EVERY now and then, something lands in our inbox that we think is pretty cool and makes us take notice – surprisingly, it isn’t that often.
One such email that made us smile was from a guy called Tim Williams over at Endurance Conspiracy.
Normally, we’ll take a look, see if it’s anything interesting – maybe send a polite reply – and then that’s the end of it.
Here at Spin, we have a strict policy of not promoting anything that we don’t think our readers would be interested in.
Our simple rule of thumb is ‘if it’s not fun, cool or interesting – delete’.
Anyway, this particular email caught our attention and it went something like this: “I’d like to introduce Endurance Conspiracy to you. A t-shirt brand that brings a slightly different approach to your average cycling tee”.
Now, this is a pretty bold statement. Cycling t-shirts can be pretty hit and miss. Most are just plain crap, some are just plain tat. Others are usually produced by a third-party company that’s trying to cash in on the pedal pound (we think that’s a term, isn’t it?).
But when we clicked on the link, what we saw made us smile and then start thinking about reaching for our credit card.
Here was some unique t-shirts that had a sense of humour, a bit of fun and, more importantly, had been created by an actual artists – not some faceless corporation – so that pretty-much ticked all the boxes in our ‘like’ section.
What’s not to love? You can get a unique, screen-printed t-shirt that’s got a cycling-cum-movie-tv-or-whatever theme ranging from Star Wars to James Bond and Campag to Magnum PI. Bonus
Wait, there’s an actual story behind them, too. Fantastic. Even better.
Tim said: “I first saw the brand when I was in Kona, Hawaii for the IM World Championships (I wasn’t competing but my cousin was). They were expo’ing there. We always have our eyes open for new and exciting brands to bring to the UK.
“It took four years of pestering them to finally get a license to print here in the UK under their brand. They are a small, family company and needed to get in the right space before expanding outside the US. We’re their first foreign distributor. We screen print locally in the UK under our license.
“The artist is a guy called Tony DeBoom, who has done artwork for the likes of Red Bull, Zipp Wheels, Nuun and album covers for Jack Johnson and AOL. He is the USP of the brand, his hand ‘we’re not just a motif on a tee shirt’.”
Looks like Tony is a pretty interesting dude. Not only is he a former professional triathlete and self-taught artist, he also graduated from West Point Academy and trained with the Army Special Forces.
Once he completed his military service, he immersed himself in the world of competitive triathlon. He was a reserve on the Sydney 2000 US Olympic Triathlon Team and went on to win Ironman Utah in 2001.
Eight years ago, Tony – who has always doodled on his sketchpad – designed some t-shirts for a couple of people and it soon took off – and that gave birth to Endurance Conspiracy. Inspiration for his art comes from all types of popular culture and is folded back into the brand’s philosophy. His ideas stem from the world of music and film, TV and travel – his eyes are always wide open.
Tony said: “I’ve always carried a pad with me on trips for doodling and writing – I just did it for my own amusement. In 2007, I helped set up the Red Bull House in Kona for the Ironman World Championships. We had some parties and events throughout the race week where we had some other companies involved like Inside Tri and Patagonia.
“Everyone wanted T-shirts made for the event, so I just sort of took control of that project and I guess that’s where it started. EC was born there. I learned that I just really enjoyed the whole creative process and was filling a void that I didn’t know existed in my life – I had found a new inspiring outlet.
“I think there was a sense of enlightenment in the earlier years of endurance sports that is missing now. The pros used to travel to races early and stay late – they’d really soak up the experiences and make new friends, try local cuisine, enjoy what the venue had to offer including the night-life.
“Nowadays, pros seem to zip in and out of a race venue so quickly. We’re trying to reconnect with the adventurous spirit of endurance sports – the reason we all originally got involved.
“Our tagline says it all, ‘the fit shall inherit the earth’. Those perfect moments that we all feel when cresting a steep hill on our bike, skipping down a trail or catching that wave for a free ride into the beach. Unless you experience those moments for yourself, you really don’t know the euphoric high we’re expressing in our art. I guess you could say that’s the conspiracy.”
Check out the cool t-shirts for yourself over at: enduranceconspiracy.co.uk