It’s not shocking that we here at PNW like to ride bikes, in particular mountain bikes. But, with many trailheads closed and taking risks pushing our limits questionable ethically, we have decided to embrace some of our other activities and hobbies. We are calling this PNW and The Quarantine and we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite isolation activities through this three-part series.
What Mountain Bikers Do When They Can’t Mountain Bike
Dealing with Quarantine:
We are all working through life in isolation. The lack of social interaction, always working from home, and constant cohabitation has its challenges.
Yet, in these challenges, there are some pretty wonderful things happening. Andrew, our COO, explains it this way: “With two adults working from home, a three-year-old human, and five-year-old herder mix, quarantine has been anything but boring. With all the inconveniences and challenges we are still managing to have a good time at the house.”
Chris, our Customer Care Manager, has a great perspective on the whole situation, “Working so close to my beer fridge has been interesting. The pressure of cracking a beer at lunch is real haha (in my last life I was a craft beer rep). I miss the social time with friends and random people but this cool little app called “Houseparty” has been a unique way to see friends.
In all honesty, though, it has been a great time to get closer with my wonderful lady friend and our furry child. We have both been staying healthy with home workouts, walks, runs, and plenty of fetch sessions at the park for our boy Rooster. He is the MOST stoked that we are home day in and day out."
Neighborhood Bike Gang
While we may not be chasing each other down gnarly singletrack, at our core we all love bikes... so we’re still riding bikes.*
The name of the game in the world of COVID-19 is smaller, slicker tires. Emily, our CMO, who has been exploring the great city of Seattle on two wheels, says, “Currently, I am staying away from MTB trails (I’m a liability even when there isn’t a pandemic going on, just ask Lindsay who has seen me crash almost every time I ride with her). Being in Seattle, our local trail association, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, has asked us to proceed with caution, and I’m a confirmed spaz so this applies to me. Switching from knobby tires to slicks has been great as I haven’t been on a road bike much in the past few years and forgot how much I loved it. And because I am in Marketing, I have to tell you, putting the Coast Handlebars on my Tarmac has been SO FUN, it really allows you to mash around a bit more when you’re out of the saddle. They’re darn comfy.”
TJ, our Sales Manager, also went the narrower route to make the local trails a bit more interesting: “With the local bike community urging us to not get too rowdy, I decided this would be a great time to install some super skinny XC tires on my trail bike. This has made the mellower green trails in my neighborhood feel much more exciting!”
As this whole thing has progressed, Lindsay, Marketing and Field Sales, has been figuring out the best way to play on bikes: “My activities have shifted around considerably, as we’ve gotten further into this strange time.
At the beginning, when social distancing seemed like enough, I picked up a sweet DJ bike (26” liiiives!), and started living my best pump track life. Riding in the woods seemed like an unreasonable risk in case of injury (I have no chill), and I didn’t want to tax our already overworked healthcare system.
It soon became clear that I was not the only one with this idea, and the pump track became too crowded so I switched to gravel riding...In reality, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to take off on gravel epics from my front door. I’m currently getting 3 weeks per gallon on the Subaru, and have scouted every path and unknown street within a 50-mile radius on my gravel rig.”
With a garage and some spare lumber Hilary, our Digital Marketing Specialist, found new ways to play on two wheels: “The most fun thing we have done in our isolation is to make a manual trainer. And by we, I mean my husband made a manual trainer. I now have no excuses and am aiming to come out of this quarantine with all sorts of driveway tricks.”
Chris is still able to get in those chill laps and tinker in the garage and says,
“Quarantine life has not been too much of a transition for me since cycling is still considered an essential activity. I am still getting out for my Dad hour dawn patrol rides before work at least 3 days a week which is really preventing me from blowing a gasket.
Family man Andrew has been experiencing the joys of #striderlife: “My son’s strider skills have definitely gone up a level. After riding off a 2x4 he now thinks the back stairs are fair game…not so fast big guy. “
*We here at PNW Components are taking the strain on the medical system very seriously. Every one of us has changed the way we ride and are following the guidelines of our local bike advocacy groups and trail organizations to make sure we are not being part of the problem but citizens that respect their community and are working towards a healthy US and world.
Let’s Get Physical
Some of us are being very responsible and using this time to get REAL fit.
Take Reilly, our Content Manager, who has turned his small apartment into the exercise haven he has always wanted (that may be a bit of an exaggeration): “I was able to get my hands on a decent amount of kettlebells, balance boards and Bosu Balls before they sold out so I can work on strengthening balance related muscles. I’m hoping I can hit the trails post-quarantine feeling like I haven’t missed a beat.”
Lindsay, aside from her gravel adventures, has also spent some time working on her home gym, and says, “I’ve organized my home gym and gotten into the foam rolling game. Now we wait until life gets back to normal, and we’re all back on the trails high-fiving after applying chapstick with wild abandon.”
And to get into the cross training game, Adam, our Director of Product Development, is also finding a way to stay fit, and has "gotten quite a few more hours in trail running around town, which is always a great way to cross-train for MTB and road biking.”
What are All of You Up To?
We have found that staying away from others doesn’t mean staying inactive. And while basically all of us admitted to binging Tiger King while devouring baked goods, we have found staying physically active great therapy. We’d love to hear how all of you are staying active and sane during this pandemic. We have more quarantine tales from the PNW crew coming your way soon.