The Long Winded Tailwind

The Long Winded Tailwind

During these interesting and challenging times, most of us have felt sudden, often unexpected, changes in our physical and mental states. We can all draw parallels between how we feel in our current everyday lives and the way we felt during memorable rides. Whether it’s up the road on a solo break with a determined field behind you charging to make their catch, the first time on a new group ride, or testing your legs on a long solo ride—these changes in how we feel can come suddenly. Occasionally, we all need external motivation when the going is toughest: a family member cheering you on as you crest a long climb, or making a right-hand turn and catching a 20 mph tailwind. These factors are key while we push for the finish.


Last Friday, we caught our tailwind at 5:00 pm when our CFO Jennifer Horstmann emailed George and me simply stating, “We’ve been funded!” While our organization was one of the first to submit our application for the Paycheck Protection Program to our local bank over two weeks ago, success did not come without Jennifer’s tireless efforts and attention to detail. The submission process required several edits along with multiple submissions as government requirements changed by the hour. Like most, we felt like we had been dropped from the main group with each demoralizing change that had to be made or frustrating resubmission that was required.

The ability to stay positive, focused, and determined allowed us to get back into the group. We are also grateful to have the support of our community bank who helped us through the first round of approvals. Much like a teammate dropping back to help you get back in the race, their support was pivotal. Given that reportedly less than 6% of small businesses received the funding during this first round, we feel most fortunate. Many of our friends and business acquaintances were not as fortunate. Our fingers are crossed, and we are pulling for their success in round two.

With the funding in place and a new-found motivation, just like on that bike ride, the focus has shifted to future goals. We are creating new marking plans and partnerships to begin focusing on how we take things to the next level. Our sales and customer service teams are focused on the customer relationships and a daily cleanup of our database. The team at Hotel Domestique is utilizing this down time to clean, paint, and to fix minor issues. We will be ready when the time comes to have the opportunity to host you again! Our events team is working on protocols and procedures to maximize safety for our volunteers and riders. Yesterday, we ordered hundreds of KN95 masks. We will continue to define, and perhaps lead, the direction of how events will succeed in this new world. We know the route, the challenges, and the goal. With careful planning, preparation, support from friends, and a little bit of luck, we will get there. We must get there.


I am pleased to announce that our factory in Medellin, Colombia will be reopening on Monday, April 27. This will, however, come with strict controls. The country of Colombia has now been on full lockdown for 6 weeks. Each citizen in Colombia has a cedula (ID card). Each day the country announces a number; if the last number of your cedula corresponds to that number, one person in your household is allowed one trip to the grocery store or pharmacy—and that’s it. The strict nature of the lockdown has meant that if you are caught out of your home during a period you should not be, police will cite or jail citizens. In addition, the government has announced closure of all bars and night clubs for a minimum of 18 months. Lastly, citizens over the age of 70 do not qualify for out-of-home privileges. Although some may feel these policies are over the top, there have been 215 Covid-19 related deaths in Colombia compared to over 50,000 here in the United States. Let that sink in for a minute.

To further the safety of our team in Colombia, there will be temperature screenings and the workday will be split into three shifts. We will continue to be diligent and ensure the safety of team in Colombia, their families, and fellow citizens. Full production will begin again on Tuesday, and we cannot wait to get the team back to it! George, our team here at HQ, and I continue to be truly inspired by the resolve that our Colombian people have shown, and continue to show, through these challenging times.


Finally, as we are striving to come out of this better than we went in, I will leave you with these thoughts, words to ride by:

We are not a bike company. We are a group of individuals who have come together as a team through a shared love of cycling.
We were founded by a family who loves to ride bikes. It’s in our blood, our DNA, and this cannot be changed.
We all have different reasons or inspirations for our pursuits on the bike. Whatever those are past, present, or future, we exist because of them.
We are here for ALL riders. From the weekend legends to the daily commuters. The wheelie-poppers, the bunny-hoppers, the cassette flip-floppers, and perhaps that one guy who rides your wheel without you noticing for a really long time.
We are for every person in the bike lane, every kid at the bike park and every shredder on the back trails.
We are for the bike-packers and the living room racers.
We are an extended family all bound by a love of the sport. Through the suffering and celebrating. Sometimes well into the dark hours of the night. But you know what? When the sun rises, we will be ready to do it all over again making memories that we will pass on to future generations of cyclists.
This is more than a sport or hobby to us. It is a way of life.
As long as the world keeps spinning, with us spinning on it, our family will keep producing, personalizing, and outfitting you in apparel that you can be proud to wear.
I’ve often been told that “looking good is half the battle”. So, if you are going to be out there climbing mountains, putting in epically long days in the saddle, or creating long lasting memories on the bike, we would be honored to help you fight the first half of the battle. We know you will crush the other half!

In the end, Hincapie is here for the love of the ride(r).

Stay safe, stay healthy, and we will see you on the road or trail.