Wind-Blox Blog

Wind-Blox Blog

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 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!

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


Pop-Up Plazas Love Bikes, Follow Up December 05 2014, 0 Comments

Our fair city, Portland, is doing something hip and oh-so bikey!  In early October a block's worth of downtown streets will be made into a pop-up plaza.  There will be a protected bike lane, cafes and lots of fun for everyone.  


After the success of this, and similar events, Portland is ready to invest!  New paint, new crosswalks and more are coming!

Check it out here


Halloween on Bikes? October 02 2014, 0 Comments

Our fair city has a Halloween bike ride and mobile dance party.  If you've got no plans, come to PDX and party.  

Then again, these costume options would work just about anywhere (anywhere cool, that is).


We aren't sure if you need a trike for this one...



A favorite ET option




These are quite elaborate




Trends = Spotted! September 26 2014, 0 Comments

We wanted to share three of the favorites we found at InterBike.  

Fat Bikes!  They're so huge--and look utterly capable.  Many people may test them out just to see if they're like a self-propelled ATV!  

E-bikes are not new, but they're developing quickly.  There's even a bit of an e-bike vs fat bike thing going around. To combine the best of both, Big Cat E-Bykes has the Fat Cat which is a sight to behold!  We really like Long Island Electric Bike and our favorite way to try an e-bike would have to be with Let It Ride bike tours in Bend, Oregon.  There's also a great new e-bike kit coming soon from the brilliant folks at Daymak.  We're definitely staying tuned!

Glide Bikes has some of the finest craftsmanship available in some of the tiniest bikes out there.  Glide's balance bikes are made with skill and precision.  They're also making adaptive bikes which is an exciting new trend.


Touring August 25 2014, 0 Comments

Bicycle touring is a fun way to incorporate sport and beauty.  In our state you can get brochures from the Department of Transportation that outline the opportunities.  For riders who want to find adventure, we found that bike tour finder is an excellent resource.  In Europe there are themed rides, supported tours and backroads rides to choose from.  The World's Most Dangerous Road also has rides that the daring can take, and some dare to ride it for charity.  


Bike and Scooter Fun Night August 19 2014, 0 Comments

Our community is having a bike and scooter fun night and we're getting it set.  We've not done one of these before and our main goals are to keep it fun and simple.  After reading all the pinterest-pretty suggestions and the intricate ideas, here's what we're doing instead:

It will be a fun night (as compared to a safety skills training)

There will be a special parking area and helmet table

     Helmets will be judged for fit, decorations available for those who would like to get fancy and prizes awarded

A large parking lot will be divided into thirds

Slow course (bikes only)

     During the timed slow course riders must follow a chalk line that is sometimes a bit curvy.  They may not put their feet down or the timer stops.  Each rider will be given their time at the end.

Obstacle course

     Riders go around obstacles trying for accuracy and speed.  Any touch of an obstacle causes a rider to re-start


     Separate heats will be available for bikes and scooters.  This will be timed, or may end up as a race against a good-humored adult.

Bike Wash

     At the end of the evening, a bike wash (also known as a sprinkler you can ride under) will be available to enjoy!