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    5 Tips for Becoming a Bike Commuter

    5 Tips for Becoming a Bike Commuter

    Bike commuting is great, it saves money on gas, gives you a workout, and helps reduce city traffic, but it can be hard to get into for the first time.  We've put together a few quick tips to help reduce some of the stress for a first-time commuter.

    First Time Commuter?
    Don't worry, commuting is a fun and safe way to get around any city, but take your bike out for a few practice spins on quiet roads ahead of time.  Make sure you're comfortable using the brakes and gears and that your bike is in good working order.  A few good practice rides will greatly reduce your stress that first day that you ride your bike in to work.

    Be Predictable
    When you're riding a bike, you're considered a vehicle, just like any car on the road, so it's important to follow proper road laws so cars and other cyclist know where you're going. Stop at lights and stop signs, and use hand signals to signal your intent to turn.  Riding predictably will help prevent any nasty encounters with cars or other cyclists!

    Be Visible
    Wearing light colored or reflective clothing any time on the bike is smart, but at night it is a necessity for safety.  Also make sure you have at least one light on the front of your bike (white) and one on the rear (red), more is better.  Some states even have laws requiring bike lights to be used after dark.  Lights are cheap and easy to set up, if you don't have any, check out this low-cost set that we love.

    Stay Wrinkle-free
    Need to bring nice clothes to the office? Hang your suit or sport coat in a dry-cleaning bag, then gently roll them up before putting them on your bike rack or in your panniers.

    Don't Skimp on Your Lock
    Whether you're commuting on a high-end $2,000 rig or a bike you got from Craigslist for $50, there's nothing worse than returning from your errands to find your bike has disappeared.  Always us a U-lock to lock your bike to a solid post, and for added protection use an additional cable lock to protect your wheels.  Don't forget to remove any bike lights when you lock up your bike as well, they only take 5 seconds for a thief to make off with.  We recommend the Kryptonite U-Lock for maximum security.

    Stay Fit with These 5 Low-Impact Outdoor Activities

    Stay Fit with These 5 Low-Impact Outdoor Activities

    If you shudder at the thought of stepping foot in a gym, you can relax. You don’t have to pay for an indoor membership to get some exercise. There are many low-impact activities you can do outside that will keep you toned and in shape this summer!

    Kayaking

    Kayaking offers a great workout and you’ll get the added benefit of the natural beauty you’ll experience as you’re out there paddling. Your arms, back, abs and shoulders will all get a solid workout. But the best part is you won’t even realize it – you’ll be too focused on the scenery to think about the exercise you’re getting.  Keep your stuff dry with this waterproof dry-bag!

    Swimming

    If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise that strengthens your muscles and gives you a great cardiovascular workout, you should consider swimming. It can help your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Plus, it gives you a great full body workout. Keep the water out of your eyes with our favorite goggles!

    Walking

    The beauty of walking is that you don’t need any special equipment to do it. You just grab a pair of shoes and head outside. The faster you pick up the pace, the more calories you’ll burn. Depending upon your weight, you can torch 400 calories in an hour from walking. Find the best price available online for your shoes with Shoe Kicker!

    Bicycling

    Bicycling isn’t just for kids. This exercise offers aerobic activity without harsh impact on your joints. Your heart, lungs, butt, and legs will all benefit from cycling.  Make sure you stay hydrated with a Clean Bottle (Sale: Buy 3 Get 1 Free!)

    Golf

    You don’t have to be retired to enjoy golf. It’s a good, gentle-on-the-joints workout for all ages. If you skip the golf cart and walk the course, you’ll reap even more benefits. Regular golf outings can reduce your risk of diabetes and stroke. Get better at golf by reading this!

    5 Boston Start-ups You Should Check Out

    5 Boston Start-ups You Should Check Out

    Silicon Valley is known as the heart of the Tech world, but Boston is quickly becoming the main hub of the Consumer Goods industry.  We've been loving some of these start-ups for a while and wanted to share our favorites with you!

    Forsake Shoes:

    Inventing a new piece of footwear doesn't happen often, but that's just what Forsake has done with their line of Sneakerboots.  Rugged footwear that can stand up to miles on the trail and in the backcountry, but styling that doesn't look like you're on your first Outward Bound trip.  We love these shoes because they look as good out in the woods as they do hanging out in the bar afterwards.  You can check them out at: Forsake.com

    Janji Running Apparel:

    Most people run for themselves.  Janji believes in running for another.  10% of every sale goes towards constructing, implementing, and maintaining clean water projects in countries of need.  Each season's performance running clothing is inspired by a different country with the donations going to that country or region.  We love their apparel because it looks amazing and helps great causes.  You can check them out at: Runjanji.com

    Box Brew Kits:

    Have you ever tried brewing your own beer at home?  It's a lot of fun, but the equipment is mostly plastic buckets and tubes which can be pretty unsightly sitting in your kitchen or living room. Box Brew Kits thinks you should be proud of your brewing so they make a line of handcrafted wooden and glass brewing kits and equipment.  Their beer, wine, and kombucha brewing kits look so good you'll keep them out in the open as a piece of art!  We love these kits because they look like fine furniture and have every piece of equipment you need to become a brew master. You can check them out at: BoxBrewKits.com

    Fortified Bicycle:

    There's nothing worse than riding your bicycle to the store to do some errands and returning to find some part of it has been broken or stolen. Fortified Bicycle makes rugged commuting bikes that can stand up to city life, but more importantly are damn near impossible to steal.  All parts are screwed and locked on, even the lights, so Johnny-bike-thief is gonna have a tough time with a grab-and go, plus Fortified bikes even come with theft insurance, so they've got you covered no matter what happens!  We love them because we can commute through the city with peace of mind that our steed will still be waiting for us when we return.  You can check them out at: Fortifiedbike.com

    Biena Foods:

    Snacking should be tasty and satisfying, but why not healthy too!  Biena Foods offers up the best in healthy snacking with their roasted chick pea snacks.  With flavors ranging from Habanero to Barbecue to Cinnamon Crunch, even Chocolate Covered chick peas, you won't be able to stop munching on these.  But hey, you don't need to stop, they're packed with tons of nutrients and they're all-natural!  We love them because we can go back for seconds and not feel guilty! You can check them out at: BienaFoods.com

    5 Rules for Buying Custom Products

    5 Rules for Buying Custom Products

    Customized promotional products are a great way to obtain brand visibility with your ideal clients but it can be hard to decide on high volume/low price versus lower volume/high quality. Here’s 5 reasons you should choose high quality products over cheap junk.

    Product quality will be equated to your brand’s quality.

    If you give a potential client a product that doesn’t function or breaks quickly, they’ll associate that poor quality item with your company, whether consciously or subconsciously.

    Potential clients are more likely to use a product they would buy for themselves.

    Your branding is a lot more likely to see the light of day if the product is one the client would buy and use even without your brand name on it and will therefore choose to use out in the "real world."

    An item that lasts will provide brand exposure for a longer period of time.

    Quality products remain functioning and in the recipient’s possession longer, increasing the chances of the product fulfilling its ultimate purpose of brand exposure.

    A cheap item is much more likely to wind up in the trash.

    People are far more likely to throw out something they see as having little value. That means that even if you spent very little on the product, that money was still wasted.

    Trashy products make poor ‘Thank You’ gifts and charity donations.

    It reflects badly on your brand if your customized products make you look like a cheapskate when your generosity matters most.

    Using good quality promotional items personalized with your business name is a staple of brand marketing, but it pays to think about the message you're conveying. If your clients and customers are likely to us a water bottle, check out our custom Clean Bottle program to help seal the deal or to promote brand loyalty.

    Fruit Infusions for Athletes

    Fruit Infusions for Athletes

    Lets face it, drinking plain water isn’t always the most enticing way to get your fluids.  But maintaining personal hydration while exercising is critically important! Try the following fruit infusions in your water to take your athletic performance to the next level!

     

    Running: Strawberry, Lemon, and Basil
    Fruit Infusion for RunningPlain water can get boring after a while and only contains small amounts of the electrolytes lost during exercise. Adding electrolytes and minerals to help rehydration is important after times of high-intensity exercise or lots of sweating.  Strawberries and lemons are especially high in electrolytes but if you're looking for some additional electrolyte reinforcement, try adding a teaspoon of salt to a 25 ounce serving.

     
    Cycling: Citrus and Cilantro
    Fruit Infusion for Cycling
    Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges not only pack delicious flavor, but contain chemicals to settle the stomach and promote hydration during the extended efforts cycling requires.  The cilantro helps balance flavor while adding a dash of color to your infusion!  If you aim to satisfy your sweet tooth then add 10-15 grams of stevia leaf, a zero calorie natural sweetener!

     
    Hiking: Rosemary and Grapefruit
    Fruit Infusion for hiking
    Grapefruit has a sweeter taste than some other citrus fruits out there, and provides a fantastic change of pace especially when paired with the refreshing bright taste of rosemary which helps battle the inflammation you body experiences on a long hike.

     
    Soccer: Orange and Blueberry
    Fruit Infusion for soccer
    Once again the power of citrus is revealed!  During a soccer game the average player runs four to five miles, so fueling up on electrolytes is absolutely key. Also, who doesn’t love the nostalgia that comes along with the orange slices we used to have at youth soccer games?

     
    Basketball: Watermelon and Mint
    Fruit infusion for basketball
    Watermelon is high in glucose, an easy to digest natural sugar, and basketball requires a mix of endurance and explosive power to succeed, which fits glucose to a T.  The mint adds anti-inflammatory properties and rounds out a delicious flavor profile.