Cycling Industry Fights
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has shaken up our world, but the cycling industry is fighting back by assisting healthcare workers with face masks, face shields, ventilation parts and more. Cycling companies around the world have transitioned their employees to working remotely in an effort to prevent the spread of this virus, while other companies are standing on the front lines to support healthcare workers. We’d like to highlight those brave companies within our industry who have joined the fight against the global pandemic.
Kitsbow switched its production from creating bike apparel to making face masks and shields for first responders and medical providers in its hometown of Western, North Carolina. After photos surfaced on social media, Kitsbow experienced a flood of engagement from all over the country. Kitsbow employees suddenly found themselves needing to assemble over 100,000 units during the first week of production. With help from wheel manufacturer and Asheville-based neighbor Industry Nine, Kitsbow has found a way to manufacture around 10,000 face shields per day.
Goggles for Docs is a volunteer program that came together in just a few days with the goal of supporting hospitals with eye-protection needs. Cycling, ski and motocross companies have joined the fight against COVID-19 by supplying new and used goggles and eyewear. Ludo Boinnard, CEO of 100%, had this to say: “The team at 100% has been taking turns in the office to fill PPE eyewear requests from those on the front lines.” It’s not a promotion or a sale. It’s a program they quickly developed to donate PPE to those from the front lines helping us. “It started with a few of our employees getting calls from friends and family members requesting protective eyewear,” said 100%’s Ludo. “What these brave men and women are doing to protect all of us is truly heroic, and we’re honored to be able to contribute to keeping them safe.”
Fox Racing, a Southern California apparel and gear company, joined the Goggles for Docs program. Fox had this to say, “We’re all in this together. Medical staff around the world are under-equipped and need eye protection, new or used, now. Fox is donating to #GogglesForDocs to provide goggles and N95 masks to the U.S. healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. And you can, too. Visit #GogglesForDocs to help now.”
Smith Optics is also currently sending new and used goggles to fulfill hospital requests and will continue to promote the program. They said they are encouraging their community to volunteer and donate on an individual level.
“Healthcare workers have always taken care of us,” said Yeti Cycles. “Patching riders up countless times since 1985.” Yeti decided they needed to give back to their heroes on the front lines by temporarily refocusing production to make PPE shields. Yeti claims they have ramped up to produce 1,000 shields a day.
Fly was yet another company to join the fight against COVID-19. “We are stronger together, and together we will overcome,” said Fly Racing. The company is actively supporting the Goggles for Docs program. A large box of goggles was shown on their social media account, saying it was being delivered to the University of Utah Medical Center.
“Thank you to all the medical staff and first responders working hard at the forefront to help stop the spread. The goggles we donated through Goggles For Docs are getting to where they need to be, and we couldn’t be more stoked!”
Asheville-based wheel manufacturer Industry Nine reached out on social media offering a helping hand, claiming to have over 100 CNC machines ready and available to assist in machining components for ventilators. Industry Nine told their social media following this: “At our disposal are dozens of CNC machines ready to make parts in short supply like ventilator components. Our engineering teams have years of robotics and automation experience ready to support companies producing PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) like masks and gloves. We’re reaching out to our contact network to find ways to support these industries in need.”
Local North Carolina companies Kitsbow, Watershed Drybags and Oowee Products jumped at the opportunity to help. Together they have a goal of manufacturing 1,000,000 reusable protective masks during the month of April.
Oregon-based apparel company Dakine has switched up production to supply Providence Hood River Hospital with face masks. “We are just getting the surge towards our local hospital, and they are in big need of these,” said Dakine. “So, for now they [our masks] are all spoken for.” Dakine hopes to ramp up production to help aid the larger surrounding area.
Muc-Off received a DM from a bike-loving nurse based in a COVID-19 intensive care unit at a hospital in London. She told Muc-Off how their antibacterial Chamois Cream could be used as an anti-chafing barrier between her and her mask. The product was also useful for healing dry, cracked skin caused by constantly washing her hands between patients. Muc-Off acted fast and shipped thousands of products to hospitals and healthcare workers, as well as ambulance paramedics across the UK.
Chrome Industries, a popular bag manufacturer, posted the following public service announcement on its social media: “PSA: Make masks, help out! Following the widespread shortage of protective masks and advice from the CDC, we’re making masks for medical workers in need. Know how to sew? Get on board with the movement and make some for the folks in your local community.” Those interested in making their own masks can find instructions here: www.freesewing.org.
Whoop is a fitness tracker used by athletes to collect valuable data for their training. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Whoop asked users who tested positive to share their results so they can be shared with healthcare workers and bring out any COVID-19 insights. “We have a new journal in the app in which members can tag if they’ve tested positive while sharing symptoms, and we are also looking at deidentified, aggregated results from that,” said Whoop. “We’ve already posted a story, which references some of our initial findings, and are digging in to see how symptoms track with respiratory rate, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, recovery, sleep and more.”
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.