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Around The Wagon

  • Use our shipping box to make a pinhole camera

    Looking through pinhole camera

    It has been dubbed The Great American Eclipse, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime view for most of us. You see, August 21 will be the first time a total solar eclipse will be viewable across the United States since 1918!

    If you find yourself running a bit behind in the rush for solar glasses, or if you just want to have a little fun, you can use the box that your most recent order of bike gear shipped in to make a pinhole camera, allowing you to safely view the eclipse.

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  • Tales from Haunted Bikewagon

    Bikewagon Ghost

    Some Bikewagon employees have experienced what they believe to be paranormal activity around the office. Read their stories:

    We hired some temporary help when we were moving in to our current building. One morning, one of the temporary employees informed us that he refused to work here any longer. His reason? He had seen a ghost in the warehouse the night before.

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  • Merry Christmas from Bikewagon!

    Some coaxing and coaching was needed, but in the end we all had fun creating this little holiday greeting for you. We hope you enjoy it!


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  • How to ruin a ride before it even starts

    My CamelBak with my keys in my locked car. My CamelBak with my keys in my locked car.

    Recently I went on a mountain bike ride on a trail I am not familiar with. Every time I go for a ride I keep my main set of keys in the car because I keep an extra car key in my CamelBak. As I was getting ready to start on the trail, I got my bike off the rack, my phone all ready to pump out some jams and track my ride, and I put my shoes and my helmet on. I was unprepared for the cold weather at the trail, but I figured I was good to go, so I locked my car and shut the doors. As soon as I shut the last door I got that feeling. You know the feeling you get when you've just done something really bad and you'd do anything to take it back? The almost doomsday expression of, "Oh no!" muttered under your breath? That's what happened to me. I realized I forgot to grab my CamelBak and, therefore, my keys.

    I proceeded to ride anyway because I was already there, but as you can imagine without water and the added stress of no keys, I didn't last very long at all. On the way back, I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get back in my car. Back at the parking lot, I asked everyone there to see if anyone knew how to break into a car. No luck.

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  • Anyone want some Lance memorabilia? Anyone...?

    We've stored a lot of Lance Armstrong memorabilia on our shelves over the past few years. Some of it has come in and sold. Some of it has come in and stayed -- but not because we haven't wanted to sell it! We're thinking it might be even more difficult to move these days, but since it's Tour time, maybe someone will want to remember the good ol' days before the titles were stripped and ignorance was bliss.

    Right now, if you come to our local shop, we would be happy to give you this sweet shirt.

    Lance T-shirt

    Or maybe you'll be lucky enough to get this book.

    Lance book

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  • Have a ping pong table at work? Run a ping pong league!

    A ping pong -- or as I call it, table tennis -- table is common in many workplaces. We at Bikewagon are lucky enough to have a workout space with two tables. I'll say that a few of us play Table Tennis and the rest play Ping Pong. Over the last two months we have been running a league consisting of six 2-person teams.

    A match consists of two singles matches, a doubles match and then two more singles matches, so each player plays both people from the other team and a doubles match. Since there is a wide range of abilities between the twelve different players, we had to think of a way to even things out, and this is what we did:

    ping-pong-table

    We divided each person into one of three groups, "open" players, "A" players and "B" players. In our group, we had three open players, six A players and three B players. Matches are best of three games to 11 points, with two serves a piece.

    This is where the different groups come into play.

    When players from the same group play each other, the games start out 0 to 0. If the players are one group apart, there will be a -3 to 3 advantage for the player in the lower group. So in our case, an open player starts at -3, while the A player starts out at 3. If the players are two groups apart, there is a -6 to 6 advantage for the lower player.

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  • Around the Wagon: The stand-up desk

    I have dealt with lower back pain for a number of years. I exercise regularly, but the combination of an old injury and genetically having very tight hamstrings causes me to sometimes have a hard time sitting for long periods of time.

    The first stand-up deskA few months back I was watching TV, and they (I believe it was 20/20) were talking about stand-up desks. I am one to be adventurous, so the next morning at work I decided to make my very own stand-up desk. After looking all through the offices and warehouse here at the Wagon, I came across boxes of folded USPS boxes. I stacked them two boxes high at each corner of my desk and, voila, I had myself a stand up desk!

    To finish it off I put large garbage bags over the boxes so you couldn't tell that I was using boxes.

    Classy, I know.

    It has been more than four months and I am still going strong, although I did end up having a stand-up desk built. I no longer had to feel weird when people came into Bikewagon and saw my makeshift masterpiece.

