• This entry was posted in Patio on June 28, 2016

  • At KETTLER USA, we love celebrating the 4th of July. It’s vibrant, fun, loud, and an excuse to raise our voices in joy and appreciation for all we have. 4th of July is all about being thankful – for freedom, family, friends, and all of the wonderful things life has to offer.

    But rambunctious holidays like the 4th of July often have dangers associated with them. In fact, the 4th of July was once named “the most dangerous holiday of the year.” Alcohol-fueled fests and fireworks are a risky combination.

    Below are a few tips for being safe and still having fun this holiday. Have a good time, but keep this advice in mind.

    Pay attention. Yes, you can enjoy a few beers and the company of your best friends, but don’t drink so many beers that you’re no longer aware of your surroundings and the actions of yourself and those around you. And watch out for you friends too. One foolish decision can ruin everyone’s night and possibly cause injuries.

    Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Setting off fireworks is extremely dangerous, and it’s a task best left to those who know what they’re doing. Over 8,600 injuries are caused by fireworks every year. The best and safest way to experience fireworks this 4th of July is to go to one of many free celebrations held in cities across the country. You can witness breath-taking fireworks without the risk.

    Have a driving plan. If you’re planning on sipping on more than two beers, make sure your partner or friend is staying sober, and vice versa. If you’re both planning on heavily drinking, leave the car at home, and walk or take a cab to your party destination. Driving on the 4th of July can be incredibly stressful. Have a game plan in mind, or a friend’s couch to sleep on.

    Don’t leave your grill unattended. If you’re grilling up food for an outdoor gathering, don’t get distracted by drinking or chatting with your guests. While grilling, keep your focus on the grill! Your friends won’t mind once they taste the scrumptious burgers and hot dogs.

    Wear sunscreen. Apply at least SPF 30 around 20 minutes before heading outside and reapply every two years. Wearing sunscreen significantly reduces your risk for skin cancer. Plus, painful red skin after a party is no fun!

    We hope your 4th of July is filled with fun and festive activities, but that you also keep safety in mind while celebrating. Above all: kick back and relax, but stay alert. Although it’s always a great time, 4th of July comes with many dangers that you need to stay smart to navigate.

  • This entry was posted in Patio on June 20, 2016

  • Decorating your patio is an opportunity to show your personality, and create a special place to host gatherings, games, and solo sessions with a glass of wine and a best seller.

    Studies show spending time outdoors makes you a happier person. With a carefully decorated and planned patio, you can create a space to cater to any activity you love.

    Once you have your space just the way you want it, you need to start thinking about how to maintain it! Prone to dust, dirt and other outdoor debris, patios get dirtier than any other area in our homes. Below are a few tips for keeping your patio space in top-notch shape so you can enjoy it all summer long.

    Sweep, then soak. When doing a thorough clean of your patio (which you should do at least once a year at the beginning of the summer season), sweep off everything you can first. Then hose down the patio flooring with mild detergent (or another cleaning solution of your choice) and water.

    Know your patio well. Different patio materials require different maintenance and methods of cleaning. When purchasing patio flooring, make sure to ask the sales associate what tips they have for keeping it clean and making it last as long as it can. Search online for your patio material as well, and you can find numerous guides for how to take care of the flooring.

    Schedule a weekly cleaning. Make sure you have a small weekly cleaning session on the calendar – and stick to it. Use this time to clear off outdoor debris like leaves, dirt, stray flowers, etc.

    Take care of your furniture too. Make sure you’re washing patio cushions every few weeks. Always bring them inside when you’re expecting rain. Cushions develop mold easily, and once they do, you won’t be able to reuse them. Another often-neglected patio item is umbrellas. These need to be cleaned thoroughly with detergent and water once or twice during the summer.

    Patio maintenance is much easier than most people think. If you take the time to do a deep clean of your space at the beginning of the summer and then schedule weekly smaller cleanup sessions, you can keep your patio looking as new as the first day you designed it. Don’t let your dream space become a home for leaves, soil, and animal droppings. With these simple tips, you’ll have a lovely place to hang out in all summer long.

  • This entry was posted in Bikes on June 16, 2016

  • Tracking how far you’ve gone, helping you find the best routes, and enabling you to meet other bike-loving people in your area, who would have thought our phones could help improve our health?

    But it’s true. 90% of adults have smart phones, which has given rise to a huge increase in health-related apps that can help you take small steps toward improving your wellness on the go.

    From where it’s safest to ride, to how to find cool new routes, bikers can benefit from this rise in health apps more than anyone. Below are a few of the best apps around specifically for bike lovers.

    Map My Ride. Keep track of where you’ve gone and how far you’ve ridden with Map My Ride. This is much easier than scribbling your stats down in a notebook, and you’ll have the information with you wherever you go! There’s also the option to share your ride information on your social media channels. Available on both iOS and Android.

