Spandex? Required? May 27 2015, 0 Comments
I was recently asked "why is it that Americans think they need to look like they're in the Tour de France before they can ride across town?" Obviously it is not possible to answer for a nation or even all the riders within the country, but still there seemed to be validity to the question. People on bikes wear spandex. Some people wear a whole lot of spandex, and there are some reasons to wear spandex. There are also days when a person might even wish others didn't wear so much spandex! In the questioner's mind my attendance at InterBike seems to have qualified me to answer.
There were so many amazing products presented. Specialties within sub-groups embedded in micro-cultures emerged, and all of them with marketing strategies and target audiences. Lots of spandex. And it makes sense. These produces add ease of movement, identification with a culture, and a feeling of fitness. I have a list of new favorite spandex bike skirts, never-wear jerseys and must-have caps.
Even recreational riders like me own spandex. Not quite as much as some riders, but more than I had years ago. I dream of riding a century, cyclocross, or charity tour. It would be fun to own a fat bike, cargo bike, tandem or e-bike. I love watching tall bikes roam my city and helping with a bike rodeo was a highlight of my summer. As a recreational rider, all I need is a bike, two good legs and my favorite helmet (of course, with wind-blox). One of my bike heros, Elly Blue, wrote about choosing your first bike. Her bold statement--it doesn't matter what kind of bike you get. This applies even more to gear; just a bike, legs and helmet are needed!
Taking in the beauty of being atop a bike, feeling the strength in one's own legs, enjoying the ride...none of these require spandex. All of these can bring joy and fitness.
Concerns Regarding Strava Bike Mapping May 26 2015, 0 Comments
Portland joins Glasgow, London, Orlando and others to map its riders. While this sampling should capture over 5 million miles of riding before it is finished, there are some major concerns.
Strava, the app being used, is a smartphone app. While many bicyclists ride and record their journeys with strava, this only applies to those who are a. using smartphones b. using smartphones consistently and c.using this particular app. Economically those who use smartphones are more likely to already have a voice, so the data collected will likely be skewed toward those with more means and away from those with greater transportation needs. Many people who bike using smartphones do not use them consistently (or lose charge!). There are lots of apps, and granted, strava is among the most popular it is not alone in the market; though the app reports that users record 2.5 million activities (including running) each week.
There are also some big privacy concerns. Many people prefer not to have their data recorded and/or purchased by government entities even if the promised result could be helpful. With all the potential uses of personal information, there are folks who would much rather not participate.
In Which We Link You Up May 24 2015, 0 Comments
With so much great bicycling content, we want to share some of our favorites.
Though we were already fans, when we became acquainted with the League of American Bicyclists at InterBike we liked them even more! Their advocacy mission is nicely paired with practical advice. For example, their common-sense tips make a big difference no matter your level of expertise.
Ten Speed Hero is a gorgeous tumblr blog and a great place to check if you're ready to be inspired. Be sure to see their regular blog as well--they have great features like this one about their team.
If you're not familiar with Copenhagenize now is the time to learn! They have lots of information about urban cycling and include pieces that are a bit unusual as well.
Our home town favorite, Bike Portland, is both popular and interesting. Jonathan Maus and his staff update locals on bike-related events and news while balancing this with articles that are relevant for riders in other locales. A cool feature they include is job listings. When bike-loving job-seeking friends of ours mention how much they'd like to move to our town, we always point them here. We check BikePortland.org regularly and think you will too.
Fit Matters May 17 2015, 0 Comments
Fit is important for proper functioning of Wind-Blox.
First, attach the blox
- Open the velcro attachment
- Place Blox on the strap that will be in front of your ear
- Close the velcro so that the flap will face backwards
Second, check your helmet straps:
- The side straps should form a Y just below your earlobe
- The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when you open your mouth very wide you feel the helmet pull down a little bit
With the helmet in position on your head, adjust the length of the rear straps, then the length of the front straps, to locate the Y fitting where the straps come together just under your ear
Third, adjust your Blox:
- Check your Blox to make sure that they rest against your cheek
- Slide your Blox along the strap so that the length of the Blox is aligned to your ear
Last, compare your fit with this picture:
another great resource is this step-by-step featuring Giro helmets
Keeping Tots Riding Safely May 15 2015, 0 Comments
Glide Bikes, Striders, Early Riders and the like are quite an exciting addition to the biking family. Its so cool for the tandems to have child to call their own ;)
While its fun to put your tinies on a teensy bike, remember safety. Helmets need to be worn correctly--and given our time in the bike rodeo circuit--this is not common!