    I will not bore you with any physiological benefits of standing, but I do believe that we were not meant to plop down on our butts for hours at a time. Here are the top reasons why you should trade in your desk for one a little bit taller:
    Bruce's new stand-up desk

    1. Standing burns more calories than sitting. Beside the countless articles and info online that can be found about the health benefits of working at a stand-up desk, personally I have just felt healthier and more motivated to stick to all of my fitness goals.
    2. A stand-up desk can be portable. If you want don't want to commit to standing all day, you can have a portable desk that you can put on top of your desk. Then when you would rather be sitting, simply remove it and put things back the way they were.
    3. Working at a stand-up desk will improve your productivity and mood. At least it has for me; I no longer have the pain in my lower back and the need to interrupt what I am doing to get up out of my chair.
    4. You will have more energy working at a stand up desk. If you don't believe me, try falling asleep at one. I think this one is closely related to number three.

    Don't get me wrong, there are a few negatives, and you might find that you actually hate it. It did take me about a month to get over slight foot pain, so I would suggest a nice comfy pair of shoes or a mat. It's probably a good idea to ease into standing. I am still somewhat of a newbie as I have only been doing the stand-up desk for four months, but I have loved it and don't think that I am ever going back.

  • Around The Wagon: Stuck in the Person On Duty's Room

    Uh oh. I'm stuck.

    Recently I had an experience here at Bikewagon that was embarrassing, humiliating and hysterical all in one.

    While at work one day, I went to use the restroom. One of my co-workers suggested that I shouldn't use one particular restroom as it was "out of order," and instead told me to use the one down the hall (the one labeled "Person On Duty's Room"). He, along with others knew that this restroom was in fact the one that was "out of order." This particular bathroom door could be opened from the outside, but not from the inside.

    The doorknob is off.

    When I was finished washing my hands I went to open the door, only to find that something was clearly wrong. Next thing I know, I hear voices from outside laughing at my peculiar circumstances because they all knew I was out of luck. When help arrived, they realized that the door could no longer be opened from the outside -- leaving me stuck.

    John's handiwork from the outside.

    I am not usually one to be claustrophobic -- at least when I have the option of getting out from a small space. Being locked in a bathroom smaller than most utility closets is not a comforting feeling, and I was becoming more and more anxious.

    I was trying to think of some awesome MacGyver way of escaping, but I had no gum wrapper or paper clip to get me out, and there wasn't enough room to slide tools under the door. To make matters worse, the bathroom has a suspended ceiling (through which these pictures were taken) so I couldn't climb out through a vent or anything.

    I was stuck.

    I'm free!

    Luckily, we have a handyman on staff here and he was able to slide a slim rod under the door which allowed me to pop the door handle off. After that we had to completely disassemble the handle in order to get me out of there.

    Fortunately I didn't need any emergency blankets, and I haven't needed to take therapy to recover from this. However, as a result of my humiliation, there has been a bonding between me and my co-workers (I can't really tell if it's a good thing). Plus, now at least three people that work here know of a bathroom they never knew existed.

  • Around the office: Helicopter envy

    A couple of weeks ago, Brian, our Web developer, got a free remote-control helicopter when he bought some software from a start-up company. Well that was the end of it. Since then, little remote control helicopters have been buzzing around, falling from the sky and annoying our co-worker Marie.

    When I saw Brian's helicopter, I said, "Hey, I have the same model at home!" and brought it to work. Brian, in typical Brian fashion, decided he wasn't satisfied with his free helicopter and dropped some cash on a fancy four-rotor version that looks like something from a sci-fi horror show.

    And then there was Paul. He came down with a serious case of helicopter envy when he saw Brian's, so that night he went to his neighborhood Wal-Mart and purchased one of his own. When he brought it to our office and turned it on the next morning, it did nothing but spin around out of control. He returned it.

    The helicopter envy still persisted, however, so Paul went to a nearby hobby shop and bought a little lightweight beauty. That night at home, he crashed it and broke a gear. So he went back to the hobby shop and bought a replacement part. Finally, he could premiere his helicopter here at the office!

    He flew it a few times (it screams like a banshee). Then he plugged it into Brian's charger. After that, it wouldn't hold a charge. So once again, he went back to the hobby shop. The woman there said the battery was "puffy." He bought a new battery for $5, she installed it, and he was back in business!

    Well yesterday, Paul decided to take on my helicopter. Here's what happened:

    helicopters

    Yes, my yellow helicopter dominated. And once again, Paul was after another replacement part back at the hobby shop. (Don't worry; this piece only cost him 99 cents.) And Brian? He decided he wasn't satisfied with his 4-rotor thing and spent even more money on a fancier, more traditional design. We're all anticipating it's arrival. All of us except for Marie, anyway.

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