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.
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.
Safer Lanes for Safer Cities April 18 2015, 0 Comments
Safe urban commuting requires riders and drivers to be aware of one another. When a good friend of ours was hit and out of commission for a long while, we began wondering what cities other than ours do to keep their bike commuters safe.
For years our regular bike commute involved a tricky intersection that we flat-out avoided during peak hours. A bridge off-ramp, cars preparing to merge with a large busy road, and a poorly marked bike lane added to the complexity of this area--the only provision for safety was a line of installed 'candlesticks'. While we appreciated the city for installing these, we were willing to ride well out of our way in order to skip the dangerous dance with four-wheeled vehicles.
A favorite option that provides a cheaper, more attractive option is to add a row of flower boxes on the edge of the bike lane. The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition made a 'pop up bike lane' for only $600. This brought a new interest in bike safety, made the ride more enjoyable, and beautified the city.
(The Green Lane Project is part of the People For Bikes program, of which Wind-Blox is a part)
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.
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.
At the end of the evening, a bike wash (also known as a sprinkler you can ride under) will be available to enjoy!
Biking fun in Portland August 06 2014, 0 Comments
Our city has bike events galore! Even events that are not bike-specific have become hybridized due to the popularity of riding in Portland. Recently a large yearly concert offered 200 bike parking spaces and was filled. Tomorrow, August 7, the local Street of Dreams is getting in on the fun. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance announced that there will be bike tours, bike gifts, bike-powered refreshments, a biking coach, and of course a VIP bike corral.
Summer Venture Rides June 09 2014, 0 Comments
Venture Expeditions creates charity rides to raise both awareness and money for important causes. This summer their cyclists will be riding with greater safety and having even more fun since they'll be wearing Blox while riding to benefit the International Justice Mission and Love Does. Wind-Blox is all about partnering to build redemptive joy (thank you Storyline and Donald Miller!) and so very excited to find a soul-first group to work with like Venture.