Check the y-strap to make sure it y's right below your child's earlobe.
Make sure the chin strap is snug. Two fingers between the chin and strap is all the play you should have.
Adjust the helmet so that it is two fingers above your child's eyebrows (this is one of the most common errors among all riders).
Then, when they're ready to hit the road for a family outing, make sure you put Blox on their helmet straps. This really helps them to be able to hear you AND approaching traffic!
Riding has so many benefits May 13 2015, 0 Comments
Art and Biking May 10 2015, 0 Comments
Open up Pinterest and you can find almost anything...some of our favorite searches include bicycle art. We've enjoyed it so much that we developed a pin board devoted to bike art http://www.pinterest.com/WindBloxSports/bike-art/
On of our favorite artists has got to be Mark Fairhurst! He makes art deco style posters as well as other incredible pieces.
Another favorite, with an entirely different genre is Bikeyface. She's got a great sense of humor and it really shows in her work.
There are also some fun retro and vintage photographs available--nice Audrey Hepburn portraits, many penny farthing pictures and some really cool bike+surfing shots.
Generations of Riders (a photo essay) May 03 2015, 0 Comments
When the boomers rode their bikes to work people may have wondered if they were saving money--and during the gas crisis of the 70's that was a significant savings!
When GenXers rode to work...did they?
Yuppies, um, not so much, they were far too busy.
Now, though, there is a new group of riders who aren't being ironic, or necessarily saving money, they just ride.
Many enjoy Tweed Rides.
This generation of bike-to-work folks is on trend, more fit and geared up.
Check this article to see the high tech gear!
Helmet Library April 30 2015, 0 Comments
Our company has a helmet library...a large helmet library and it is growing.
We've got Bells, Berns, Giros and Nutcases.
Now that we've been to InterBike we're dreaming of the new metroride line Nutcase is selling soon, Kasks, Cratonis and anything by Vittoria.
Oh, and a helmet with a tiara wouldn't hurt our feelings either
Kickstarter Review April 28 2015, 0 Comments
We kickstarted back in the fall of 2013 and had a blast! While we set it up to be in the US alone, we quickly found a large amount of international interest. Wind-Blox was also able to test styles to see what people were looking for. Many people had recommended animal patterns, for example, so we made those but found that Black Blox were much more popular. It was a quick run of 30 days and we enjoyed every minute!
Now as we continue building our brand, we wonder if we'll kickstart again...it was a wonderful wild ride and we had results that were even better than we expected. Stay tuned!!
Can You Hear Me Now? April 25 2015, 0 Comments
Annoying wind noise is enough to keep some people off their bikes. One of our early customers wrote us shortly after receiving his order of Wind-Blox to let us know how helpful the Blox had been for his tinnitus. He stated that quieting the wind-noise helped calm the tinnitus, adding less noise made a huge difference for him. Since that time we have heard this from many customers.
Hyperacusis is another hearing problem that is aided with use of our wind blocking devices. With hyperacusis there is a heightened awareness of sound, and those with hyperacusis sometimes choose to limit their activities to those which produce little sound. This often excludes the joy of biking, due to wind noise. Now customers are able to rejoin their love of bike riding and often send their friends our way, too.
Friends and Their Links April 23 2015, 0 Comments
Wind-Blox has friends all over the web-o-sphere (is that a word?). We'd love to share a few links
My Bike Magazine just posted an article on us: Block Wind Noise and Enjoy the Ride
to learn more about them go to their site
We support People For Bikes, since we are actually people and we are for bikes.
Cyclr is a great friend of ours across the pond
We also became pals with Big Cat E-Bykes at InterBike. Check these guys out! They've some some seriously cool rides.
We have many others, but wanted to be sure to share these with you.
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