Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Great American Bike Sale!

Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy! It's the . . . wait for it . . . keep waiting . . . just a little while longer . . . . .


I love this time because a lot of people are out looking to get their first bike or replace old faithful. I'll be taking notes and pictures throughout the sale because I am meeting some of the neatest people on bikes right now!
Stories to come soon!

The sale runs till May 2nd. Come visit me!

Milo out! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Commuter Chronicles: Is it worth it?

Hello everybody! Today I was chatting with one of the staff about their ride in and they were going on and on and on about the stresses and awesomeness of starting to commute by bike. So, in order to get her to shut up for a few minutes, I'm going to let her type away this afternoon. It's a total "I told you so" moment for me because, well, I told her so. Bike Commuting is awesome, even when you don't want to do it at first. Anyway, here she is:

There are days where I wonder if it is all worth the effort. I wake up late every single day [They have alarm clocks for that you know!] [Shut up Milo]and have to dig out two outfits: one of lycra and polyester and one poorly aimed in the direction of “cute” [Is that what you call it?] [Milo!] [Ok, ok, the peanut gallery is shutting up] [Thank you!]  I load my panniers with whatever essentials I can find. Pump, cliff, bar, multi-tool, spare tire, lights, deodorant [Thank God! ok, now I'm REALLY done], makeup bag . . . Where are my shoes?? I think about my seat height and if I need to readjust it because yesterday’s ride felt funny. I fill my water bottle, forget my keys, lose and refind the water bottle I just filled and bump my bike out the door. I click in right foot first and head down the street, praying to God for a tail wind because I’m already 10 minutes behind.  As soon as I pass the city limits I begin to glide with a slight wind at my back and even though 20mph is a big deal for me, a mountain for some, or a mole hill for others . . . I feel like I’m flying.  Heads of wheat crash into one another like tiny, soft cymbals. I can barely see snow capped mountains in the distance beneath the wind-cleared sky. My legs are burning because I’m just starting to realize that I can push myself little by little. I'm realizing that my body can do so much more than I’ve ever demanded of it before. I don’t burn for too long because this is still new and the drive to pedal myself into the ground isn’t there yet. 

At work I think about getting a shorter stem to ease the throbbing pain in my shoulder because I, unknowingly, bought a bike that is a bit too big. I bought shoes that are vacuumed and molded to my feet, ok maybe that’s not necessary, but they were on crazy sale and feel so good with my odd bones and toes. So far, the perfect combination of gear and fitness remains out of reach and I’m still trying to keep this whole thing simple. Adjustments are constantly being made and parts can always be tweaked or replaced. Mechanics juggle carbon fiber, steel, aluminum and titanium in front of my face and the choices seem overwhelming. So I ask over and over, is it worth all this effort and tinkering and pedaling? 

But while others were likely sitting in their car, drinking Starbucks, and wondering if the semi in front of them is ever going to move back to the right lane, I was busy riding the wind and racing birds.

Today I flew to work.

So yes, it’s worth the effort.

Milo here, so she seems a bit overly poetic, but I'll take whatever I can get. Ride on, Ride on. Now, who has some treats for me?

What keeps you riding on days when you don't want to be in the saddle? 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Milo's Makeover Monday Rachelle Edition

Rachelle is one of the cool girls over at B & L Too and she's fairly new to cycling. She is, however, hard core enough to show up at the shop at 7:30am for that Saturday group ride that no one else shows up for. C'mon guys, where you at?

Anyhow, the other day she let me play dress up and this is the snazzy number we came up with:

 On Top: Black and Aqua Cyclone Tank by Canari (w/ a built in shelf bra)
On Bottom: Awesome black Knickers by Canari

I see lots of different types of riders come into the shop and each one enjoys cycling for a different reason. Some are into racing and sprinting to speeds up to 40 miles per hour, while others enjoy a beach cruiser for trips to the movie theater. Since Rachelle is new to cycling, we set her up with some cute, fitness oriented clothing. She can use the tank for other activities, like walking her insanely happy dog Maia, and the knickers as well, so long as they're padless (no one wants to play ultimate frisbee wearing a bike diaper).

Where's your helmet young lady?
Success! Another job well done. If you come in and want to get this whole outfit, I'll get the boss lady to take 10% off! P.S. We're already having a huge sale right now that I'll tell you about tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Commuter Calculator

Ever wonder how much money and how many trees you could save by commuting by bike? Ever wonder how much good you're already doing?

Today, I found this handy dandy calculator on Bike Commuter's Blog.

