Founder Blog: Looking Forward the Year Ahead
There is so much of 2020 that we just want to leave behind. But 2021 is gearing up to be a year of moving forward – on all fronts. We starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines roll out across the country to end the pandemic. And there is much that we have learned from the year that was 2020. As I think about my intentions and focus for the year ahead of us, I am excited to share what lies ahead for Po Campo.
Inviting You To Be Part of Our Charitable Giving
2020 was a really tough year for so many; the sickness and death, the loss of a home or a stable income, witnessing the murder of Black Americans at the hands of police, record breaking environmental disasters.
Many times I just stopped in my tracks and thought, “What can we do to help ease this pain?”.
Po Campo has long had a vibrant give back program, partnering with World Bicycle Relief and supporting local and national bike advocacy organizations over the years. But the turbulence of 2020 made us feel like it was time to take a fresh look at our charitable giving for 2021 and beyond.
After discussing various give back program ideas and researching different organizations and programs, we landed on the realization that our customers have a better sense of what their communities need than we do.
We believe that letting customers choose where we should send our donations ensures that our donations go to the organizations you care about most. Stay tuned! We’ll be releasing more information about this program soon. And we can’t wait to contribute to the cause you care about.
Supporting the Next Generation of Cyclists
“Do you remember your first bike ride?”
Woom, the quality kids bike brand, founder Mathias Ihlenfeld asked this question on a recent Active Towns podcast. The host John Zimmerman shared his story. And I thought about mine.
I may not remember my first bike ride, but I do remember my first bike with it’s sparkly blue banana seat and matching streamers, and the freedom it brought me in suburban Chicago.
But Mathias’ point was different. His goal is to have kids start biking so early that it would basically precede their memory. They would never know a time that they did not bike.
A common refrain over the last year in bike industry circles is “How can we keep the bike boom going”. One obvious answer is to absolutely normalize biking with kids early on, both for recreation and for transportation. Indeed, one bright spot in 2020 was that, for the first time in years, kid’s cycling reversed its downward trend and began ticking up again.
I expect how we get around will be a lot different when the kids on their balance bikes today turn 16. With many years of living the mobile lifestyle under their collective belts, maybe the driver’s license won’t represent the freedom it did to my generation. Maybe they’ll just get a new e-bike instead, or riding something we haven’t even imagined yet.
At Po Campo, we’re looking forward to nurturing these new cyclists and supporting them as they use their bikes for fun, sport, adventure, or just riding to school. After all, these reasons to ride aren’t mutually exclusive.
Finding the Intersection of Sustainability and Technology
The climate crisis is as urgent as ever. 2020 was the hottest year on record (source) and climate disasters cost the U.S. $95B, nearly double that of the year before (source). And, as we’ve learned from the pandemic, our most vulnerable communities are the ones bearing the brunt of this crisis.
Every company has to not just think about sustainability but put it at the forefront of their business decisions. We don’t have the luxury to treat sustainability as an optional practice anymore.
REI has been doing a phenomenal job in setting ambitious goals for its sustainability initiative – and really supporting its suppliers to meet them. Po Campo sells to REI, so I’ve been able to experience this firsthand. Sustainability is a complicated topic, so having resources at REI and the Outdoor Industry Association, and now People for Bikes makes these challenges surmountable.
Recent progress towards our sustainability goals include formalizing a Code of Conduct with our suppliers and removing 90% of single use polybags from our supply chain. So what’s next?
One area of interest to me is the intersection of sustainability and technology. How can we continue to support the micro-mobile lifestyle with new innovations while still being on the forefront of sustainable business practices?
I’m going to drop a hint here that Po Campo will be releasing something new and exciting in this space later this year. (Become an investor in Po Campo today to help accelerate its launch and have a financial stake in its success! Sneak peek on our campaign page.
Thriving in the “New Normal”
As the pandemic wears on, the adjustments we have made to our daily lives that we thought at first were temporary, have now, nearly a year later, become our new normal. I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to get enough people vaccinated this year that we can start spending time near humans again. What will revert to how it was before and what will continue as the new normal?
I predict that our love for outdoor activities will continue to grow. So many of us have gotten to know our close-to-home natural resources and found the tranquility and beauty to be something we want to return to again and again. Some of the most popular outdoor activities of 2020, like hiking, biking, snowshoeing, show no sign of letting up now. I know I feel that way with my lite rails to trails bike touring.
I think the concept of the “15-minute city” also has longevity. The pandemic in some ways made our world smaller: long commutes for many people went away, long distance travel went away. Spending time in your local parks and walking through your neighborhood became a daily ritual, supporting your local businesses became even more important. I predict people will still work away from the office at least part of the time, and once you find everything you need within five miles, there’s less need to get in a car to drive beyond that.
The 15-Minute City Project
The 15-minute city is fertile ground for the micro-mobile lifestyle because distances five miles or less are easily traversed with bikes and e-scooters. Moreover, improved bike infrastructure in many places has made safer streets accessible to more people, making it even easier to leave the car at home. The one remaining challenge is how to carry what you need on/off your bike and scooter, but hey - there’s a Po Campo bag for that.
As the founder of Po Campo and supporting the mobile lifestyle, I am dedicated to designing products that help you experience the freedom and joy of a mobile lifestyle and I’m always keeping my eye on what is next. Later this month I will be attending the Micromobility World Conference with a schedule packed full of talks around where this movement is heading next….. I will report back on what I find.
I always find January kind of thrilling. I’m invigorated after some down time over the holidays, and just see a year full of potential ahead. What are you looking forward to this year?
Hears looking forward to a wonderful year!
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