Gloria Hwang, founder and CEO of Thousand, shares safety tips and talks about the teamwork between her company and CicLAvia.
Thousand, the LA-based makers of quality helmets that also look good, and CicLAvia became friends in 2018. We’re natural partners, having similar missions around connecting people and building community by inspiring changes in the way we get around. That and we both have a heavy safety-first focus.
It’s friends like Thousand that both help make CicLAvia events possible and add something special -- often helpful -- to the festivities. You may have seen or stopped by their Safety Checkpoints or Bike Repair Stations at 2018 CicLAvia season events.
We recently caught up with Gloria Hwang, Founder and CEO of Thousand.
Tell our readers about the help you offered CicLAvistas at the last event.
We partnered with our friends at Healthy Active Streets for our Bike Repair Station to offer free services like helmet fittings, tube replacement, saddle height adjustment, brake checks, and more. Healthy Active Streets has an awesome mission to cultivate a safe environment where people are empowered to positively improve their health, economy, environment, and safety through cycling.
Thousand has also offered Safety Checkpoints at CicLAvia events in the past. Tell us why you wanted to participate in that way.
We love CicLAvia because it helps inspire people who haven't been on their bikes in a while to get back on two wheels. We wanted to set up a fun and free Safety Checkpoint to give people the tools and knowledge they need to have the confidence to take their bikes out more, and not just on CicLAvia event days.
Should everyone make a safety checklist for each ride, skate or scoot? What should be on it?
First things first – don't forget your helmet! Before you head out, make sure to check your tires, brakes, chain, and anything else you need to make sure your ride is ready to go. And it's always a good idea to bring lights, water, and your lock before you get on the road.
Let's talk about your bread and butter: helmets. What should people be looking for in a good helmet?
The most important thing is to check that your helmet is CPSC certified; that's the US safety standard for bike helmets. Beyond that, a snug fit is an key detail when you're looking for a helmet. We've designed our helmets to fit comfortably and securely without the bulky, sci-fi look of more traditional safety gear. We believe that you don't have to sacrifice style for safety (or vice versa).
Checking your brakes seems pretty straight-forward, but is there more to it?
A brake check is pretty simple, but it never hurts to review what to do! To check your brakes, give each of your wheels a spin to make sure they aren't rubbing on your brakes. While the wheel's spinning, give your brake lever a pull to test the stopping power. Both your front and rear brakes should be firm and the brake cords should be tense.
What are some other safety tips you would give readers?
Getting on a bike – especially in a big city – might seem intimidating, but it's really one of the most rewarding ways to connect with your community, make new friends, and see your neighborhood through a brand new lens. Some of our top tips for new LA cyclists out there are: plan your route in advance; take it nice and slow; and don't be afraid to take up the whole lane.
In three words tell us what CicLAvia car-free street events mean to you, personally.
City + Community Connector.
Finally, what do you think has made Thousand and CicLAvia such a great team?
At the heart of it, we're such a good team because we have the same goals – to bring people together and transform the way they connect with their communities. And it doesn't hurt that we both like to have a lot of fun while doing it.