To give you an idea we plugged in what some of our own staff does on their weekly commute:
Miles Commuted: 22
Price per gallon: 3.75
Car MPG: 27
Days Riding per week: 4

Your daily gas savings is $3.22 dollars and lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your weekly gas savings would be $12.87 dollars and 64.53 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your monthly gas savings would be $51.50 dollars and 258.13 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your yearly gas savings would be $669.45 dollars and 3,355.73 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere

YAY You! Yay Us! Keep it Up guys!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Milo's Makeover Monday: Hydrate or Die Edition

Good Meow-orning! So, the weather is beginning to warm up and I want everyone to remember one, very important thing: Hydrate or Die.

Seriously Guys! Proper hydration could be the difference between a happy, healthy spring and summer or days of nausea and fatigue. I'll take the former thank you very much. We've all probably heard that you humans should drink about 8 glasses of water to replenish what you've lost throughout the day. If you're riding your bicycle, like you should be, you'll need more water.

So for this installment of Makeover Monday I'd like to encourage you guys and gals to get out there and get hydrated! Accessorize with a snazzy new water bottle! We have lots of cool new Camelbak bottles for school, work, or an afternoon around town. We even just got some in that have a filter inside the straw in case you're like me and don't enjoy the traditional taste of Davis water.We have Klean Kanteens too.  One of our staff even has one that's been run over by a car and is still used to this day!
  So remember: Hydration is Sexy. Accessorize people! I want to see this closet of overstock empty by June.

Milo Out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Commuting Chronicles: Racing Daylight

 I’ve been watching you humans for some time now and I see the same frustrations and stress over and over again. You let the same things wear you down little by little. You could learn a thing or two from a cat. We know how to relax and enjoy things.

 Just the other day I discovered a new blade of grass at the base of the tree just outside of B & L Too and it was mesmerizing. The sky has been stuffed with puffy, white and gray clouds. It’s new life growing and if you’re going too fast you’ll miss out on some simply beautiful things.


My most recent project is getting Emelia on her bike more. She lives in Woodland and has been reluctant to give up the 10 extra minutes she needs in order to commute by bike. And yes, it really is only 10 extra minutes to ride all the way from Woodland than it is to drive, park, and walk to work.


 The other day she lolly-gagged around the shop and headed home later than expected, but was greatly rewarded. Not only did she get an extra workout because she was racing daylight and is still without lights, she rode home beneath a beautiful sky and was surrounded by the peace of twilight. Not a bad way to end a day I say.

Question of the Moment: What are some beautiful things you’ve seen while commuting by bike?
Ride on. Ride Strong.
Milo Out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Atta Boy Roy!

Happy Monday! Today I want to brag a little about my buddy Roy. Not only does he give some of the best belly-rubs, but he's doing some awesome things on two wheels these days. We sat down the other day in B & L too and talked about his most recent philanthropic adventure.

Can you give me a brief summary of what you do? I ride tandem bikes with visually impaired students at the Halten Center in San Pablo, California. 

Who drives? I’m going to pretend you didn’t ask me that.

What goes on at the center? The center operates to help students [ages range from 18-22] transition towards living independently. They help them learn how to use public transit, practice cane skills, build maps in their head, work through financial advising, cooking etc. 

What’s your purpose with the tandem riding? It’s mostly just to get the kids some exercise and fresh air. I think it helps that I’m not asking anything of them. I’m there to take them out, get ‘em some air, and have a good time.

How did you get hooked up with this gig? Well, the first reason is that my fiancĂ© happens to work there.  They have some tandem bicycles that needed to be fixed and I was volunteered for the job.  While I was there, I found a brand new bike and my immediate thought was “Can I use this?!” They said yes and I started taking the students on rides. Although, it was my first time riding a tandem and they, the students, had to tell me what to do.

What has been challenging about doing these rides? Initially, most of the students haven’t been on a bike before. For some, pedaling is a brand new concept. The difficulty arises in having to explain everything verbally and without any visual cues whatsoever. It sounds fairly simple, until you try it.

What have you learned about other humans by doing this besides that they should give Cats more treats?  I have learned that there’s no way to guess who’s going to be excited about what.  One student that appeared lackluster in attitude and lacking in physical activity became incredibly excited about hills. Then there’s the silent girl who keeps coming back every single week.  In short, I guess, I’d say I’ve learned that people are surprising. And it’s interesting to see what they pay attention to. They notice changes in the material we’re riding on, the temperature, or the scent of the air. To hear the girl behind me announce that we’re passing through a Eucalyptus grove without being able to see it is really cool.

What have you learned about yourself? Again, besides the fact that more treats for Cats could equal world happiness. I’ve learned that I’m a sucker for helping people and that means my soul might be redeemed after all.

Have you had any interesting adventures? One time I took the tandem mountain biking.

Wait, you have a tandem Mountain bike? Nope.

What happened? Well, I was riding on a road that was supposed to be paved and then it wasn’t. The road turned into dirt, worse dirt, and, finally, mud. The great thing is that the students are always up for anything and it’s awesome. 

