02. FINDING INDEPENDENCE
Finding independents near home
Dreamer Cycling comes from our experience as cyclists. We are fascinated by a cycling culture that hasn’t (yet) been assimilated by the bigger brands or exploited by the big racing circuits. It involves riding fat tyres off-road, touring in nature, taking it easy, pitching a tent, camping. The emphasis is equally on being outdoors as it is on cycling.
This culture we love is created in North America by a number of independent brands and makers, and narrated by North American media such as The Radavist, Bikepacking.com, Bicycle Quarterly, Pathlesspedaled and many more.
But we are based in Europe: whilst inspiration flows abundant from across the pond, product doesn’t always follow the same path. Out of stock situations, through-the-roof shipping fees, VAT and customs duty, complicated returns make everything hard. Long story short: getting the kit we want out of the States is difficult, expensive, heartbreaking.
As the virus and subsequent supply chain crisis began making things even worse, we started looking independent brands in Europe. We were obviously going to find a lot of old-school brands, lots of racing heritage, but we didn’t know that we would also find some focusing on a quickie in the woods.
We were able to compile a small catalogue. From Poland to Italy to the Netherlands and more. Bag makers, apparel designers, studios, ateliers and workshops, making outdoors, adventure-oriented cycling product.
The European adventure cycling scene - at least from our research - consists of a small peloton of tiny companies. Often 1-2 people operations working on product design, development, sourcing materials, finances, shipping, returns, IT, web shop, social media, customer service. Independents.
We learnt that running a small independent business is hard work and understood that independence is essential in cycling culture. Supporting independents - makers and cyclists - is what we are building Dreamer Cycling on. We met amazing people in 2021, and we are gearing up to give them a platform, early in 2022.
The DERE mug from Dreamer Cycling.
We wanted to end 2021 with an item to thank everyone for their enduring support and encouragement during the last few months. Something to inspire you to drop everything, get on a bike and explore nature, even when the days get colder and shorter.
Say hello to the DERE mug.
Dreamers’ DERE mug is designed for our winter riding. It’s really nice to have a hot drink when it gets cold: coffee, tea or soup. If you actually have a way to brew that drink in the outdoors, as opposed to buying it, it makes for a small adventure.
We wanted the DERE mug to be tough, without being stainless steel. Our choice landed on a double coat of enamel, in three colours: black, blue and green.
Most enamel mugs are single coat. Double coat is more expensive, but also sturdier and more scratch resistant. (Keep in mind however that it’s still enamel: it won’t scratch, but if you plan to drop it off a cliff, smash it on a rock, or feed it to a bear: it will chip).
Finally, the DERE mug had to go trough fire, literally. Because it’s baked in an industrial oven at 1100'C, it can take an open flame from a campfire or gas burner, so you can make your drink straight from the mug.
We hope you enjoy the mug. You can order it here.