MonkeyLectric Blog

Win a new limited edition M232R!

MonkeyLectric custom M232R light: Playing Cards Four suits
The Four Suits playing card pattern is our newest design in the limited edition shop!  Complete the entries below for a chance to win.

This light comes with the Four Suits pattern as well as 41 of the other patterns that normally come with an M232R, including the ones below:

Can't wait? You can buy one now:

RideTHISbike New Orleans

RideThisbike is the only full-service bike shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  They have been carrying Monkey Lights for a number of years, and after a recent Automatic A15 order, we were inspired to ask Larry some questions about his shop.

(note, all photos are used with permission courtesy of @ridethisbike on Instagram!)


 


MonkeyLectric: You started your bike shop after Katrina hit as a way to provide alternate transportation especially if a disaster hits after working in IT. How hard was it to get started, and did you ever wonder if you were doing the right thing?  Were there moments where you were thinking, "Wow, this is a crazy idea, what am I doing???"

Larry from RideTHISBike: The key to a happy life is doing what you love and doing it with all your heart. I love riding a bicycle. Imagine how blessed and appreciative I feel earning my living by sharing what brings me joy. It's awesome!

Was it hard? Ha. Is the sun bright?
Starting the business at a time when New Orleans was still depopulated, people DID say I was crazy. Bike industry experts were extolling on the demise of the local bike shop. Family and friends begged me to do anything else. Getting a loan to start was out of the question.

What saved me was my IT knowledge combined with a "can-do" attitude and lots of hard work. I went on a limb and opened a tiny, quirky, neighborhood bike shop that people love. I have loyal customers from around the world. Vacations are trips I'm paid to lead to bicycle on the world's best bike trails! My only regret is that it took a hurricane to chase my dream.



MonkeyLectric: As someone who's never been, what's it like biking around New Orleans compared to other places?

Larry from RideTHISBike: New Orleans is a compact city surrounded by water. All the land here formed eons ago through silt deposited by the mighty Mississippi River and by pumping the water out of the former swamps and marsh. As a result, the land is flat and most local ride destinations are within easy riding distance.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B06J9k3lX_H/

 


MonkeyLectric: When customers rent bikes from you, where do you recommend they ride? Or what are some highlights on your tours? 

Larry from RideTHISBike: Each New Orleans neighborhood has unique qualities due to when it was settled and which immigrants settled there. In fact, within the city limits, there are antebellum plantations, multiple parks with bike paths, places that look Spanish, Caribbean, French. In fact, New Orleans has the largest number of Greek Revival style buildings in the US. Still, my favorite rides are on trails along the river or out to City Park. There's something different on the river every day and riding in City Park is so tranquil.


https://www.instagram.com/p/BxlfQNlh4fX/


MonkeyLectric: I've often wondered this: many bike shops are closed 1 day a week, that makes sense, but how do you pick which day to take off? Why'd you pick Tuesday?

This is a common question but it has to do with our location. The French Quarter is a popular destination year 'round, but particularly on the weekends. Since the slowest days of the week in the Quarter are Tuesday and Wednesday, we flipped a coin and picked Tuesday as our day off.



MonkeyLectric: You guys have a lot of pictures with that chopper-style ebike. What's it like riding it around?

Larry from RideTHISBike: Remember Fonzie from Happy Days? Riding the chopper makes me feel like his character. Strangers give you the thumbs up, nod approvingly, smile, wave and shout out things like "Nice Bike!" More importantly, though, it tells me that I'm visible to motorists and pedestrians and that's a big part of bike safety.

 

Thanks for answering our questions, Larry!

If you're in New Orleans, visit RideTHISbike:

231 Dauphine St.
New Orleans, LA. 70112
Open 10am to 5pm (except Tuesdays!)

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1 (504) 324 2492

They offer sales, service, rentals and repair and carry a nice assortment of bikes from Brompton, Brooklyn Bicycles, Montague, Strida, EVO, REID, and 3G.  And of course, Monkey Lights.

And check out many more of their photos on Instagram: @ridethisbike

Bike rider by Immortal Shots

We asked a bunch of people, "What was it like buying your first bike?" and the responses, while wide-ranging, were pretty touching.

Hardship.. and freedom

Some wrote tales of hardship and achieving freedom by bike.  There's nothing quite like pedaling through breeze on two wheels while powered by your your own motion.  Historically, they also played a huge role in mobility for women.  So much so that Susan B. Anthony called the bike a Freedom Machine.

