MAKER 2017 - SHINY THINGS AND PERSEVERANCE
A celebration of everything that makes Australian Cycling great, an opportunity to get face-to-face with those behind your favourite brands, a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. MAKER brought Ebenezer Place to life on January 15 this year, and we had an absolute blast making it happen.
A perfectly sunny day began with the setting up of marquees and umbrellas, and the dividing and allocation of carparks and footpaths, all set to the groans of the pre-caffeinated masses. The sun rose over Vardon Ave and the stallholders rolled in carrying furniture, seemingly endless clothes racks, various carbon wheels and those sweet, sweet bikes.
Josh from The Bean Peddler got our engines running with freshly pulled espresso (the only beans on the street that day ground by belt drive), and only then would our eyes properly take in the spectacle before us - 20+ Australian cycling brands all in one place, swapping stories, explaining techniques (but keeping secrets I'm sure), seeing the fruits of others' labour in the flesh, and getting to show off and take pride in their own.
The crowd came in waves, with what feels at TDU time like an endless stream of ever-more-expensive bikes and in every kit you've ever seen - some of them straight from a big ride, some of them bleary-eyed, wandering in from the hotel and some of them fresh locals, keen to begin a week of showing their pals from interstate their favourite roads. As far as the eye could see were smiles of wonder at the patterns, the welds, the lightness, the paint, the time-it-must-have-taken, the ingenuity, and the sheer scale of what our local brands are capable of.
Cycling on the whole is not always kind to Australian producers, as Australia is an especially hard place to create products and make them viable in a market that's always racing to the bottom. With tiny leaps and even smaller bounds being made all around the world in R&D labs, it's sometimes hard to understand just how a framebuilder could even fathom starting out, or why anyone would start a kit brand knowing that there are thousands out there doing what feels like everything anyone could ever do - but that's just it. MAKER is a place where, once a year, you can see hard work turned into a tangible thing, and the air is full of resilience. If you missed it this year, don't make the same mistake in 2018.
With so many excellent local brands represented on the day it's hard to keep track of all of them, so here's a clickable list of who was there!
BARON CYCLING || BASTION CYCLES || THE BEAN PEDDLER || BESPOKE CHAINRINGS || BUCK!T || CYCLE CLOSET || DING LIGHTS || ECOCADDY || HEY REFLECT’O || INDIGO LIGHTS || JOHNSON BICYCLES || KRVKR SPORT || MAAP APPAREL || PROVA CYCLES || ROGERS BESPOKE || SKUNKWORKS BIKES || SPIN CYCLE CLOTHING || TENET SUPPLY || VALE BIKES || VELO-PORTE || VELOPOSTERS
Without the support of Splash Adelaide, this would never have become a reality. MAKER is only possible thanks to their ongoing support!