Category Archives: For Fun

Meet the Interns!

From Right to Left: Renna Durham, Janalle Goosby, Raylene Brinkmeier

From Right to Left:
Renna Durham, Janalle Goosby, Raylene Brinkmeier

 

The interns have worked very hard this summer to create the best B-cycle experience for its riders and the Madison community. Since the beginning of May, they have indulged in many events in the community, as well as hosted events of their own. Coming from very different backgrounds, each intern brought something new and fresh to the Marketing team to create a unique experience for Madison B-cycle.

A driving factor behind working for Madison B-cycle for Raylene was connecting with the biking community.

“I could understand and feel their passion for biking and I wanted to be in the circle,” Raylene said.

“It was truly inspiring my first week with Madison B-cycle during Bike to Work week. Seeing everyone on their bikes, commenting to work, rain or shine, showed me just how dedicated bikers are to their craft. I saw everyone, no matter what age or size, on their bikes. It was nice to see the community come together in such a productive and healthy way,” Janalle added.

Each intern has a special skill that they brought to the team; Raylene specializes in sales, Renna has a head for business, and Janalle has a background in communications. The three of them together has created a pretty great team. Although the road hasn’t been the smoothest, they persevered through their struggles and helped each other grow and learn along the way.

“Understanding has been the biggest thing I’ve learned from working with the other interns. That, and social media. I truly enjoy working with both of them. Janalle is really good at connecting with people and helping them understand. Renna is really good at the business side and making it fun,” Raylene commented.

“I always try to learn as much as possible, whether it be through experiences, talking and interacting with people, or simply observing. I’ve learned a great deal from Raylene. She has such a  wealth of experiences that it would be difficult not to take at least one thing back. Fortunately for me, I’ve taken several. From her experience in sales to her eagerness to learn something new, I’ve had the pleasure of growing from her, and with her,” Janalle remarked.

Leaving this experience, the interns will take a lot with them.

“My biggest accomplishment is outreach. I’ve reached the downtown area and students and was able to spread the word about Madison B-cycle. I’m very proud of that. We (the interns) have worked hard this summer to make sure as many people as possible are aware of B-cycle, understands how it works, and take it for the spin. I think we’ve done a really great job to make sure that happens,” Raylene said.

“Similar to Raylene, I think that getting out in the community and interacting with people is my biggest accomplishment. But, in general, I think that honing my craft in communications is my biggest accomplishment. From creating content with the newsletter to talking about bikes with the experts, I was able to tailor my style to many different audiences and I had a blast so,” Janalle added.

In her free time, Raylene likes to spend time outdoors and staying active. Any outdoor activiy, Raylene pretty much enjoys. She also likes to travel as much as possible. Janalle is somewhat of the opposite. She likes to read, watch movies, and listen to music. She has a pretty big vinyl collection.

Overall, the interns were thrust into a world that they’ve never really experience before. Over the past few moths, they’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about biking that they otherwise wouldn’t have. They have even started biking more themselves, something that they haven’t done much of before.

“I’ve learned more about bikes. It is not just a mode of transportation, but an avenue for wellness,” Raylene said.

B-bash Mixer and Summer Contests!

Hey there B-cycle fans and bike enthusiasts. We want to end the summer with a bang..or bash for that matter. Join us on August 28th at Peace Park for an end of the summer celebration to bring together the existing B-cycle community and new B-cycle members to celebrate the wonderful world of bike share!

We’ll have the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Dream Bikes, and the UBRC there supporting us and offering tons of information on all things bike related.

Check out our Facebook event for more details.

At the Bash, you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes, including free memberships, gift cards, and Badger football tickets. In addition, we still have our summer contests going on. Be sure to submit your best B-cycle photos as well as amp up your rides for your chance to win!

We look forward to seeing you all there!

B-well

–The B-team

A Short Film starring: The B-Cycle

Seeing as it is the first of the month, it would be fitting to post a “first.” This is the first short film ever created starring The Madison B-cycle. You could argue that our intern-extrodinare Connor does his best to steal the spotlight. But regardless of who you believe the true star of this film is, we just want you to believe it’s awesome. Please enjoy our first Madison B-cycle video production:

This video would have never been possible without the amazing help of Paddy Cassidy.  Paddy was 100% instrumental in the creation of this video, and we want to make sure his work is honored. The best way to honor a video editor? Share his material. Post the link to any social media site, retweet it, share it with your friends that love bike share (or Connor). As the internets say, let’s make this baby viral!