So, when will you incorporate tandem rides with cats? I’ll take you out with the dog next week if you’d like?

No thanks!                    

Well I'm definitely impressed by Roy and the incredible adventurousness of the students at the center. Next week Roy will be riding in the Cycle4Sight ride in Napa next week with co-pilot Erika (pictured above) on the tandem.

Go Get 'Em Roy! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Sighting

Is anybody else feeling this way on their bike?
Spring Sighting | Bicycle Comics - Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery

I'm still cold Meow! So, I'm going to chill under the desk, next to the computer, where it's warm and swat at the girls' feet as they work.
Spring, feel free to come back and stay longer next time.

Question of the post: How do the changing seasons affect your riding? Let me know in the comments section!

M-M-M-Milo out!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bikes = Happy . . . duh!

While the staff was busy deodorizing after their rides in and opening up the shops, I perused Bicycling's website for some interesting tidbits to send your way. This morning I stumbled upon a bit about a study recently put out by Bowling Green State University. According to the report, "As little as 10 minutes of cycling improved the mood among 21 men and women, compared to a similar group who did nothing during that time." Bicycling

It's official: Biking can make you feel better.

So get pedaling friends!!

Come by B & L Too and tell us if this is true for you and feel free to bring me treats.

Question of the post: What sorts of emotions do you experience when riding your bike?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Milo's Makeover Monday Take 2!

It's Makeover Monday! The staff has been busy helping lots of new riders find bikes now that the weather is a little is more bike friendly. Since everybody is occupied at the moment, I think it is time I introduced y'all to my two shop buddies.

They've taken a vow of silence or something, because even though we've hung out every day since December, they still won't tell me their names. Anyhow, I am feeling light and breezy as the spring winds begin to warm everyone up. Since they couldn't speak up to complain I dressed them up in what I felt was a suitable outfit to ride around town in today.
"Gas Sucks"Tee by KHS and Mountain Trail baggy riding shorts by Canari
 I don't drive, but I've been hearing too many humans complain about the rising gas prices. Namely Emelia who has vowed to only ride her bike to work for all of April, heh, fat chance [I can do it Milo! You just wait and see]. Pipe dreams aside, what better way to stick it to those poor, gas guzzling fools than a t-shirt that says it all in its own short, sweet way?

"Gear" socks by Sock Guy and Bicycle Gem Necklace by DHBetty
For the lady, I decided it was time to bust out the skort. You heard me ladies, skort. It's feminine, it's flattering, and it's faaaaabulous. It's tough for some of the girls to feel comfortable in bike shorts, especially when starting out and this skort by Canari really takes the edge off without compromising the comfort of traditional cycling shorts. Ride on ladies!
Pretty in Pink, Canari Cross-Sport Tank and SKORT!

 I need your help naming my new friends. I'll take recommendations for the next week from anyone who becomes my follower before the next installment of Makeover Monday and I'll have a little treat for the winners. So bust out those baby-naming books and get creative!

The boss lady has given me the go-ahead to offer 10% off of any complete outfit that I showcase on my Makeover Monday's for the rest of the day. But the deal only lasts for the day, so become my follower so you can look good riding without breaking a sweat over your bank account.

It's almost lunch time and that means I have Zia's patrons to beg from. Oh I love prosciutto on a lovely spring afternoon.

Milo Out!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Milo's Lonely Saddles Club

Hey Gang! So, it's Saturday and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. I hope everyone is taking advantage of the warmth and sunshine by getting out and riding their bikes. If not, shame shame on you.

This morning two very cute girls sat outside of B & L at 7:30am hoping that some of you guys would come out to ride with them. Did you? Nope, not a one. Same thing happened with Christy and Emelia a few weeks ago.

I know the flyer says 20 miles, but really it probably won't be that long of a ride since Emelia has to open the store at 9am and look a little less ragamuffin-y and she's definitely out of shape [HEY!]. I only speak the truth. This was Rachelle's first real-ish ride and she did marvelous on the little 12 mile jaunt.

Just so you know, the girls told me that the quiet countryside was positively gorgeous this morning even in their bleary-eyed state. While you slumbered and sawed, Rachelle and Emelia pedaled about and topped the morning off with coffee and pastries from the farmer's market. When Emelia wasn't looking I snagged a bit of her strawberry and cream cheese danish and it was delicious! [YOU DID WHAT?!?!] Finder's keeper's, sucker.

Follow my/"our"Twitter or become a follower of the blog (you know you want to be one of my minions) and be updated on shop rides, routes, and news. Next week, I expect to see more of you in front of the shop next Saturday so that these frowns will be turned upside down.

Christy and Emelia sad to be riding "totawee awone"
P.S. Feel free to bring me cheese danishes and some tortillas with mango chutney and some of that funky green spread when you're done.

Milo Out.