Here are some of the touching stories shared by those who chose to tell us about the time when they bought their first bike.

caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right

It was a bike co-op in Chicago when I was in college. I was tired of walking and taking the train. The employees didn't really help, but I didn't need them. I found my new friend right away. I took her for a test ride to be absolutely sure, and after paying $68 I pedaled to class. I loved the smell of the city on a bike, the feeling of freedom, the air rushing past me. I gave that bike to my sister when she moved in with me to start college.

Ian Los Angeles

I was 16 and had worked all summer to buy myself a bike. Before that I had always walked everywhere I went and when you live in MS, it can be pretty draining. I would be tired before I even got to work. I bought my bike and was so proud of it. I remember feeling so free as I rode my bike to school and work. I had it for 10 years and when I left home to get married I passed it on to my sister who loved it just as much as I did.

Laurie Biloxi

i remember as a kid i got a job stuffing envelopes for the winter so i can save up for my haro shredder. i still have it, first thing i ever earned on my own.

Michael Commack

My first time buying a bike as an adult happened eleven years ago. My brother had recently passed away and I needed a reason to go outside and live again. I found a vintage Schwinn road bike on Craigslist that captured my heart and then found a local ladies cycling group. It was amazing - being out on a bike again, feeling like a kid, and making so many new friends. The cycling group disbanded years ago, but many of us still get together. And the bike? I've added a few more to the corral, but that one is, and will always be, a favorite. It always brings me joy when we go on adventures.

Nic Tempe

I must have been in 8th grade. My school was on the other side of town, and I wanted a way to commute other than by bus. I scraped together some $100, and bought a yellow BMX bike. It had a candescent front light powered by a dynamo that rolled along the rim of the wheel. We've come along way since 1992!

Eitan Columbia

I had a lot of bikes that were hand me downs or garage sales finds and swaps. Buying a bike new was my reward to self for getting a real job out of college. Turned out I hated working in the city and moving from meeting to meeting but I loved that bike to death. It took a year to qualify for vacation but as soon as I could claim it, I took that bike for two weeks across europe and had the time of my life. When I got back, I ditched the job (but kept the bike). Good thing, too, as I met my soon to be wife while riding that bike around canada.

Greg Boulder Creek

My first bike, a fuchsia Electra Townie 3 speed cruiser, changed my life. I was really depressed after a bad breakup. Riding it increased my serotonin, made me more social, increased my ability to get around SF, decreased my time getting around SF and using it to commute set a positive tone for my work day and a welcome way to relax at the end of the day. Riding my bike changed my life in so many ways. It maybe even saved my life.

Jill San Francisco

I bought my first bike when I was 12 years old. I was working my ass off at my father's cafeteria and earn enough money to buy something bigger. So I decided to buy a new bike. I was very proud of my self. This was one the best purchase I made at my teenager ages. 🙂

Peteris Riga

I don't remember my first bike; I was a mere 5 year old. But I remember my first bike I purchased as an adult. I was living on the beach, and I'd gotten into a bit of trouble and lost my license. I bought a beautiful sky blue cruiser with a white leather seat. I still have it, and I call it "The Cadillac"

Brittany Brevard

My first 'fitted' steed was to start an amazing journey, a nearly 13 year effort to raise awareness and fight ALS, riding the Tri State Trek for years, founding the Iron Horse Challenge in Ohio, and leading to 'rolling' for the Blazeman Foundation on Triathlons. Then in 2014 a sudden cardiac event left me dead on a charity event...when I recovered I didn't miss a beat and I'm still riding as a daily commuter all year around, Spring to Winter, and dragging my 4 kids around as well. I've had a early prototype of your MonkeyLectic light and its rides with me everyday, rain or shine, snow or heat. Always secretly wanted a program-able one so I could continue to share the End ALS message even in the dark. A fitting metaphor. Blaze on!

Shawn Columbus

Win a new Automatic A15 Bicycle Wheel Light!

A15 Automatic GIF
We're happy to announce our new Automatic A15 bicycle wheel light!

Just ride your bike and they work.

We are celebrating by giving some away to lucky winners.  Complete the entries below for a chance to win.

Can't wait? Buy one now:

Note: Amazon.com can ship internationally to some destinations.  Our new Automatic A15 light is also available in select bicycle shops.  Contact us if you want to learn more!

Our most dedicated bike-commuting friend, K. Alice Fox, recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary of being a winter cyclist in snowy Syracuse, NY.

Syracuse averages 123.8 inches of snow per year.

 

She sent us some photos of her ride, (complete with our waterproof, snowproof, and iceproof M232 Monkey Lights that help keep her visible during dark mornings and nights) and even made a video to celebrate.