Thank you again Paddy for your constant help in making this happen. We owe you B-cycle rides for life.

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Beyond the Bars: Part Deux

420129_569142989775145_1580406798_nIt is downright appalling that summer is officially over. With Labor Day, the first day of school, and the Iron Man all behind us, I have to admit I am mildly offended. I don’t recall telling summer it could end. But according to the forecast, there may still be some hope for summer-like weather. After all, the weather gods owe Madison a solid after that little thing called “June.” High of 62 and 80% chance of rain every day? Yeah…about that…

Ya know what isn’t offensive about summer ending? The return of a contest for a free annual membership to Madison B-cycle. You may have caught glimpses or our “Beyond The Bars” moments on our Facebook and Twitter this summer. You may have even been inspired to snap your own photos. Well, those creative strokes of genius could be your chance at a free membership.

BTB 2Three options:
1) Tweet at us (@Madison_Bcycle) and use the hashtag #beyondthebars
2) Instagram your photo, mention us (@Madison_Bcycle), and use the hashtag #beyondthebars
or
3) email your photos to info@madisonbcycle.com

We will take photo submissions until November 1st and then the best photo will be chosen for an annual membership. So keep riding, start snappin’, and show us where your B-cycle is taking you this fall.  #beyondthebars

Here are some of the best #beyondthebars moments from this summer:BNUTY3VCAAIhY8f BL3FXtfCYAEy5YK 5898_576828209006623_1441374640_n BMen4TcCUAAZBdE.jpg-large BMRG71SCYAAnrOW.jpg-large BTB 1 Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.59.46 AM BPO6zBQCYAARqbL.jpg-large Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.59.10 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.58.38 AM torben 1 20130613_1832271004671_601003709922406_2005277491_n 1157723_603901312965979_1120006157_n

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The Time the Tour-De-Bcycle Was Live Tweeted

The life of a social media content creator can be somewhat challenging. Most of the time you are isolated, doing work from your bed in sweat pants that say “Brat Fest” on the butt. You’re forced to be your own critic, and you go a little crazy. You definitely start to think you are funnier than you actually are. Sometimes the words hit you, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you get this crazy burst of inspiration for what to say and how to capture an audience, and it will be while you are out to dinner at Culvers. And you are scribbling on ketchup-stained newspapers like a mad person. And other times, you are totally blank. Lost on anything witty or creative to say. And then there are the days when two amazing souls send you the ultimate content – freeing you from the dreaded writers block that has plagued you for the last three days.

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already owning his title.

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can we be best friends?

Over the weekend, another Tour-De-Bcycle was completed. And the two champions live-tweeted the entire experience. And it is my pleasure to present to you their account. Tweets, photos, hashtags and all. Congrats Laura and Brint. And thanks for the awesome piece. My blog post on one day becoming a biking cat lady was going nowhere quick…

“Legs feeling good today, about to saddle up for the #tourdebcycle

“Here we go #gamefacePhoto 1

“Stage one complete. 31 to go. #tourdebcycle #hardworkstartsnow

“Now at the station of my first b cycle adventure #fondmemories

“stage two at the nat first time bcycling was here #omg #thisissomuchfun
Photo 2

“The hospital hides her cycles #scavengerhunt #tourdebcycle

#imhungry @gordonsfreeman. This’s gonna be a long stage #tourdebcycle

“Sales on sales on sales #bcycletoyardsale

Photo 3

“Stopping by to say hi to Leopold #tourdebcycle

“Lovely day for a ride past the zoo. Might break from #tourdebcycle to see Leopold the lion”
photo 4

“Off roading to the John Nolen Dr stop #mountainbcycle”

“Just racing the #tourdebcycle with @madtownbees #painface”Photo 6

“Madison bcycle Safari #babymuskrat”Photo 7

“Multitasking on the tour #tourdebcycle

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“Hot bearing sun brings us to a refreshing lunch #tourdebcycle”photo 9

Fan tweet from our friend Loren: “totally biked by that dude in tie dye on my ride in. He was flyin on his BCycle!”

