeler I’d been riding and was in the process of rolling up my sleeves to arm-wrestle the nice lady who was getting ready to check out another cycle at the station when she informed me she wasn’t planning on riding the trike. Whew. That would have been a tough fight. I dropped my bag in the trunk, swiped my card, un-docked the trike and, immediately, Travis Youman (of Stray Cat Bicycles) and his wife, Shannon, ride up… I thought to steal the trike, but we just chatted for a bit and Travis took it for a quick test ride. He approved, although mentioned that the Sturmey Archer shifter was stiff… and backwards (it’s English). 

We parted ways and I continued on to Trader Joe’s. Not daring to lose my grasp on the trike, I locked up to the bike rack instead of docking it. Greedy, for sure, but I was willing to commit that sin in order to continue riding. Five minutes and a salad later and I was spinning again, trying to decide where my test ride should take me. I contacted a couple of friends from the Church of the Spoken Wheel, Martha and Nate, who always seem to be out riding and sure enough, they were planning a leisurely spin around Lake Monona. It didn’t take but 10 minutes of chatting, brainstorming, daring, test riding and laughing and we’d devised the ingenious plan of tackling the Tour de B-trike! Martha’s neighbor, Sam (of Scram Couriers) was so entertained by our antics that he decided to hop back on his bicycle after a full day of delivering and join us on our mission. Almost 7pm on a beautiful Monday evening during Bike Week in Madison and we were off! 

West through campus to the University Hospital, south to Monroe & Knickerbocker, along the shoreline of Lake Wingra and back east to the Sheraton Hotel, up John Nolen Dr, along the shore of Lake Monona down Willy out to Olbrich Gardens, Tenney Park then back downtown to sweep up the density of stations available there. We were going to make it!

It was an amazing tour and we gave it our best. We live to tour another day.

My thoughts on the trike… it needs a bell. There need to be more of them, and they need bells.

Thanks B-cycle. 

An incredible account of an incredible day of events. 

If you have an stories you would like to share with your fellow B-cyclers email them to connor_macwilliams@trekbikes.com or claire_hurley@trekbikes.com

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B-cycle Spotlight: Ron Singer

Ron Singer SpotlightAll eyes are on Ron Singer!

Our Top Rider for 2012 and the first to complete Le Tour de B-cycle for the 2013 season

In an effort to get to know Mr. Singer a little better we conducted a quick Q&A to better understand our Top Rider.

Question 1: Tell us a little about yourself. (Job, family, interests, etc.)

I’m retired with 2 children, 2 stepchildren, 4 grandchildren and 2 step grandchildren with a third on the way.  I obviously enjoy biking, and being active, with swimming as my main form of exercise, along with biking.  I’m the guy you see daily on a b-cycle (with helmet!).

Q2: How long have you been a member of Madison B-cycle?

I’ve been a member of b-cycle since day 1, May, 2011.  During 2011 I came in second on the leaderboard, last year I was first.

Q3: What has been your favorite experience with Madison B-cycle?

Doing Tour de B-cycle last year, half with my son and then one year old grandson in tow.  I finished the other half the next day.  More generally, I enjoy getting around everywhere on B-cycle, seeing others using it, serving as an ambassador of sorts, talking up B-cycle, and helping out people who ask about it, or are having difficulty figuring out how to use it.

Q4: If you could go on a Tour de B-cycle with any historical figure (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Probably President Obama.  It would be a wonderful way of showing him how programs like B-cycle have not only recreational value, but are part of the solution to our energy and environmental challenges, as well as getting others interested in joining.

Q5: If there was one thing you could tell a stranger about Madison B-cycle what would it be?

Get out and try it, you’ll be hooked – I am!

 

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