This is who we are - Connal Kit
Connal Kit is a cycling apparel brand designed and developed by two avid social and touring cyclists Greg Banfield and Jennifer (Jen) Connal Clark. Friends we ride with, family, the wonderful diversity of nature around Dunsborough, Western Australia (our hometown) and history have inspired and motivated us along this exciting journey. 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 stories 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. Connal Kit cycle clothing, based on experience and discussions with fellow riders is designed for your journey to GO EXPLORE.
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 with slow travel and feeling with all our senses. We became more adventurous each time we travelled. First, it was organised self-guided tours, then we began planning our own routes, self-supported and taking M1 and M2, our much-loved road bikes. We are excited about the journeys ahead.
The concept of Connal Kit started in 2016. Many of our cycling friends were, like us, searching for cycling clothing to use on our social group rides and when we went cycle touring. We were looking for cycling clothing that was comfortable, functional, stylish, great quality, subtle branding and suitable for bike touring and travelling. Truly fit for purpose. We wanted to be able to stop for coffee, lunch, and an afternoon drink or pop into 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, at home and on holidays.
We set about solving the problems we had encountered and found we shared with many others - both seasoned bike travellers and new cyclists:
"What do I Cycle In?"; "What do I Wear on a Bike Tour?"; "What do I Pack for a Cycling Tour?"; "What do I take on a Cycling Holiday?"; "How to dress for cycling?"; "I don't want to wear lycra!"; "How can I be comfortable on a bike tour?"; "Are there alternatives to lycra cycling gear?"; "What is the best clothing for bicycle touring?"; "How to Pack for a Bike Trip"; "How do you Plan a Cycling Trip?"; "I want bike shorts not bibs when I'm touring!".
Our long connection to growing wool, tertiary training in fabric assessment and value adding primary production, along with our love of cycling and travel, 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, cycle tours 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 its meaning that we are passionate about sharing. We invite you to GO EXPLORE.
Jen Connal Clark