“One year ago on bike 2work wk I got my first @Madison_Bcycle now here I am on le #tourdebcycle at my very first station”hoto 10

“#planning”photo 11

“Once more stage til food! #tengohambre”photo 12

“Fueling up #tastyorangesphoto 13#tourdebcycle

“Might have to spike glucose at @GreenBushBakery #livestrong”

“Swimming at the terrace via bcycles. It’s just too hot not to. Thanks for all the support and rt’s @Madison_Bcycle ! Back to the bikes”

“Drying off from the swim”

“Finding inner peace at peace park #tourdebcyclephoto 14

“Getting a blister on my finger, maybe need to cool it on the bell . @madtownbees @Madison_Bcycle ever get that problem @lancearmstrong ?”

“Who knew this one was here #someofthesearehardtofindphoto 15

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personal favorite picture. #powermove

WE FOUND THE TRIKE!!!! @Madison_Bcycle @madtownbees @ClayMatthews52 #wishyouwerehere

phot 17

“Tail wind going east this’ll be a fast stage! @madtownbees #bigtimespeed

“Cutting it close on open slots at tenney park #GetLuckyphot 18

“Stage 29!!!! We can do it @madtownbees ! #dedication

“Madison-full of bikes and gardens”photo 18

#SpeechLess #WeAreTheChampionsphoto 19

Just being rock stars after le#tourdebcycle #stillsohungry  #goodmemories photo 20

“How many of these puppies ya think would fit in the back of the #btrike?  #over1000photo 21

The most well-deserved cheese curds I’ve ever seen. Job well done, folks. Thanks for making the B-Team’s weekend and keeping us laughing and smiling. Now your Tour De Bcycle will forever live online!

Mad love, from the Madison B-Team.

PS: if this inspires you to complete your own #TourDeBcycle, know that you get a sweet free T-shirt upon completion. Details can be found here.

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The Ultimate Date Night – Clips Beer and Film

20130620_204757It’s a shame that New Belgium’s Clips Beer and Film Tour only comes to town once a year, because this event is seriously the ultimate date night. Can you imagine someone saying “Hey, wanna ride bikes to the lake, drink some craft beers, and watch a movie while the sun sets?” Yes. Yes I do. For as long as we both shall live.

Ladies and gentleman, mark your calendars for next year because no one is turning down that kind of offer. And even better? You get to tell your date that all the proceeds from the beer sales go to supporting the Wisconsin Bike Fed – a local non-profit that devotes 100% of its time to making Wisconsin one of the world’s best places to ride a bike. So basically New Belgium Brewery and Wisconsin Bike Fed had a baby and named it Clips Beer & Film. And we all lived happily ever after in a state of bike and beer ecstasy. But really. This event is too good.

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970419_10151484499687620_1454975210_nIt didn’t take much to convince the Madison B-Team to help out with this event. After all, the New Belgium Fat Tire logo strongly resembles a B-cycle…no? With the help of the Wisconsin Bike Fed and many other bike-loving volunteers, we were able to valet over 600 bikes (not including the 300 parked outside the valet) for the great Madison community so they could drink their hand-crafted brews and watch some hand-crafted films while their bikes were safely tucked in for the night. Out of all New Belgium’s Clips Beer and Film Tour stops, Madison is actually the largest – with over 1200 in attendance last year and over 1800 this year. Are we surprised by this fact? Not in the slightest. Madison-ians know how to enjoy the simple things in life – like bike riding on a Thursday evening and taking in a sunset one sip at a time.

20130620_203424Running a bike valet is similar to running a day care. People put their trust in you to take care of their precious “child” and the initial hand-off produces some one-sided separation anxiety. You do what you can to assure parents that the bikes will play nice with each other in the racks. No rough housing allowed under the B-Team watch. Then the proud parents return at the end of the film with some hesitation and concern. Is Stella okay? Will we ever find her? “She is a red Fuji. She has two wheels. And handle bars. Please help me find her.” And then the parents clap and coo at the sight of their “child” being safely wheeled toward them. They thank you profusely for keeping “him” or “her” safe. Glad to know that I am not the only one that has assigned my bike a name and gender…

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B-Team Tech spotted in his natural environment..surrounded by bikes.

B-Team Tech spotted in his natural environment..surrounded by bikes.

