30 Days of Rapha – Riding Down Hope Street

Commute: 25 miles roundtrip
Weather: Sunny Temp: 70 deg.
Rapha Kit:  Black Merino Base Layer, Rapha Bib Shorts, Red Light Weight Softshell Jacket
Accessories:  Merino Socks, Rapha Cap, Fixed Backpack

When I was a kid this time of year was all about hope. Hope that GI Joe with Kung Fu grip would find his way under the tree and nothing knitted would accompany him. Joe is long gone but his haircut lives on.

Cycling is about hope. Hope that you'll stay healthy and keep the mileage up. This year I set my sights on 7,000 miles but there's no way I'm getting there now. With some good rides in December I should pass my 5,400 mile total from last year. Not too bad, considering I've done quite a bit more climbing.

I looked to photograph a lot of cycling in 2008. I managed two stages of the Tour of California, the ZTeam shoot, three local races including the Coastal Classic, there was Cross Vegas, Crit Nationals and the Cross Crusade in Portland. I'm still finding new ways to capture the energy and motion of cycling without freezing things to the point where riders appear to be track standing at 30 mph. Daniel, Brian, Dan and Chris's work for the Continental is an inspiration and of course, all the lensemen contributing to Rouleur. I'll have something to say about the 2008 Rouleur Photo Annual when I've had some quality time with this year's compendium.

I hoped to see some improvement in my stamina on long rides, and there I think I made lots of progress. The Occidental Continental ride back in February seems a very long time ago. This summer's Best Buddies Century was a highlight, one because of the PCH course and two because Brendan, Tim and Marcella were along. Developing a better understanding of hydration and electrolyte replacement was key. Not that I'm saying I've got it completely figured out yet.

So what's Rapha got to do with all this. Well, their sites and their people (every one of them I've had the good fortune to meet) have been enthusiastic advocates for cycling. They live to ride and hope we like the products they've crafted. They commute, they race and they build bicycles, but most importantly they embrace all of us who believe this sport, regardless of our capabilities, is open to all.

Last January I began Velodramatic with the thought that some of these cycling experiences were worth recording, for myself primarily, but it's been gratifying that many of you have come along for the ride. We all spend some time on Hope Street after all.

6 Responses to 30 Days of Rapha – Riding Down Hope Street

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

  2. chris tree says:

    Thanks for the tip yesterday, for the stowaway. A stylish yet practical lightweight waterproof is worth it’s weight in teh british weather!


    And as for today’s post. Yup those guys at Rapha are all inclusive. I rode with them (pro’s and all) at the Hell of the Ashdown ride earlier this year. Spent some time post ride drinking coffee eating cake with a couple of the guys, they are a nice bunch and they even had time for us ‘with no capability’ :).

    See ya on Hope Street!


  3. timcox says:

    Michael – I thoroughly enjoyed this post. To me, cycling is great therapy for much of what can ail the body and soul. And that red lightweight ss is certainly very cheery.

    Looking at the photos, what jumped out at me is how the b&w photos really change the mood of the shoot. Do you routinely run all your photos through that ‘filter’ before deciding whether to go color/b&w? Or can you visualize in the mind’s eye which would work best? I’ve always found it hard to predict…

    Yes, you’ll certainly see me on Hope Street soon.
    Hoping, mainly, to stay vertical, on two wheels, and flat-free.


    ps: I’m also hoping that your helmet makes a reappearance soon. There’s an alarming lack of helmets on the website of the Rapha Continental rides and, more recently, on vd. Hate to sound like a nanny, etc. etc.

  4. Tim,

    I tend to see the imagery in black and white, and as you know I actually have the point-and-shoot G9 set up in the B&W picture mode (it still captures full color files) again so the visualization is about tone and composition.

    Every now and then I leave the files in color just for variety. Personally I’d be completely happy if all the photography was B&W.

    Have no fear, any of the real riding I’m doing is always with a helmet. Riding round in circles for the camera is pretty safe, and I keep reminding myself that I rode my bike everywhere as a kid without one.

  5. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha - What's in the Backpack | VeloDramatic

  6. timcox says:

    When I think of what we used to do as kids I’m surprised I’m around today! Luckily, back then, we actually knew we were indestructible. The power of positive thinking.