At what we’re rather understatedly finding ourselves referring to as “this difficult time,” any morsel of good news is welcome. So far cycling seems to be stepping up, proving itself to be every bit the collective, collaborative community we thought it was. From clothing brands switching to the production of protective equipment to riders scrubbing up, here are a few of the positive pieces of news we’ve seen in the last few weeks.
Santini have switched from making jerseys to facemasks
Italian clothing company, Santini, who are based in Lombardy region, the region which has suffered more than any other in this crisis, have converted their production line from primo cycling jerseys to protective apparel.
Paola Santini, the company’s marketing director, said the masks are being made to the highest standards: “Our prototype is reusable, sterilisable and washable up to 90-95 degrees with the integrity of the fabric being guaranteed for use up to ten times.” They are designed to fit as close as possible, while remaining comfortable to ensure they can be worn for extended periods of time. The company have said they will not make any profit from the masks, and are selling them at cost. For Santini, this is a very personal crisis: “We live in the eye of the storm, we feel this emergency on our skin.”
3T no longer a bike factory
Another news story from the north of Italy, concerns bike manufacturer 3T. In an email, 3T’s President and CEO, Rene Wierts, told Rouleur that “we have figured out that our factory can produce valves, which can be used for breathing machines. So today we started to make these simple valves, and we are very happy that we can contribute to our community. I hope that our valves will save some lives.”
In a separate initiative, 3T have teamed up with Zwift and turbo trainer greats, Elite, to create a product bundle that donates $500 to Bergamo Hospital for each one sold.
Bigla-Katusha rider Elise Chabbey has gone from WorldTour racing to fighting coronavirus
Before the coronavirus storm swept through everything, Elise Chabbey was supposed to have been riding Strade Bianche. The 26 year-old Swiss rider, in only her second season as a professional, had started the season strongly and was looking forward to seeing what she could do in the spring classics. With all races cancelled, however, she reverted to her other calling, medicine.
As a recently graduated doctor of medicine, within a week of the races being called off, Elise was back at Geneva University Hospital, monitoring and treating patients affected by coronavirus as well as others. “What’s happening now is unprecedented,” she told her team. “Given the severity of the situation, I feel like I have to do something.”
Brewdog brewing hand sanitiser (and giving it away)
Okay, so this one isn’t strictly a cycling story, but with their Chaingang cycling club and accompanying range of merch, there’s no questioning Brewdog’s wheely strong credentials in this area. They’re also the official beer supplier to the Rouleur Classic, which makes them a bike brand in our book. With the UK experiencing shortages of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, the Aberdeenshire-based brewer has turned over a few of their tanks to help increase the supply.
Founder James Watt said they would be giving Brewgel ‘punk sanitiser’ away for free, with the priority going to those fighting the coronavirus on the frontline. “We are determined to do everything we can to try and help as many people as possible stay safe,” he said.
Kalas have produced 9000+ face masks
Kalas, kit supplier to the medal-gorging British Cycling team, are another company putting their sewing machines to good use at this time. With some questions (to say the least) being asked about whether key health and emergency services workers in Britain are receiving the public protection equipment they need, Kalas have stepped up.
The company, based in Somerset, made the announcement on their Instagram page last Friday: “Thanks to the high commitment of the Kalas production team, a total of 9,452 face masks have been produced and supplied to firefighters, paramedics, doctors, municipalities and retirement homes to help to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”
Passoni auction a bike with all proceeds going to a Bergamo hospital
With their Atelier in Milan at the heart of the coronavirus crisis in Europe, Passoni have seen the devastating effects of Covid-19 firsthand. To help their inundated local health service, they have put offered one of the newly created 25 Fidia Milano-Sanremo bikes up for auction to benefit CESVI – one of the largest humanitarian organisations in Italy, with 30 offices worldwide.
The donation will help them purchase equipment for the intensive care unit of Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo and support vulnerable over-65s in the Bergamo and Milan regions. To visit the auction and support this fine cause, click through here.
Free issues of Rouleur via the app
While not in Elise Chabbey’s league, by any means, we’re hoping that access to the Rouleur archive will help pass the time for those of you holed up at home, and maybe somewhat make up for the absence of any racing. Find it in the Apple app or Google play stores, swipe right on issues until you find one that says “Download” (they start with issue 20.1) and gorge yourself on the finest photography and stories in cycling.
Alé and Movistar invite you to stay home and design a jersey for them
Alé and Movistar Team are inviting all fans to design the jersey that the Movistar Team will wear in the first UCI race after the end of the COVID-19 crisis. The winning jersey, after two rounds of voting, made by Alé, will then be auctioned, with the proceeds donated to the Red Cross and the Italian Civil Defense.
Votes will take place in two different steps. In the first phase, at the discretion of Alé stylists and Movistar Team designers, a first tranche of 6 jerseys will be chosen; in the second phase the six jerseys will be published on the Instagram profiles of Alé Cycling and Movistar Team and the public
will be able to vote for the winner.
Luke Rowe replaces medic’s stolen bike
After a Cardiff medic was
Free Indoor Cycling
Also helping you stay indoors, Zwift rivals RGT have made all their premium features free for the duration of the COVID-19 situation. Similarly, if you want a bit more help hitting your #goals, revolutionary training app The Sufferfest has released a suite of training plans designed specifically for athletes who are staying indoors. They’re also giving new users a free month subscription to make it even easier.
Send us any more we’ve missed as you come across and we’ll add them to this page.