The right side of my upper lip is cracking. I should reach back under my vest, remove the lip balm that is stashed in one of the jersey pockets and apply it. This would be the right move to prevent further pain in the face region. The balm will probably be in the far right pocket. If I could just think back to this morning when I was loading my pockets. But I can’t. Reach back, that is, just as I can’t recall where I put the damn balm. The wind is so severe it’s having that effect on me. It blows you to the side when you take a hand off the bars and right back into the saddle the rest of the time. It’s funny how one moment the wind can whip its way along the base of a canyon and propel you to speeds you never thought possible. And then, moments later, it wipes clean any notion of assistance by completely stymying any sort of forward motion. Which is what it is doing right now… Read more.
Posts Tagged ‘rapha’
Here we go again is the phrase that ran through my mind as we drove south through Oregon and into the state of Idaho. After riding some of the toughest stages of theTour of California earlier in the year, another stage race reconnaissance was in the offing. Darkness covered our way as we entered Wyoming and, lucky for us, it was still there when the sun came up. Here we go again. Bouncing along the straights of Highway 80 through Wyoming, a road that seems to run the 1,200 miles directly from Portland to the Denver International Airport, we finally took a quick right hand turn in Cheyenne (stopping at the illustrious diner The Egg and I) and entered the great state of Colorado….
Read more at Rapha Continental.
I love this shirt, It’s fantastic. Since I first laid my hands on my Rapha+Paul Smith windproof shirt I have been using it nonestop, bar the washing.
This smart, highly technical jacket/shirt hybrid is made from the same fabric as the Rapha Wind Jacket. It has a water-resistant treatment to repel sudden showers and when paired with a Rapha base layer, is all you need for fast summer riding in town.
Seriously, it’s all of that and then some. The versatility of this shirt is second to none and that, my friends pleases me. I have it on right now, back from a short cycle ride to my local store, complete with a sweet potato and a packet of couscous in the rear pockets. I love it. I can now leave the bag at home.
There are great juxtapositions in cycling: the tougher the ride, the greater the rewards; the further you go, the more unknown places you will discover. Combine these and you have the 2011 North East Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. A 134 mile chain of beautiful scenery, grueling climbs, and challenging surfaces through little known areas of Eastern Pennsylvania.
At 7:30AM on May 21st, the first of 20 teams, each comprised of six riders, departed on a journey. Starting and ending at the iconic Lehigh Valley Velodrome, this could only become a memorable day. Of these 20 teams, only nine completed the entire racecourse with all six riders. Some teams finishing a man down, while others had to take a short cut to finish before sunset.
All 120 riders shared the feeling that this was the most grueling and, at the same time, beautiful ride they had ever done.
More at Rapha.
Kieran Young, Rapha representative, Mobile cycle club nomad, Spinwell EU correspondent and all round nice guy just sent me these pics of his past couple months of travelling around Europe with the Rapha mobile cycle club.
I’v said it before and I’ll say it again, what an ace way of spending the summer!
Man, this is truly awesome. Not this movie per se, but the idea of what’s in it. Priceless.
Spot Kieran Young with the cheeky roly! Oh I lolzed!
We consider ourselves to be gloriously average cyclists. We appreciate the hard rides and the easy ones. Sometimes, we stop for coffee or beer and most of those times we linger a bit longer than you might expect. That is not to say that we do not relish the hard efforts that come with being a cyclist. The long pulls into a headwind or the climbs that dangle in front of you for what seem to be days. We have even found, a few of us, that we enjoy a trip or two over the pavé, or that we feel at home with gravel bouncing off our shins and shoes. Sometimes this makes us a little heady and we get caught up in the beauty and suffering of riding our bicycles, so we tend to think of ourselves as good riders. But that does not mean that for a minute, or second, do any of us think we can hold a candle to the professional peloton, to what it takes to be a professional cyclist. Read on…
Rapha’s 2nd running of the North London ride event celebrating the famous Paris–Roubaix road race held on the same day in Northern France. 100km through darkest Hertfordshire including 20 gravé sectors. All finishers were treated to free beer and frites and big screen Eurosport to watch Johan van Summeren become king of the cobbles.
