Tag Archives: Date Night

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 forĀ 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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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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