Tag Archives: B-cycle

We’ve Missed You!

Hey there B-cyclers, it’s been a loooonnnnggggg time. We wanted to let you all know that we haven’t forgot about you all. Since we last checked in, we’ve had some major developments and changes. We have three new AWESOME interns, a brand new tech guy, an ever-so fresh Assistant City Manager, and four new convenient stations! Stay tuned next week for details on each of our new developments, including pictures of our new B-team and stations, as well as updates on past, and future, events! We have some exciting things in store this summer that you don’t want to miss. 

Thanks for hanging in there!

B-happy, B-positive, B-healthy,

The B-team

 

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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 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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The B-Ionic Man

20130608_101653For the past 24 years, Trek Bicycle Corporation and the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) have been teaming together for the Trek 100 Ride For Hope. The Trek 100 has contributed over $11 million dollars to pediatric cancer research, and we imagine that fund grew substantially after the 2013 ride held this last Saturday in Waterloo.

Each rider was asked to raise $2/mile for two times the number of miles they pledged to ride, with the longest possible mileage being 100 – the grand Century. As if riding 100 miles on a bike wasn’t enough, our long time friend at B-Cycle National HQ – Brian Conger – decided it would be best to ride on a B-cycle. Because some people are awesome, and some people are real life bionic men (B-ionic…if you will).

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Most riders first question upon hearing Brian would be riding his century on a B-cycle was “Why?” But in true super human form, Brian simply asked “Why not?” If you think about it, the logic is quite simple. Big, plushy seat. A basket that allowed for the perfect aero position and top speeds. Plenty of room inside said basket for his cell phone (in which he used to make not one, but TWO conference calls while riding…can you say BOSS? But literally. Pun intended).

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Brian100ride

Forget fancy clip-ins and padded shorts. Brian rode his century in what looked like khaki golf shorts and Reeboks. It’s not the first time we’ve talked about B-cycles being magic bikes or stated that anything is possible on a B-cycle. But now Brian has actually proven that. This is factual now. ANYTHING is possible on a B-cycle. Had Brian done any modifications to the B-cycle, it probably would have flown (similar to the the ending scene from Grease where the car suddenly flies…). Maybe next year Brian…maybe next year.

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So huge thanks to Trek for this amazing event and to the MACC fund for all their support. And a huge round of applause to the B-ionic Man Brian for his heroic efforts and logic-defying physical capabilities. In the spirit of always striving for bigger and better, we’d like to propose a challenge for next year Brian, since super-humans like you always need new goals…

The Century…on the Trike?

Race essentials. Water. Ice. Teddy Bear.

Race essentials. Water. Ice. Teddy Bear.

Cheer Station!

Cheer Station!

Wouldn't be a proper event without a pic of an awesome baby in our shades.

Wouldn’t be a proper event without a pic of an awesome baby in our shades.

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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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Upcoming Usage Increase

Dear Madison B-cycle Users and Enthusiasts,

It has been a busy week here at Madison B-cycle. Our team is diligently working on one of our largest events of the year; Trek World. This annual convention is held by Trek Bicycle, who will be unveiling the latest and greatest products for the upcoming year.

As you may recall last year Madison B-cycle held our grand unveiling at Trek World, when we unloaded 75+ bikes on the Monona Terrace. Well this year we wanted to make another big impact on Trek World by giving each participant a demo membership. Now you may be wondering how this will affect you, the B-cycle user. Since Trek World brings in vendors from across the country and globe, there will be an increase of around 1,000 members in our membership pool. This will lead our B-cycles to be in a higher rate of usage than normal.

But do not fret our Madison B-cycle team has taken measures to ensure that all of our users will have easy access to B-cycles when, and where they need them.

To keep updated on all Madison B-cycle happenings, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

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Madison Tour de B-cycle

A How to Guide: Tour de B-cycle 

Courage, endurance, and a membership. These are the things you will need to successfully complete a Tour de B-cycle.Think you have what it takes to complete a Tour De B-cycle? Take the challenge!

What: Visit each and every B-cycle station in Madison. One bike check-in and one bike check-out must be logged. This ensures that each of your trips is being tracked. Make sure to use the map on www.MadisonBcycle.com or download the B-cycle app for all locations!

When: All 32 check-ins and check-outs must be within 24 hours. All rides between stations must be under 30 minutes.

Where: All 32 B-stations in Madison! Make sure to return to the B-cycle station that you started from to complete the loop.

Why: Pride. Completing a Tour de B-cycle is a feat that many never accomplish. Oh also, for fun of course! In addition to your new sense of pride, anyone that completes the challenge receives a free Madison B-cycle shirt!

How: Map your route, and check out your first bike! When you’ve completed the journey, post a photo on Facebook Page, and email info@madisonbcycle.com to tell us about it!

Extras:

  • Wear a helmet!
  • Have a friend join in on the challenge with you.
  • Bring sunscreen, water, etc.
  • Enjoy exploring downtown Madison!

 

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