The full flickr set is now up!
There they were, blasting along gravel roads, the odd bit of pavé and what were meant to be ‘mud tracks’ and not a grimace in sight, not even the hint of one. To be honest hell looked pretty good to me. Even a fellow who had encountered 4 punctures in his first 50km was as chipper as Gene Kelly underneath an umbrella. Hellish? Hmm, *looks left to right* not round here.
Hold tight for a full report and a stash of photographs over at Rapha later this the week.
Big thanks go out to Joe and Kieran.
Rapha stowaway meet drivetrain, drivetrain, this is Rapha stowaway.
I spent most of yesterday ( an hour ) spraying my beloved jacket with degreaser as my chain, jockey wheels and freewheel had made a right mess of it. It’s ok now, mind, bar a few holes in the arms.
I really don’t have much luck with these, I hit the deck in the ice last winter and ripped the shoulder out of another stowaway. Rapha curses.
Note to self – Do not strap your wind jacket underneath your saddle.
Even though I am 12st and have a paunch the size of 12 krispy kremes I don’t need this… but some might.
Some of you may have had the experience where your svelte cycling partners are able to whip up the climbs like marmottes on a mountain way faster than you can. I personally don’t know what that feels like, but if you do, you might need this.
Developed in the field by riders of the Rapha Continental in North America, the Rapha Climbing Lead is Rapha’s first training product. A discreet, lightweight and highly effective training tool, the lead is designed to help less able climbers ride with more accomplished ones.
The Rapha Climbing Lead is made from an advanced blend of silk and kevlar fibres, to create a fabric that has minimal stretch and a translucent finish. It can withstand up to 200kg of load and is connected between the lead rider’s seatpost and the following rider’s handlebars using a patented hook-and-mount system. Both couplings are made from a transparent carbon, making them less visible to the naked eye, and both are lined with double-density tricot fleece to prevent damage to either bike.
Five of Rapha’s hard men recently went out to Recce the Paris-Roubaix challenge route:
When riding a col, one has time to reflect, to assess and pace oneself, to assert some technique, some control over the demands of the climb. Occasionally the art of cycling is reduced to desperate digging, but the goal is to dance, to fly even, up these lofty, twisting roads towards the summit. When riding the cobbles there is no time for such dreaming. You are in a boxing ring and when that first bell rings, you’re instantly the boxer. Sometimes you’re just the punchbag. Rounds can last for anything from three to fifteen minutes, your feet must be quick. You float, numbed, on the smooth tarmac for a couple of minutes, then try to recover before the next round. Unless you know the course, you often have no warning before the bell rings again… read more
The Rapha Paris-Roubaix challenge takes place on the 9th April, the day before the pro event and also don’t forget Rapha’s HOTN part deux on the 10th… I’ll be there, armed with cameras and a chauffeur. Bostin’.
Rapha Rides for Tohoku
Rapha is organizing a series of world wide charity rides in order to help the victims of the worst disaster in Japan since World War 2.
Make a donation (minimum $10), and Rapha will match your amount.
Sending nothing but love and wishes to all affected in these troubled times.
The route is up on the Rapha blog and I am pleased to say that this year I’ll be going along, but not to ride it, oh no I’m way to chub for that. No I’ll be snapping pictures of muddy faces and punctured tyres.
If you fancy entering this free event in North London go here to the registration page and put your name down and remember… “Belgian style hospitality at the finish” Which means you get to watch Paris-Roubaix live while eating frites ( chips ) and drinking beer. Lovely.
This April sees the return of last year’s smashing success of Rapha’s HOTN ride. Looking forward to this as I missed last year’s event due to a ruined car… said car is now wishing it hadn’t tangled with me, while it sits atop another hunk of metal in the local scrapyard.
Find more details over at Rapha.