“The big ride,” as the Italians call it, certainly earned its name - The 2016 B.C. GranFondo cycling event takes riders 122 km through some of the most stunning and challenging scenery British Columbia has to offer, from Vancouver’s Stanley Park all the way to Whistler.
It can take six hours or more to finish - not a small feat. But the Fondo is modeled after mass-participation events across Europe that have leaked into North America, and is designed for as many participants as can take up the challenge, not just elite athletes.
The wiivv team
Team Wiivv staked out a booth at Velospoke Expo the night before the starting gun. It was part listening tour, part orthotics education extravaganza.
Co-Founder Louis-Victor Jadavji said that, although most of the racers were looking for cycle-specific gear, he got a good idea what their needs were.
“Cyclists tend to look for a lot slimmer and thinner orthotics, definitely a light and smaller form-factor. Cycling boots tend to be optimized to be smaller to optimize for power transfer,” Jadavji said.
Not Just for Runners
It’s not always apparent how orthotics help cyclists, who don’t constantly abuse their feet with pavement pounding training. But hill climbing especially - a hallmark of the GranFondo - puts pressure on sensitive parts of the foot, causing extreme fatigue. Products like Wiivv orthotics can help lock the foot in cycling shoes for better power transfer and more efficient spin, and ease that foot exhaustion at the end of a long ride.
With that in mind, Jadavji said Wiivv is developing new uses for their products all the time. After all, the co-founders see themselves as part of a company with endless possibilities for body-perfect gear.
“We make insoles for a variety of purposes - our R&D Department may make cycling insoles in the future,” Jadavji explained. “But today we’re trying to encourage cyclists to wear these insoles for other activities, be it running, jogging, going to work, and so on. We want to offer happy feet and comfort at all times of the day.”
And he threw down the challenge - try Base by Wiivv and see how you like it.
“I think our insoles are very light if you compare it to most insoles. The material we print in allows for incredible economies in terms of weight. And that might be interesting in terms of a cyclist or runner.
“We’ve spoken to a wide variety of people today. I think they’ve been primarily focused on the race and they’re saying ‘well, I’ll come after the race because I know I’ll have foot pain and I’ll consider your product then,’” Jadavji said.
He walked at least 25 new customers through the scanning process on the spot. Those who weren’t quite ready to take the plunge took home swag like coupon codes and foot massagers.
Luckily, the Wiivv app makes that easy for procrastinators.
“We have an interesting concept that allows people to do this in the comfort of their home. It saves a lot of the headache and cost of going to get a prescription orthotic while still getting the benefits of a custom orthotic that enhances your biomechanics.”