The earth is an alright place.

We like it a lot.

That’s why we care about the footprint we leave in this world.

Now manufacturing clothing is not perfect. It is not sewing wild seeds in a field and helping mother does give birth to baby fawns. There is inevitable waste involved. That is always the danger of producing manufactured goods. Especially textiles. But let’s face it. We wear clothes. And those clothes we wear have the magical power of giving us confidence, making us feel good, and letting us do the activities we love while helping us stow away a mid-ride cliff bar (now i’m getting cycling specific).

We love athletic apparel (I mean – that’s the biz we are in) and we love the world we inhabit and the people in it. That love does into everything we do. That’s why all of our jerseys are hand-made in California by JL Velo using sustainable practices.

Here are a few points about what makes our jersey manufacturer JL Velo so rad (from the JL Velo site)


 1. RECYCLED FABRIC

Same performance and new fabric but requires 65% less energy to make and repurposes fivers that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

2. MADE IN CALI

They source as close as possible and everything made outside the US is carefully vetted for sustainable practices.

3. POWERED BY THE SUN

Solar panels provide up to 60% of the daily energy of the factory.

4. TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT

Employees get fully paid health benefits, insurance, retirement & profit sharing benefits. It’s a family affair at JL Velo and they treat their family right.


So high fives to JL for being a rad partner and giving us warm and fuzzy do-good feelings, while still making super technical amazing sportswear.


Big things are going to happen in 2015 – we can feel it! And to help get motivated for all those goals we want to crush in 2015 we’ve been posing inspiration on our social feeds all month. So here is the wrap-up of all 15 cycling goals for 15. Feel free to follow us on social, grab an image and use it to motivate yourself to do that fondo or to motivate your friend to take up mountain biking. So cheers! (clinking champaign glasses sound)

15-15


If you are reading this I’m going to assume that you are a cyclist. Maybe a mountain biker? Maybe a road cyclist? Maybe you love that crazy & muddy sport cyclocross? The one thing that we all have in common is a love for two wheels. When we think about all the good that cycling has brought into our lives we get a warm and fuzzy feeling.

You know what else gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling?

Helping those in need. That’s one of the reasons we formed Forward, to have a way we can keep on giving back. That’s why 10% of everything we sell goes to helping causes we care about. Our charity partner, Bikes Without Borders mission statement says…

“We believe that bikes can change the world”.

We do to. And that is why we wanted to get involved.


 

HERE IS THE LOW-DOWN ON BWB & WHO THEY ARE HELPING.

Bikes Without Borders uses bikes in marginalized communities in the developing world as a tool for empowerment. BWB was created in 2006 by Mike Brcic, the founder of Sacred Rides (which was voted best mountain mike tour company by National Geographic – kind of a big deal). It was started out of an encounter Mike had with a school girl in Nicaragua who traveled on foot 2 hours each way every day just to get to school. This initial encounter was the spark that spawned an organization with impact around the world.

PEDAL POWERED HOPE

IMG_6801

Pedal Powered Hope is a BWB program that brings bikes and bike ambulances to community health workers in Malawi. Many Malawians living in rural areas must walk 3-4 hours to the nearest health centre.  These delays in getting health care can contribute to the spread of disease. Fortunately there are community health workers in Malawi that travel to these remote village to treat people in their homes. These health workers travel from village to village and home to home, often walking upwards of 5 hours a day. Other communities are even further from reach and a lack of adequate transportation means that the receive care very infequenlty.

By supplying these community health workers with bicycles they are able to reach and care for more people making for healthier communities. Now that is pedal power.

Not only do BWB supply bikes, but bike ambulances as well. These sturdy ambulances with mountain bike tires can be the difference between life or death for a patient that is pregnant and having complications or too sick to walk the 4 hour trek to the nearest health centre.

bwbillo
BY THE NUMBERS

Health care workers with bicycles…

  • Visited 13% more patients a day compared to those without bikes
  • Spent 46% less time travelling to deliver healthcare
  • Were spending 4.6 days a week providing healthcare, while those without bikes were spending 3.4 days a week providing healthcare
  • Spent 26% more time per week providing their services
ABOUT THE BIKES

bikesThe Roadster bicycle used by health workers is designed and manufactured in India by World Bicycle Relief and assembled in Malawi. Cost: $150CDN (including delivery to local community based organizations).

The Sakaramenta Care Car bicycle ambulance is manufactured in Zomba district, Malawi. Delivered cost: $450CDN.

*All info and photos from Bikes Without Borders & World Bicycle Relief.

If you want to learn more, contribute to the cause or get involved in an event please check out their site.


I’ve always ridden a bike. My memories of cycling go back as far back as, well, my memory. From my very first tiny red tricycle and the perils of loosing the training wheels on a dirt rode, to the mint green-white-speckled beauty that was my ticket to freedom during high school, that is what cycling has always meant to me. Freedom.

I’ve been an exploratory biker through the years. There were the scrappy purple and yellow hand painted bikes from the bike share program at my university. There was the 1980’s vintage BMX named The Predator, then a shiny new blue BMX with pegs I used to carry friends when I was living in  japan. I had what is affectionately called a mamcheri in japan (old lady bike with a shopping basket), a children’s bike called the pink lipstick (those were the iconic t-shirt days), a 70’s Raleigh, an 80’s rejigged fixed gear (the Miyata) and my current love, a black and white road bike.

Though I would be on my bike roaming the back country roads in summer for hours as a teenager, it was only in the past few years that I started to go on those longer rides again.

Though those long rides are the best part of my day now, they returned to my life as the result of tragedy.

A few years ago a rock climbing accident left me in pretty rough shape. Two plates and 13 pins in my right ankle kept me off my feet for four months. Though I was lucky to come out of the accident as well as I did, the loss of my independence and the ability to do the things I loved was hard. One of the first things I could do was ride a bike. Even when the pain of walking was too much to bear, cycling was manageable. It was just as I was starting to commute again, that my hipster approved, vintage single speed got a crack in it’s frame that couldn’t be repaired. I was looking for a new sport to take the place of climbing, as I was months out from being able to do that again, and had my eye on my first ever sprint triathalon as a recovery goal in the fall. The timing was right so I tentatively got a road bike, unsure if cycling as a sport rather than transportation was going to be something I would even like. Looking back that hesitation seems silly. Hindsight is alway 20/20 isn’t it? One year later, after another surgery on the same leg for my knee and ankle, cycling was there again returning me to health.

cycle-1

My ankle x-ray and my first time on the bike after my second surgery on my knee.

Long solo rides have become my solace from the busy day, my therapy, my time to think, to plan, to dream. Rides with friends have become my favourite part of my social calendar and looked forward to more than any party. Once again, cycling is freedom.

I’m really happy to be able to give back to the sport that has given me so much. That is why I started Forward. To create something that cyclists can enjoy and feel good about as they fly down or grind up hills and to give back to the world through our partnership with charities like Bikes Without Borders.

Why do you ride? We all have a story. What’s yours?


I left in the default title “Hello World” because it felt appropriate. We are a brand new company, months before launch, just starting the crazy journey and still forming our story.
What we do know if that we are excited. We are excited to make some stylish cycling wear we hope you like so much that you’ll be tempted to wear them off the bike. (I mean really, why don’t more shirts have back pockets? They are so handy!). We are excited to do some good in the world. Ten percent of everything we sell will go to causes we care about and we can’t wait to make a positive impact on the wold. Last but most certainly not least we are excited about riding our bikes! Because that totally counts as R&D right?

For now there really isn’t much here. But we will be on the scene spring 2015 and will have a lot more to show you then.

In the mean time follow us on instagram and twitter to keep in the loop.