The vibe we have always tried to cultivate at Team Dream is one of inclusion. Whether you’re chasing a Strava KOM, or a nice sunset, we believe riding bikes is fun and more people should do it. We’ve even said many times in the past that Team Dream is for everyone. Regrettably, we were short-sighted and, to be honest, privileged in our thinking.
Our light-hearted jabs at the exclusive nature of cycling did not take into account the very serious lack of racial equality that exists in our industry. There is a disparity in access, opportunity, visibility, and representation, especially for Black cyclists, that needs to change. And obviously, these issues are not isolated to cycling alone.
Our team has spent a lot of time over the last several months talking about what Team Dream’s role is in the fight against racial injustice. The actions of the individuals that make up Team Dream are important, but we feel our company has a responsibility as well. Team Dream is small, and we won’t lie, it was a challenge to figure out what a cat themed bike apparel company should do in the face of systemic racism. But this is the kind of challenge we cannot walk away from now, or ever again. So, we decided to make a first step by reaching into our production line.
Most of our production partners shifted gears this year to work on Personal Protective Equipment, so our ability to produce new goods was limited. We decided to forgo our traditional summer launch this year in exchange for production time on a limited set of products to raise funds to support the fight for racial justice. We are grateful to our partners for joining our effort by offering their time to bring these products to life at a much lower cost than is usually possible. The lower cost of production means we will be able to donate more of the money from each sale.
We will be donating a total of $27 from each T-shirt, $25 from each water bottle set and $62 from every bundle to support the work of the Los Angeles Bike Academy and The NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund.
T-Shirts are available as pre-sale starting Oct 6th at 10am PT, until we meet our production maximum. They are expected to ship around November 13.
Los Angeles Bicycle Academy (LABA) is a, local to us, non-profit, youth education program, community bike shop, and youth cycling team. The mission of LABA is to empower, educate and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in boys and girls between the ages of 8-18. A couple of us have history in youth cycling and we are excited by LABA’s effort to grow the sport, and the hobby, of cycling in a more inclusive direction. They are a small organization with the potential to have a big impact on representation in cycling.
From Damon Turner, LABA’s director, “Within the context of a full service bike shop we employ a comprehensive hands-on bicycle mechanics, sales and service curriculum including an ‘earn-a-bike’ program. LABA’s cycling team seeks to expand the capabilities of youth from communities where exposure and access to the sport of cycling and lifestyle are limited.
The bicycle is a tool for liberation and freedom. It is positive for both mental and physical health. Through the ownership of a bicycle possibilities are expanded, travel becomes easier, new places are discovered. In 2021 we will support 10 young athletes in our race team along with an earn-a-bike program where youth will accrue hours to refurbish a bicycle to own.”
Interview with LABA team rider Pischon Jones Jr.
The plague of racial inequality is not confined to cycling and we felt it was important to support an organization that is working to achieve justice on a larger scale as well. The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) is the United State’s first civil and human rights law firm. Since its founding in 1940, the LDF has worked to eliminate disparities, expand democracy, and achieve racial justice for all Americans. Through litigation, advocacy and public education LDF works to eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system, ensure equal education, increase opportunity in all aspects of the economy and protect voting rights.
Go to www.naacpldf.org to learn more about the work of LDF and to donate.
Our marketing department is made up of cats and we don’t have a PR agency perfecting our language or strategy here. This is just the beginning of a journey that has no end until racism has an end. We’re here because you support us and we want you to hold us accountable. We are open to your feedback and encourage you to reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to continue this conversation.
Our thanks to Austin McCormick, Emilio Santoyo, Mokuyobi, Chris from Fun Artists, and Specialized for their help to make this happen.