Running a bike valet is not similar to running a day care because copious amounts of beer can be found on the premises.

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Either way, the evening was an absolute joy to participate in and we are glad that Madison remains a stop on New Belgium’s Clips Beer and Film Tour. Already counting down the days til next year…and contemplating who to invite on this perfect date…

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The New Belgium Crew. Livin' the dream...livin' the dream.

The New Belgium Crew. Livin’ the dream…livin’ the dream.

Lips of Faith selection.  Personal favorite? Cascara Quad.

Lips of Faith selection. Personal favorite? Cascara Quad.

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Brunch on Bikes!

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Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and this will definitely be true of this post. I have to tip my hat off to food critics who can accurately describe how something tastes and smells, enough so that they convince you that you are hungry, even when you are not. It’s like watching Food Network. Regardless of the meal I consumed 10 minutes prior to watching any show on that channel, I always manage to convince myself that I am still hungry and should probably grab a snack.  Or how about that grand old rule of thumb “Never grocery shop on an empty stomach.” I’m gonna go ahead and warn you readers – probably shouldn’t view this post on an empty stomach. You may just find yourself AWOL at work and munching on a coconut curry egg sandwich at Mermaid Cafe.

20130614_093340This past Friday, I (Melissa, your faithful B-cycle Brunch Tour Guide and frequent blogger), was fortunate enough to join up with Madison Eats – a local food-lovers club in Madison – and B-cycle around town while indulging in fine local cuisines. Rough work day, right?

148233_453125728084554_525482615_nWhen I first heard of the club Madison Eats, I was pretty sure I was already in in it. I live in Madison and I eat a lot of food. But Madison Eats provides some pretty unique opportunities to explore the underground and local food scene in Madison – this brunch tour being one of them. The founder of Madison Eats – Otehlia – had been doing brunch tours for years and had just recently had the stroke of genius to pair with Madison B-cycle to cover more amazing foodie havens. The staff at B-cycle was more than ecstatic about this partnership.

Below you will find my storybook account (lots of mouth watering pics, few words) of our tour that day – beginning at Mermaid Cafe on Winnebago Street, ending at Hotel Red, and delighting in Batch Bakery and Graze in between. You may be asking yourself at the end of this post “Why haven’t I done this before and how do I make sure I don’t miss out next time?” Well friends, sign-up is easy. Click here to buy your tickets for you and your friends. The next tours take place on June 29 and July 11 – with hopes to add more based on demand. And by demand, I mean I will be demanding that Otehlia lets me lead another B-Cycle Brunch tour. Because who doesn’t love eating and biking? No one. That’s who.

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I had never heard of Mermaid before this tour. I’ve already been back. A true Madison gem.

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Truffle quiche and radish salad

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Next stop – Batch Bakehouse on Willy Street

Holy baked goods, right?

Holy baked goods, right? Every item made by scratch, by hand, and before dawn.

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Behind the scenes cookie dough spotting. That tub would last 2 days in my fridge…

Batch's bread schedule. My new phone background.

Batch’s bread schedule and my new phone background.

After Batch, we were all feeling a wee-bit full from not-so-sample-sized samples of pound cake and rhubarb bars, so the backside of the capital hill to Graze seemed a little daunting. So we did a B-cycle and Brunch tour first! We took the magical elevator at Monona Terrace!

Surprise!

Surprise!

It only took us three separate trips to get all those B-cycles up, but walking out to this view was totally worth it. Do we live in a gorgeous city or what?

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Mac n’ Cheese and pickled sampler plate at Graze

Our last stop

Our last stop

Crab cakes and a blended pepper dip

Crab cakes and a blended pepper dip

Olive oil cake. Literally my mouth is watering as I type this...

Olive oil cake. Literally my mouth is watering as I type this…

Two sisters - one a local and one visiting from Iowa. Talk about a great thing for visiting friends and family.

Two sisters – one a local and one visiting from Iowa. Talk about a great thing for visiting friends and family.

Our awesome biker gang.

Our awesome biker gang.

And that's a wrap folks.

Plates licked clean. Every time.

And that’s a wrap folks. Huge thanks to all the wonderful restaurants that hosted us. We appreciate all you do to support local farms by sourcing the finest products that Wisconsin has to offer.

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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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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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