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Built to Order

Roll reinvents the perfect ride Imagine buying a car that just didn’t fit—one that was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and didn’t even come in the color you wanted. That’s precisely the challenge many riders find in choosing the right bike. And that’s what prompted Stuart Hunter, the founder of Columbus-based bike shop Roll, to [...]
J.R. McMillan

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Roll reinvents the perfect ride

Imagine buying a car that just didn’t fit—one that was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and didn’t even come in the color you wanted.

That’s precisely the challenge many riders find in choosing the right bike. And that’s what prompted Stuart Hunter, the founder of Columbus-based bike shop Roll, to design a better bicycle from the ground up.

Roll Bicycle Company’s innovative modular design gives customers anywhere the ability to create a custom bike from three base configurations specially assembled for the right balance of flexibility and performance. Delivered to Kickstarter supporters late last year, the bikes are now available for anyone to order.

One of the most memorable parts of buying a bike in your stores is the Fit system. Standing in that giant plastic portal getting scanned provides detailed data on how to adjust each bike for the individual. (For those who haven’t, it’s sort of a Star Trek experience.) How do you accomplish the same precision with online bike orders?

It’s always been my belief that the correct fit is fundamental. If the bike doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to be comfortable, and you aren’t going to ride. As a bike company, ensuring customers could get the right fit was non-negotiable.

That’s why we took the Perfect Fit system we use in our stores and distilled it down to three simple measurements. Customers enter them on the website, and we can select the right size frame and adjust the contact points like saddle height, setback, and handlebars. By doing that, I think we were able to reduce the fear of buying bikes online, and in general. We wanted to remove the barriers that keep people from riding. As a designer, the bike’s function and appearance are extremely important to me. A great ride and a comfortable ride are the cost of entry. It’s so engrained in our business. But the bikes have to look great. They have to make you want to ride.

How did servicing bicycles from other manufacturers affect the design of your own bike? Did you decide, “These are all of the things our bike must have”—or did you do it in reverse order, “Let’s take these problems away, and what we’re left with is a better bicycle”?

The question really started with the customer, not the bike. We’ve been in business 10 years now, every day talking with customers. That’s where the insights came from to launch the bike company. One of the comments we hear constantly is, “I love it, but is it available in any other color?” The answer is typically no, but their expectations are shaped by experiences where personalization is the norm. I wanted that same ability to customize, and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for either. I couldn’t find my everyday bike that I could ride, have pride in, and have fun with—so we decided to build our own.

RollBikes3

Now that Roll is making its own bikes, in addition to selling those from other vendors, will you every move beyond online and in-store sales? If I owned a bike shop in another market, would I be able to buy Roll bicycles to sell to my customers as well?

We are focused on creating a complete customer experience. Obviously, there’s a connection between the stores and the bicycle company. But I often describe them as two kids with the same parents —they have the same values and ideals, but they are different businesses. The traditional bike store is disappearing. I don’t believe it’s going away entirely, so the question becomes “How does it serve its community of riders?” The way people shop and interact with brands is evolving. Our challenge is to make sure we are best serving the rider wherever and whenever they want to engage with us—whether that’s online or in-store, at home or in the community.

Bike-friendly neighborhoods are increasingly in demand for businesses and homebuyers. But most American cities and towns revolve around automobiles for access. Why was Columbus the right place to launch Roll bike shops, and Roll Bicycle Company?

Columbus is very supportive of bikes, certainly evidenced by events like Pelotonia. It raises the profile and visibility of bike riders. It improves safety and creates the impetus for infrastructure. I see that as an indication Columbus is becoming a more connected community.

The most fantastic thing about biking is that it isn’t a team sport or an individual sport —it’s both. For some, the social aspects are an intrinsic part of why they ride. Others ride alone, to have time for personal reflection. Obviously, people ride for health and wellness, or transportation —but we have a lot of families who ride together.

I always describe myself as a bike rider instead of a cyclist. I think bike rider is a more embracing and inclusive term, perhaps less intimidating. Columbus is a community of bike riders.

Details on the designs behind Roll Bicycle Company’s Adventure, City, and Sport configuration bikes are available at rollbicycles.com

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Pregnancy Fit Tea

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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We don’t have to be a woman to know that pregnancy can be difficult time, so a tea that helps with the nausea and discomfort seems like a great idea, right?

Wrong.

While many herbal teas are safe for the general public and pregnant women, there are some concerns.

First, some of the “beneficial” ingredients in the Flat Tummy tea above are not supported by any real evidence, let alone by information stating that they are safe to consume while pregnant. One of those ingredients is Rooibos (asparlathus linearis), which is touted as a “digestive aid” for pregnant women. However, this claim is not corroborated by a single study on The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database.

