At any given moment, more than half the world is dark
So why aren't we dressed for it?
Project Night Stalker is the result of exhaustive experimentation and collaboration. Rodeo Adventure Labs started experimenting with high visibility cycling clothing after seeing the work of ICNY and other clothing innovators around the world. Fresh designs and products were being created that allowed people to play after dark in a safer, more stylish way but those efforts weren't being directed towards the needs of cyclists. We wanted to change that and we wanted to do it ourselves.
Cyclists need more visibility because bikes so often share the roads with motorists and other users. Our smaller visual profiles and lightly protected bodies make nocturnal pursuits in urban areas intimidating for many and outright dangerous for the improperly prepared. The cycling industry has attempted to answer this problem with ever brighter headlamps and flashing tail lights. Cyclists' night time clothing options have expanded into high visibility fluorescent inks and reflective clothing accents but the results more often than not have left wearers looking like construction zone signage and have been relegated to only the most die hard nocturnal velocipedes.
Rodeo Adventure Labs was left asking: Why does a cyclist have to chose between style and function? Why isn't visibility used more as a form of self expression? Can utility and fashion cross pollinate each other? Why hadn't anyone else asked these questions before us? Or had the questions been asked but the answers found infeasible?
We couldn't answer these questions on our own. Rodeo is not a clothing manufacturer. At our core we are a simply a group of cyclists, adventurers, storytellers, designers, engineers, photographers, and downright normal people. We had enough resources to experiment but we didn't have the know-how to take this lab project all the way to completion. We approached Castelli Cycling in September 2015 with an email that contained the following subject line: "Failure is an option". We invited Castelli to collaborate with us. We asked them to try something that we weren't sure would work. We asked them to throw out their rule book for working with third parties. We asked for access to their R&D resources and expertise with cycling garments. We asked for open communication. We asked for heaps of patience. To our extreme surprise they obliged all of our requests.
As soon as we had a green light from Castelli we opened up the beta process to twenty Rodeo team members around the globe. Twenty Project Night Stalker kits would be created. Each kit would be individually numbered monogrammed. The project was partially funded from the proceeds of the kit pre sales. Nobody was told what the kits were about. Nobody was told what the kits would look like. For a team member to be involved required a sense of adventure, and a blind trust in the process -- a process we thought would take two months.
Materials, prototypes, emails, phone calls, samples, and experiments criss-crossed the globe as Rodeo and Castelli worked together on the experiment. Intense small scale fabrication took place in Fonzaso, Italy; Denver, CO; and Portland; Oregon. Results were evaluated and tested. Revisions were made. When a material wasn't up to the demands of the project a new, better material was found or made.
Ten months later and eight months late, Project Night Stalker was completed late June 2016. Final kits were delivered to the team. Rides were scheduled, photos were taken. Chatter ensued.
We had done it. We had made something new, something fresh, and something that answered our questions.
Project Night Stalker is the comprehensive result of these efforts.
We are excited to share what we've created. Most importantly, we want it to be seen.
Gallery 01. Photos by Natalie Starr. www.natalierstarr.com/
Gallery 02. Photos by Natalie Starr. www.natalierstarr.com/
Gallery 03. Photos by Natalie Starr. www.natalierstarr.com/
000 Stephen Fitzgerald 001 Mike Tam 002 Geoff Klingsporn 003 Lucas Clarke 004 Mike Bean 005 Rod Hart 006 Gabe Scharg 007 Peder Horner 008 Scott Downes 009 Skyler Brown
010 Reid Neureiter 011 Andrew Burke 012 Lauren Bean 013 David Fitzgerald 014 Michael Hopkins 015 Greg Ledovsky 016 Sean Large 017 Dave Wynton 018 Ashley Gruber 019 Jered Gruber
Steven Smith / Rich Desmond / Rich Franca / Sudan Huffman / Ian Marshall / Star Walker /
Sarah Fitzgerald / Jennifer Hines / Geoff Klingsporn / Natalie Starr / Alvin Nordel /