MTB to PPE
How mountain bike brands are helping keep key workers safe.
Hope is loved for its technical innovations and its in-house production, which makes it an ideal candidate to help out in the current crisis. To that end, the Yorkshire brand has been making PPE in the shape of eye screens for its local health trust.
“The idea came from the design guys, they figured out they could make them and asked if that was OK with Hope… we said yes, of course you can,” says Alan Weatherill from Hope.
“We used an open-source design at first, then we realised we could use our head harness as that is much more comfortable.” Clear polycarbonate sheet is cut on Hope’s carbon cutter, before being mounted to a harness via a specially made 3D printed mount. The printers run 23 hours a day to make around 140 a week, which Alan says is heart-breaking because it’s just a drop in the ocean.
Less exciting but arguably more importantly, Hope is also involved in a British-built ventilator project led by Sagentia, machining a single part in the production chain, and now making 1,000 parts per week.
Muc-Off has been furnishing frontline workers with a ready supply of its antibacterial chamois cream. Not for saddle sores, but to soothe the skin where it comes into contact with face masks. Muc-Off also makes a huge new range of anti-bac sprays and gels, which it’s been delivering to the Royal Mail in the Poole and Dorset area where the company is based, while 10 per cent of all profits from the range will go to the WHO’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The brand has also fired up its 3D printers to make facemasks, and ear protectors to reduce chaffing. The brand’s not done there either – there’s a commitment to donate 100,000 products to the NHS even after the crisis is over. “It’s about an on-going programme of care with a sustained level of impact,” says Oli Rudgard from Muc-Off.
Pinching bikes is unscrupulous at the best of times, but stealing NHS workers’ bikes has to be a new low. That’s why Hiplok has given away 100 of its wearable bike locks to hospitals currently being targeted by bike thieves. The UK brand has also run a kids’ poster competition to help spread the word about bike thefts – search #stopbikethief on Instagram.
Goggles for Docs
Goggles for Docs started in the US but there’s now a UK site looking to help out over here too. They’re after goggles – new or used, tinted or clear – to donate to NHS workers treating Covid-19 patients. So break out those goggles (ideally the new ones you were saving for the summer) and send them off, and spread the word at #gogglesfordocs
OK, so Pedal MTB can’t help fight Covid-19, but the North Wales coaching company has offered free coaching to key workers after social distancing ends. It’s open for all key workers, from delivery drivers to care workers, doctors to nurses, and you could be in line for free, half-day coaching sessions at Coed y Brenin over a single weekend. Non-mountain bikers can go along too; Bikes Brenin is offering free bike hire on selected bikes for the coaching days, while Kingud, Endura and Mudhugger will dish out prizes during the day. Places will be limited though, so register asap at pedalmtb.co.uk.
Trash Free Trails
While riding takes a back seat at the moment, how about combining your daily exercise with a little litter picking? Connecting with nature and making a positive difference to our world could genuinely help us all out at the moment. So Trash Free Trails has decided not to cancel its Spring Trail Clean Tour, and instead of big groups of litter pickers you can do it on your own and put the experience on the socials. TFT wants us to riff on the self-isolation hashtag and instead use #selfLESSisolation to build some momentum.
The global MTB fight
Yeti is in the process of making and delivering 10,000 face shields in the US. Smith Optics and sports brand Black Diamond are involved too, dishing out over 6,000 yards of elastic goggle-strap material. Yeti has also sourced 24,000 medical-grade masks from one of its suppliers, all destined for health care workers.
100% has donated over 2,000 goggles and has partnered with Goggles for Docs, with the brand’s HQ now the official drop-off location in San Diego, California. The brand has also partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US and is donating 20 per cent of its web sales’ proceeds to the fundraising page.
Bell and Giro are both giving out 3,194 goggles to healthcare workers in the US, heading out to hospitals and public health facilities in 18 states and 41 different health care facilities.
Industry Nine hopes to make 1,000,000 reusable protective masks this month, after a collaborating with Kitsbow apparel, Watershed Drybags and leather goods company Oowee Products.
Santa Cruz is working split shifts, seven days a week to make face shields. Using plastic sheeting cut on CNC machines, it has currently knocked out and shipped 3,000, with another 12,000 in the works. Ibis has joined in too, using its facilities to cut the eye shields and speed up production.
SRAM has turned over its Zipp wheels facility to the Covid cause, making over 2,000 protective masks per day in the Indianapolis area, where it’s based. To date, they’ve made over 150,000 of the things. #millionmaskchallenge