30 Days of Rapha – On the Trail of Recovery

Trail Ride: 30 miles roundtrip
Weather: Sunny and Very Warm Temp: 81 deg.
Rapha Kit:  White Light Weight Jersey, Touring Shorts over Bib Shorts
Accessories:  Merino Socks, Winter Hat

After yesterday's long and sometimes intense ride with too-close-for-comfort traffic I wanted nothing more than an easy spin in the country to recover. A 30-mile out and back loop on the Coyote Creek Trail with Juli fit the bill perfectly. Last year we rode the trail almost every weekend from its Northern terminus at the Hellyer Velodrome down to the Southern turnaround in Morgan Hill, the home of Specialized Bicycles. This year we've yet to break even on our $75 outlay for an annual parking permit. Giddy up.

The mercury hit 81 F in San Jose today so the choice was simple black and white – Rapha's Touring Shorts (black) and Light Weight Jersey (white). I left the helmet at home and shaded my scalp with the Winter Hat, which given the temperature, turned out to be surprisingly cool. If skaters and Rastafarians can wear woolen hats year round, then I'm entitled to wear my Rapha chapeau whenever I like, right?

The Light Weight Jersey lives up to its name with an eyelet Sportwool blend (25% Merino wool, 75% polyester). Yesterday's Club Jersey is a 40/60 blend of the same yarns, a small but notable difference. As usual I wore the LW Jersey over the Base Layer which gave me two additional benefits. The easy pace and lack of sweating meant I only had to wash the base layer after the ride and I didn't have to apply sunscreen to my back where the LW Jersey's full-length mesh panel would expose skin otherwise.

Just as I noticed the subtle contrast in jersey fabrication this weekend my choice of bib shorts was equally illuminating. I'm already on record declaring the Cytech pad in the 2008 bibs more comfortable than the Nalini pad in its Rapha predecessor. Yesterday I wore the 2008 bibs, today the 2007s. No comparison. It may be tough to justify a new pair of bibs if your old ones are wearing as well as mine, but your butt will appreciate the difference believe me.

Photographic note – I wouldn't take an SLR cycling very often. Today was an exception and I must say the rubber-backed Domke strap did a great job of keeping the Canon centered on my back, just where I wanted it. I even managed to grab a few POV frames of Juli along the way. Riding with a 1D dangling a shoulder strap is not for the faint of heart, but there's no denying the lense quality and frame rate make a huge difference for this kind of stuff. On a controlled, low-traffic trail like Coyote I'll try this again.

6 Responses to 30 Days of Rapha – On the Trail of Recovery

  1. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha – Riding Solo to Santa Cruz | VeloDramatic

  2. NickM says:

    Just wanted to say I’m really enjoying your posts and photos since I discovered the link to Velodramatic a little over a month ago on the Richard Sachs cyclocross blog! I don’t own any Rapha as of yet, but the holidays are approaching! I’m sure a few Rapha items will make there way onto my wish list.

    Looking forward to the 13 or so remaining “Days of Rapha” and beyond. Thanks for posting.

  3. Nicholas,

    Thanks for the encouragement. This point in the series is like the turnaround point on a windy ride when you’re not sure whether you’ll be fighting headwinds home or getting a helping tailwind. I’m pushing on none the less.

    Hope someone puts some Rapha under the tree for you (even if you’re doing it yourself)


  4. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha – Monday Night Raw | VeloDramatic

  5. Graham Elliott says:

    Hi There,

    Just wanted to say hello. I discovered your site through the Washingmachinepost. I have visited San Jose on three occasions the last time in 1999. My wife and I have friends who stay there, pretty near you I think, judging by your route to Santa Cruz. We will hopefully be visiting our friends next year, and i would love to cycle in California. It is such a beautiful place and I have only seen a little of it in my previous visits.



  6. Graham,

    Keep in touch regarding your plans. I’d be happy to get out for a ride with you if the timing works out.