Ginger is yet another ingredient present in the tea that has not been proven undeniably healthy for pregnant woman.

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“Although several studies have found no evidence of harm from taking ginger during pregnancy, it’s uncertain whether ginger is always safe for pregnant women,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

Not only is ginger a questionable ingredient for a child-bearing woman to consume, the Flat Tummy tea fails to specify exactly how much ginger was used to make it.

Take Away: Please do not fall for the schemes of these “Fit Teas.” If you are pregnant, please be cautious of all ingredients you put in your body and discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementations.

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Health & Fitness

Medical marijuana arrives in Columbus next week

Mike Thomas

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Got your card? Terrasana – central Ohio’s first dispensary for medical marijuana – will open to patients in Ohio’s medical marijuana program this Tuesday, March 26th.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpJ7V7gFgau/

The dispensary which also has plans for locations in Cleveland, Fremont, and Springfield Ohio will open at 656 Grandview Avenue.

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According to the company’s website, Terrasana’s goal is to connect high quality cannabis to patients in need with a doctor-driven approach focused on education.

Prices for the dispensary’s products start at 40 dollars per unit, though it’s unclear what that equates to in quantity or dose at this time.

Will you line up to be a day-one patient in Columbus’ growing MMJ scene? Let us know your thoughts in the comments

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Health & Fitness

Float, flow, stretch, and breathe toward a healthier you

614now

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Being the best possible you is about more than just eating healthy and working out. It’s about mind, body, and spiritual fitness as well. Fortunately the city is home to a bevy of experts, practitioners, and spas to help you find your bliss and be the best possible you.

1. Tune Everything Out

Floatation therapy uses a pool of approximately 10 inches of heavily infused epsom salt water as a form of pseudo sensory deprivation to help you achieve complete peacefulness. The idea is to use floating to achieve the same state of mind as right before you fall asleep at night where your mind is at ease and your body has fully relaxed. You’re encouraged to focus on your breathing and meditate. For a fully immersive experience, float tanks can be encapsulated. Drifting away in an hour-long session, users have reported feeling calmer, getting a better night’s sleep, and feeling more in tune with their mind and body.

Check out: Ebb & Float, ebbfloat.com  |  True Rest Float Spa, truerest.com

2. Manage Pain

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine in which sterile needles are placed on “meridians,” or lines of energy running along the body which correspond to organ systems. Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and provide pain relief, possibly by competing with pain signals to the brain. Cupping can be used as a complementary therapy to acupuncture and offers some effects of deep tissue massages by placing glass cups (often on the back) to create suction and increase blood flow, augmenting other benefits of acupressure practices. 

Check out: Urban Acupuncture Center, urbanacupuncturecenter.org |12 Meridians Acupuncture, 12meridiansacupuncture.com

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3. Release Tension, Stretch, and Increase Flexibility

Thai yoga, also referred to as Thai body work, is not your traditional take on massages. Instead of lying still while a massage therapist works on your body, Thai yoga has specialists that move, stretch, and position your body in a multitude of positions to best help your troubled areas, which could be great for people who struggle with lower back pain or stress-caused conditions. The theory behind Thai yoga goes back to Ayurveda medicine, developed in India, where the practice was based on a balance of mind, body, and spirit through energies in the body. Thai yoga hopes to channel these energies through massage, compression, and stretching and allow them to flow more freely. The practice features various techniques dependent on how your body is feeling that day; this could mean the use of oils, or the use of voice with mantras. Beyond a more well-stretched and massaged feeling afterwards, many users said they feel rejuvenated mentally and spiritually. 

Check out: Jai Center For Wellness, jaicenterforwellness.com |Reden Yoga, redenyoga.com

4. Breathe Better

Halotherapy is the therapeutic use of a room lined from ceiling to floor in large crystal salt to simulate the cool but dry atmosphere of a natural salt cave. A device (appropriately named the halogenerator) smashes salt into microscopic pieces, allowing them to be released in the air through ventilation systems.

In 45-minute sessions, users can relax and breathe in the salty air, which has been claimed to potentially alleviate breathing issues such as asthma or allergies. Additionally, the calm, quiet, and dark rooms are perfect for a moment of mediation. The salt has been also said to help with skin bacteria and impurities, similar to popular mud masks made with minerals from the Dead Sea.

Check out: Tranquility Salt Cave, tranquilitysaltcave.com |Philosophi Salon and Salt Spa, philosophisalon.com

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