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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Coast to Coast - Preperation and planning

Rapha Continental – The Movie from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Tomorrow Joanne and I are joined by five other Anglo Mules in a 'mini Tour' from Morecambe on the West Coast of England to Bridlington in the East. We will be following 'The Way of the roses' a designated cycle route, however there will be a deviation on the last day taking a more northerly track.

Being self sufficient, with no support team and I have offered to carry all of Joannes stuff as well as my own.With such an undertaking my tourer was the only choice however looking at the amount of clothes, equipment, and potions that come in the 'Needed' category I am starting to think that a trailer would be more suitable than my traditional side luggage.

As the point of departure gets closer the pannier's have become heavier and the symbolism of 'Travels with my Mule' is not lost on me.
The three day adventure takes us over the Pennines and through some of the most beautiful country within the UK (The Yorkshire Dales). The pace will be deliberately slow determined by conscience as well as by gradient. There is also a genuine expectation that 'walking' may occur on of some of the more demanding accents which are around 25% ouch !!!!!!

It will be a pleasure not to have to ride in a competitive atmosphere to just enjoy the pleasure of cycling. As a way of inspiration I have searched for video archives and found some which have been commissioned by Rapha.

Rapha Performance Roadwear is a really cool premium sportswear and lifestyle brand focused on bicycle road cycling, clothing and accessories it also publishes the classy Rouleur Magazine.
The clothing is strongly influenced by the famous British clothing designer Paul Smith a keen cyclists himself whose early cycling ambitions were dashed by a serious accident.

In 2007 Rapha commenced filming with 'The Rapha Continental' which was driven by the idea to discover, or perhaps rediscover, the lost art of cycling. Its amazing !!!

They sum it up beautifully:-

' Too many riders that we knew had started to lose sight of why we love to ride, slipping into a racer’s mentality and putting our focus on measuring watts, counting calories and doing ‘efforts’. Don’t get me wrong, many of us excitedly pin numbers to our jerseys and line up each week but we’d reached a point where somehow the ends didn’t seem to justify the means.

Now in our fifth year, the main sensation that we, the ‘non-team’ of riders known as the Rapha Continental, have encountered, is wonderment. When the goal of a ride is about the experience instead of the speed or the distance, it changes everything.

It seems an obvious statement but it’s one that is easily forgotten with the fast pace of life, work and family. The 60-plus adventures we have ridden across the country have been a constant reminder that something spectacular happens when you mix hard riding, good friends, beautiful surroundings and punishing roads.

The communities we have temporarily become part of as we have ridden through them have given us memories we would never have had if we hadn’t passed through them on bicycles, or if we hadn’t been open to the notion that a good conversation was more important than getting in before dark.

We didn’t create this style of riding. In fact, we’ve been inspired by hundreds of like-minded cyclists we’ve met on roads all across the country. To a man (or woman), they are riders who have a penchant for gravel, who delight in a local’s tale, and who share our appetite to push the boundaries of distance and ability.

On some occasions we’ve had the pleasure of riding alongside them; on others, we’ve exchanged a simple nod and wave as we pass by. Whether we rode alone, tackling the route of the Amgen Tour of California, or whether we joined the ranks of the best organized rides we could find, the goal was always to be part of, to help create, a story worth telling. And that, I suppose, is the point of it all'.

I cant promise such a classy film but when I get back there will be pictures, somethings to laugh about and some fond memories to share.

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