    Strava. This tracking app not only records when and where you’ve gone, but how your speed has compared to other cyclists. Strava also lets you join cycling groups and network with other bike enthusiasts. Available on both iOS and Android.

    Bikemap. Bored with the same old routes? Bikemap can help you discover new areas to explore – and you can share your tried and true routes with other users. The app holds more than 2.8 million paths – you’ll never get bored again. Available on both iOS and Android.

    Rise. Devoted bikers need the fuel to match the intensity of their workouts. Rise pairs users with a registered dietician to monitor their eating on a daily basis. Instagram devotees will find the app especially easy to use – you simply upload photos of everything you eat, and record your water intake and physical activity. Currently only available on iOS.

    Often viewed as a “lone wolf” activity, biking can be an incredibly social activity if you use your smart phone, health-related apps and other social media sites to share your favorite routes, best times, and yummy fuel. These four apps are a great start to all of the resources available on your phone to improve your biking experience – and there are many more bike-related health apps to be found.

    Use this summer to explore your favorite cities and routes with some of the best health apps around. It can take your cycling experience to the next level!

  • This entry was posted in Bikes on June 09, 2016

  • There’s nothing more satisfying than getting where you need to go through riding a bike. Offering great exercise and a unique perspective on every route, bikes and living in cities that enable you to ride them can significantly improve your quality of living.

    But not every city is built for bikes yet. Cities without bike lanes or cultures accepting of cyclists sometimes make it seem like the roads are built only for cars.

    Below are a few of the best cities for bike commuters in the United States. If you’re serious about biking your way around, these cities could be a great home for you!

    Washington, DC. Washington DC has the second largest percentage of bike commuters (4.5%) among the largest US cities. Not to mention, the DC area has beautiful views for bike riding! Check out Old Town Alexandria, and Georgetown for fun areas with lots to do.

    Boulder, Colorado. Mountain views don’t get better than this, and world-class bike paths make this the ideal city for the cyclist. Boulder even hosts its own bike share program – Boulder B-cycle.

    Seattle, Washington. Seattle is so in-tune with its cyclists that they’ve installed a bike lane marked off by plastic posts on Second Avenue. Plus, nonprofit Cascade Bicycle Club is making gigantic strides in ensuring motorists who hit cyclists are penalized, and that the road is safe for everyone.

    New York City. With more than 350 new miles of bike lanes created in the last few years, New York City has made more adjustments to become more bike friendly than any other city in the country. Avoid hectic mass transit by exploring the city and all it has to offer on your bicycle.

    San Francisco, CA. Many call San Francisco the most bike friendly city in the country. And with a vibrant cultural and food scene, there are many places to stop off while taking a ride in San Francisco!

    Portland, Oregon. It’s said that 17,000 people commute on bikes in Portland – the highest percentage of any large American city.

    What are your favorite cities for biking? Even if you don’t live in a super bike-friendly area, it’s sometimes fun to fit biking into your vacation. Choose one of the cities above, and cater your vacation around staying active and getting where you need to go all on a bicycle.

  • This entry was posted in Bikes on June 07, 2016

  • Biking is a great way for kids to explore their independence and neighborhoods. There’s nothing better than cruising down an open street with your best pals by your side. And biking builds all kinds of skills we strive to give our kids: teamwork, strength, endurance, and coordination.

    But biking doesn’t come without warnings – in 2013, 98 children under the age of 19 died from bike related injuries. Below are a few tips for keeping your kid safe this summer, while encouraging them to go out, explore, make new friends, and enjoy all the bike fun the warm weather season has to offer.

    Wear a helmet! First and foremost, make sure your kid knows they 100% at all times need to be wearing a helmet when riding a bike. Here are some significant statistics: Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by at least 45 percent, brain injury by 33 percent, facial injury by 27 percent and fatal injury by 29 percent.

    Make sure your kid’s bike fits. 1 to 2 inches should be in between your kid and their bike while they are standing over it. Getting the right fit is really important. Your kid will be more alert and react better to distractions if they’re comfortable.

    Always be watching. Tell your child bike safety is about more than making sure they’re riding safely. It’s about proactively looking out for mistakes other people could be making, and finding ways to avoid potential accidents. They can only really control their own behavior, but they should always be riding defensively, since they can’t guarantee everyone is as careful as them.

    Make sure your kid is seen. We’d recommend advising your kid to never ride at night for a few reasons: 1) tons of crime happens at night, and 2) it’s hard for cars to see them. If they do need to ride at night for some reason though, make sure they’re adorned with colorful clothing that will stand out to drivers in the dark. In addition, reflectors on your kid’s bicycle are required in many states, and they’re essential for nighttime riding safety.

    With these four tips in mind, your kid can have a safe and happy summer enjoying their bikes by themselves and with good friends. Biking riding has so many benefits for young folks – but don’t forget to warn them about the potential dangers and hazards to look out for! Happy riding!



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