On a beautiful Sunday that saw me pass on an early morning ride with Tim and Georges to catch up on a little sleep, Juli and I managed another late afternoon spin down the trail at Coyote Creek. After we got back we spent an hour at the small lake enjoying the sunshine and quiet. As you can see I got Juli in front of the camera modeling Rapha's versatile Winter Hat – Looks good on her – and I had a chance to spend some quality time with the 2008 Rouleur Photography Annual.
First things first. A note about the day's kit. With all the attention that's been showered on the deserving fall/winter lineup, it's worth remembering that the number one position in my top ten ranking is occupied by the Summer Gilet (and the 07 version at that). This everyday companion in black with a bold white stripe is lightweight, dries quickly, folds up to nearly nothing and comes through repeated washes looking as good as the day I bought it (the white stripe is still white, two years later). I'd guess that the 2008 version is even better as it appears to be made from the same winning fabric as the Stowaway.
I recently suggested that Rapha consider an upgrade program... having little to no idea how that would work in practice, it just seems there would be many customers (like us) who'd happily acquire the latest model of a piece they owned with a loyalty incentive of some kind.
We wrapped up our own shooting for the day with enough light left to spend 30 minutes with the engaging Rouleur Annual. As you'd expect from the cast of Rouleur photographers there are many wonderful images in this book, and left within easy reach on a coffee table or nightstand, it's one you'll return to numerous times.
Some of the highlights for me were: Timm Kölln's stunning black and white series from the Giro entitled "Dolomiti" – the juxtaposition of riders and Tifosi presented against a hovering backdrop of monumental and snow-capped peaks is incredibly powerful. Then there's Taz Darling's intense but muted color palette as applied to the "British National Championships" under brooding (almost HDR) skies. Cavendish and others spent at the finish; participants queuing up for numbers in an old gymnasium. She hits that note again with wonderful portraits of Roger Hammond and Nico Eeckhout in "Roubaix Velodrome."
Olaf Unverzart's "Giro Climbs" presents serpentine roads as the operatic stage over which the great drama will play itself out. Rein van de Wouw's "A Day Before Paris-Roubaix" captures the bleak and hardened character of that great race in the streets and people of the region.
The singles: Ben Ingham's landscape of a cane-carrying old man standing under a Race banner from "Before Paris-Roubaix"; Rein van de Wouw's sentinel trees from "Flanders Fields" and Geoff Waugh's line of riders under the overhang of an avalanche canopy at the Etape are real standouts.
A must have for the Rapha collector and any cyclist who loves great photography of the sport. The Rouleur Annual 2008.