Hats Off to Teamwork: WIRTH’s Inaugural Quad Tandem World Championships

Vancouver's WIRTH Hats hosts the ultimate teamwork test with its Quad Tandem World Championships—a novel approach to promoting mental health awareness.

Van cyclists, it’s time to put the pedal to the mental (health that is)! You know those trendy WIRTH hats you’ve likely been seeing everywhere (and if you haven’t, now you will just because I said it—don’t blame me, it’s science!) Well, the trendy Vancouver headwear purveyor has found a new stage for its mission to support mental health—an international bike race. But not just any bike race. This one has a cause that goes straight to your head! It’s Tour de France-level excitement without needing to renew your passport.

It’s the Quad Tandem World Championships, WIRTH Hats’ latest caper, and it’s the first of this scale in the company’s history. I mean it when I say that it isn’t your average bike race; it’s a four-person-per-bike competition (I didn’t even know they made these!). Six international teams shall be pedalling their four-seater-bike hearts out across 800 kilometres of British Columbia’s stunning landscapes, all for the glory of snatching the coveted Quad Cup and supporting mental health awareness.

What is it about a bike race that can sell hats and promote mental health? It’s the unanticipated, the unpredictable, the utterly inconceivable that makes this event an enticing thrill ride. Team Great Britain, Team USA, Team Brazil, Team New Zealand and both the Women’s and Men’s Canadian Teams will sweat it out over eight days, starting in Keremeos and capping things off in Nelson, B.C. Not only is it a spectacle for viewers (I seriously didn’t know tandem bikes accommodated more than two!), but it’s also a stage for mental health advocacy, an issue that’s near and dear to many, especially here in Vancouver.

The idea springs from the unique ethos of WIRTH Hats, founded in 2018 by Ben Miller as a tribute to his friend and hat-lover Jakob Wirth, who tragically died by suicide. WIRTH Hats’ mission has been to put mental health in the limelight, sponsoring over 6,000 counselling sessions to date. And they’re not putting the brakes on there—their goal for the event? To sponsor 10,000 sessions.

Now, let’s switch gears and talk merch. Picture a summer cap, designed specifically for the Quad Tandem World Championships, sporting five panels of colourful coolness that says to the world, “Hey, I could be a serious athlete, don’t you know?” For the mere price of $55, you could own the limited-edish “Tandem” athletic summer cap and all the athletic clout and good karma that comes along with it. Feeling extra generous? Go for the ‘1-for-1 hat’ at $99 —your purchase not only scores you the cap but also funds an entire counselling session.

What can you do to support these four-person bike-limos duking it out for the title of fastest eight legs on two wheels? a) Check out this online race map and come cheer them on (and maybe bring some little pasta-to-go shooters for a quick carbo hit!). b) You can also attend the race kick-off party at Parallel 49 Brewing Company happening on July 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m for a chance to meet the teams, drinks some brews, listen to some live music and mingle with fellow gear heads. (Here’s a great ice-breaker convo starter: did you know that the longest recorded tandem bike is a 20-seater? Again, I really didn’t think we were going past two—three at best!) For the party, advanced registration is required so don’t forget to RSVP online here. c) Busy that evening but still want to do your part? That’s easy, buy a locally made hat or make a donation to the WIRTH Hats Counselling Fund and help them reach their lofty goal! It’s even easier than four people having to decide who gets to sit in the back (because obviously that person can take sneaky pedalling breaks and no one would ever know!)

You see, the real beauty of the Quad Tandem World Championships is that it isn’t just about a bike race or a cool hat; it’s about an effort to remove the barriers to mental health support in the most unconventional and enjoyable way possible. It’s WIRTH Hats making a difference one hat, one race and one counselling session at a time.

So this summer, join WIRTH Hats on this wild ride to support mental health, have a beer with some bike buds and witness a world championship that’s truly one of a kind. Get ready for the thrill of the race, the unity of the quad tandem and the spirit of this great city that says, “Yeah, we’ll pedal four to a bike if it makes a difference!”

For more deets about the event, the teams and how to support the cause, visit www.wirthhats.com. You can also check out the race trailer video here. Get on board with WIRTH Hats’ exciting journey, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up starting a quad tandem bike trend in your neighbourhood!