Tag Archives: biking

The Dock Block

344Imagine this – you’re pedaling down Monroe Street past Edgewood with a lovely and intriguing partner. You’ve planned this spectacular date that begins on B-cycles, because by now you’ve figured out that B-cycling is for lovers. You get the chance to show off your physical prowess, as well as your concern for the environment. You get to prove your economical, self-sufficient, and an all-around great, resourceful individual.

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 7.57.08 AMAs if you aren’t already impressing your date enough, you will certainly win them over when your serendipitous B-cycle ride leads you to Jacs for¬†famously-fresh Prince Edward Island Mussels and a whole cone of Belgian Frites for $13. Plus 1/2 price bottles of wine! This deal only takes place on Mondays, so you of course planned this date for a Monday. Since everyone needs something to look forward to post-weekend.

lYou pedal up to the Monroe and Knickerbocker Station. Your dates’ hair is glistening in the setting, fall sun. There is a cool breeze coming off Lake Wingra and you are both giggling like innocent school children. And then you see it. Your worst nightmare on this perfectly planned date.

The station only has one dock available.

You’ve been Dock Blocked.

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The most frequent question I get asked as a B-cycle employee is “What happens if a station is full?”

BCycle_MacKinnonPhoto_SeanBuchan_630x421I expect this question while working B-cycle events, but it manages to come up in conversation even when I am not wearing my red B-polo. I’ll be in chatting with a stranger while out on Friday night, telling them I work for B-cycle. The tone of the conversation will suddenly and drastically change. They set their drink down on the bar and say “I have a very serious question to ask. I just…don’t get how it works. Like…what if a station is full…?”

It never ceases to amaze people when I tell them there is a button on the kiosk just for this purpose. We really have thought of everything.

img-0194.752.1128.sIf a station is full, there is button on the touch-screen kiosk that says “Station is full.” Upon clicking that button, you will be given an extra 15 minutes to ride your B-cycle to the nearest open station. The kiosk can provide real-time info about all the locations, docks, and bikes available in the system. The mobile app does this as well and is a sweet tool when planning your excursions.

Of course, after being dock blocked, you now have the chance to show your date what a “roll-with-the-punches” kind of person you are. Keep calm, and pedal on, if you will. You can bring your bike up to Harrison and Monroe, just outside Trader Joe’s and dock your bike there. Two options now: bring your date inside and buy them a drink at the frobanbar while you return your B-cycle, or invite your date to come along. The incentive to come along? You can buy those amazing chocolate covered banana chips as an appetizer to eat on the walk back to Jacs. Cuz those things are life changing.

However, if you’re date chooses to stay behind, this presents you with the perfect opportunity to buy flowers at Trader Joe’s while on your solo bike return.

Clearly I spend too much time day dreaming and watching hopeless romantic comedies…

Moral of the story: avoid the dreaded Dock Block and check out the mobile app beforehand. But should the Dock Block arise, we’ve got you covered.

Mad_Bcycle_Jamie592

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Bicycling, Yoga, Cheese

I have three main passions in life: bicycling, yoga, and cheese. Although the last would be a fun post to write, I will be focusing on the first two. And if the main reason you even clicked on this was for the cheese part, then I apologize.

I believe that biking (or cycling, for you professionals) and yoga are quite similar. At least it makes sense in my mind why the yogi would gravitate towards biking and vice versa. If this was a marketing class, we would lump the yogis and the bikers into one target audience.

what I feel like while riding a bike.

what I feel like while riding a bike.

The first natural connection for me is the way yoga and biking make me feel. And it’s not just that both are great work outs, build core strength, and make me feel like my ham strings are screaming profanities at me. I’m talkin’ about a good, nostalgic, wholesome feeling. When I am on a bike or a yoga mat, I feel like a kid again. Being on a yoga mat makes me feel like I am back in a school yard on the monkey bars, and I am with my friends and we are doing flips and showing off. And I feel totally invincible, like I could never get hurt. Similarly, when I am on a bike, I feel like I am back on Lexington Terrace – a cup-de-sac street in Portland Oregon – and all my friends and I are toting Pokemon cards in zip lock baggies and meeting each other on bikes at the top of the hill to trade and then play kick-the-can until our moms yell at us to come inside for dinner. I feel free and liberated when on a bike. Free from constraints of traffic, gasoline prices, and claustrophobic two-doors. I feel equally as liberated on a yoga mat. My world is only as big as the 6 foot tall, 2 foot wide purple rubber mat in front of me, and yet nothing feels unattainable.

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On a less mushy note, both are work outs that my body can handle. I was blessed to have the knees of a 68 year old at the age of 23. And while all my friends are out training for half-marathons because apparently that becomes a trend at 21, I am icing my knee after I walk up a flight of stairs. Biking and yoga are safe places for me to push myself.

sweatyAnd then there is the heat. I really do love a dripping hot yoga class. The kind where you’ve created your own little hot tub on your mat and the mascara is dripping down your face. And thanks to it finally being summer season in Madison, I can now bring the heat to my bike rides. It’s a new sport I like to call Hot Biking. You check out a B-cycle when it is 89 degrees and the heat index is 104. You ride three blocks and feel like you’ve lost all your water weight, and its probably collected in your silver basket. And then you down an orange juice, a Gatorade, and a Starbucks Hibiscus Refresher to make up for the 750 calories you had to have just burned in the last 4 minutes.

 

You’ve probably participated in Hot Biking in the last week and didn’t even know it!

But in case you haven’t tried Hot Biking or Hot Yoga or any yoga – then Madison B-cycle has just the event for you. Next Thursday on July 26, the B-Team is gonna be hanging out with some pretty awesome yogis from The Studio and an equally awesome team from Whole Foods at our Law Park and John Nolen Station. It is right on the bike path and will take place during your nightly commute home – 4:30 to 6 PM. It will be a chance to learn some yoga poses that could really benefit you on and off the bike. It is not a class, but rather a time to get some personal instruction. And if you are a yogi, you know how valuable that one-on-one time is.B-Healthy B-Happy Hour Digital Flyer

So come be kids with us again and ride some bikes, do some yoga, and have some mock-tails. It’s a B-Healthy B-Happy Hour, and it is gonna be a pretty special evening. Who knows, maybe we can even play some kick the can before mom calls me home for dinner…

Bikes, Beverages, Bakasana. B-Healthy B-Happy Hour. See you there friends!

PS: Fromagination has some amazing cheese orphans lately. There is my cheese plug. So I didn’t totally lure you here under false pretenses.

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