 

Alice’s Surly fat bike, named “Goliath”

We interviewed Alice in the past, and she told us her amazing story about how cycling changed her life.

 

Alien Rides Scooter

AlienRides decks out a Burley trailer connected to an e-scooter with our bike lights and then cruses around San Francisco. Nice project!

Our hard-working dealer Lecyclo.com in France sent over a little press snippet, which roughly translates to:

 

Suitable for wheels between 16 and 29 inches, these Monkeylight graphic lights reinforce the visibiity of the various bikes of the family while allowing to give them a touch of originality. Depending on the model chosen, 5 to 42 bright themes are available, with choice of recharging by batteries or USB.

 

Thanks for the heads up Lecyclo!  Pictured is the M210 Monkey Light.

CycleWorks Bike Shop

Ben Madary of CycleWorks in Lake Jackson, Texas recently reached out to us, inquiring about our Cat Rainbow Butt Limited Edition M232s.  We wanted to know more about his shop, and he happily answered some of our questions.

A lot of folks think it'd be cool to run their own shop one day.  How’d you get into running a bike shop?

CycleWorks Bike Shop

I learned to work on bikes as a kid. I worked at our local bike shop when I was 14-15 years old and learned how to work on bikes then. I always dreamt of owning a bike shop one day and my awesome wife helped me make it a reality.

How did she help you make it happen?

She worked full time as a nurse which allowed us to utilize her health insurance while I went back to school to get my business degree.  She was the one who encouraged me to quit my full time job to do something I loved. I had gotten to a point in my previous career, where stress had me sick significantly more than I have ever been in my life. It had also led to me gaining about 20 pounds.

Our bike wheel lights are definitely not traditional.  What makes your shop unique?

CycleWorks Bike Shop

We try to do things a little differently, we focus heavily on our community and its needs. Our staff helped start a local weekly social ride that helps riders get into cycling in a non-threatening casual environment. We get anywhere between 10-40 riders weekly that do the social ride and they are always doing fun themed rides.

We also partner with a local college to get students who need transportation onto bikes that have been donated to our store. So far we’ve gotten around 20 bicycles into the program.

We have a 3x7 foot table on the sales floor where anyone is welcome to come in and hang out, eat their lunch, have a cup of our coffee or just read a book. Had a guy in today who hung out and worked on a college project.

Why do your customers buy Monkey Lights?

Monkey Lights at Cycleworks

Many of our customers who buy monkey lights have seen them on a bike during the social rides and had to have them. We also sell them as a great safety item. During the short daylight hours of fall/winter, its a great way to be able to go riding at night and still be seen.

Tell us a bit about your shop’s community.

CycleWorks Bike Shop

We have a vast array of people in our shop daily, from people who utilize their bikes as their only mode of transportation by choice, also by necessity, to avid road and triathlete riders, to families who just want to get out and ride their bikes together. We try to make everyone fall in love with cycling as adults like they did as kids. Our community has rallied around us since we opened almost 2.5 years ago and they continue to support us and we are incredibly thankful they choose to.

Thank you, Ben, for taking the time to answer some of our questions.

If you've got a story to share, we'd love to hear from you.  Please get in touch!

Holiday Giveaway: 6 Rechargeable Monkey Lights and $250 worth of casual gear from SFC

Scroll down to view the entry form.

Note: You must reside in one of the following countries to enter: USA, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

You must be 18 or older to enter.

Can't wait?  Monkey Lights are also for sale.  So is SFC's awesome gear.

2x M232R Limited Edition: Pink Donut

2x M232R Limited Edition: Pink Donut

 

 

The pink donut M232R is our latest in our new series of custom M232Rs. For each release, we manufacture a short run of lights with a special pattern or theme.

A M232 or M232R normally comes with 42 built-in themes.  One of the themes is the Monkey Light logo.  In this limited-edition light, the Monkey Light logo has been replaced by a pink (or white) donut.  The color of the icing can be toggled by pressing the color button while the donut theme is selected.

Regular Monkey Lights are available in your local bike shop or online, while these limited-edition offerings will only be sold on our web shop.

We’ve gotten a few questions, so here’s the FAQ so far:

Do lights in stores or elsewhere online have the custom patterns?

Unfortunately not, the limited-edition lights are only currently available in our web shop.

Do these lights still show other patterns?

Yes, the “normal” patterns: hearts, skulls, lightning, fireballs, and so on, are still installed in the light.  Press the Theme button to change patterns.

Do you still have the Earth lights available?

The Earth lights were our previous limited-edition offering.  They’re sold out.  We may re-release them in the future, but we don’t have plans to do so currently.