For those that organize a life around pedaling, the results of a years long study involving over a million test subjects that pointed to exercise (and specifically cycling) and mental health being closely linked was no surprise. The spin cycle cadence of riding often washes away stress, churns up inconsequential spikes in cortisol and to borrow from the study, significantly reduce one’s daily mental burden.
That burden, however, is wildly complicated, often stigmatized and certainly not uniform. As one Velocio Ambassador explained, “On a personal level, it took me a while to realize that whiplashing between feeling like garbage and then occasionally feeling like I was a sun god was not an ideal thing”. Related, we’ve seen emergent articles on athlete depression, the rise of substance use in cycling populations and how those mental afflictions don’t discriminate solely to elite athletes facing some kind of post-event let down. 44 million Americans experience a mental health issue according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Since we began the Unity Jersey in 2017, our goal has been to use cycling to bring people together and given the vast number of people affected by mental health issues, there’s not a sole whose life isn’t touched. For 2019, 100% of the proceeds from the Unity Jersey will be donated to NAMI, to further their mission of building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness. Founded in 1979, NAMI advocates for progressive policies to improve mental health, offers education programs for those suffering from mental illness, provides resources to support families affected by mental health issues and creates awareness campaigns.
Made from our Ultralight Jersey and bearing the same technical features, the 2019 Unity Jersey calls back to the bright look of our first two Unity efforts. There’s more here, though. The design takes its shape from a wireframe model of the human brain with hemispheric highlights colored in bold hues to underscore the depth, complexity and beauty the mind contains. In the wake of the imperative to shine a light on something that brings us together set by the mission of the Unity Jersey, this project literally looks inside of us.
We have extended this collection with the addition of Unity Race Gloves and Unity Signature Cycling Cap.