Posted on August 02 2018
The Preface or The Beginning.
Connal Kit is a cycling apparel brand designed and developed by two avid social and touring cyclists Greg Banfield & Jennifer (Jenny) Connal Clark. Based in the seaside town of Dunsborough in the Busselton Margaret River Region of Western Australia.
We are inspired by the stories of our families, the friends we ride with, the diversity of nature and the challenge of ‘just getting on and doing it’. Connal is a family name and was chosen for the brand to honour the life story of a pioneering sportswoman, adventurer and community builder. This story and others will unfold in our rides, our blogs and designs. We want our brand and the story to inspire and motivate people to do what they dream of doing. In our case it was to get on a bike and ride for fun, for health, to see the world and to make new friends. Our cycle kit is designed for your journey to GO EXPLORE.
The concept of Connal Kit started in 2016. Many of our cycling friends were like us searching for cycling kit to use on our social group rides and when we travelled with our bikes. We were looking for cycling apparel that was comfortable, functional, stylish, great quality, subtle branding and suitable for bike touring and travelling. We wanted to be able to stop for coffee, lunch, and an afternoon drink or pop in to an art gallery and feel comfortable in our cycling clothes. We wanted a set of clothes we could pack for travel that could be used on and off the bike.
Our long connection to growing wool, tertiary training in fabric assessment and value adding primary production meant we were entering a field in which we had a long term interest with a depth of experience. Several years of research, sketches, consultations, trade show visits, meeting players in the apparel game and many after ride chats over coffee (or whatever drink) led to the development of Connal Kit as a brand. It is the story, the product and it's meaning that we are passionate about sharing.
We began touring on bikes as part of our travels to research family history and explore new destinations. Travelling by bike gave us the connection to country we felt the need for. Slow travel, feeling country with all our senses, being close to the earth. We became more adventurous each time we travelled. First, a day here and there, hiring bikes. Then longer organised tour rides and more recently taking our own loved road bikes (M1 & M2) with us and planning our routes and tours without support.
Jen and Greg