30 Days of Rapha – Tweed and the Golden Gate

Bridge Crossing and Headlands: 10 miles
Weather: Partly Cloudy Temp: 60 deg.
Rapha Kit:  Rapha Fixed Base Layer, Fixed Shorts, Rapha Tweed Softshell Jacket
Accessories:  Merino Socks, Rapha Winter Hat, Softshell Gloves

I'm not usually at a loss for words, but this one has me fumbling. Wednesday, middle of the afternoon a Fedex package arrives from Portland. Slate had told me to expect something, I'm thinking something seasonal... box of chocolates, perhaps even a turkey (the turkey would have been appreciated since the one we cooked was a major disappointment). It clearly wasn't the turkey as I struggled to tear away the Fedex packaging that Slate had managed to press fit around the jet black Rapha gift box.

With the profanity out the way, I removed the lid and parted the signature pink newsprint tissue in full view of the office voyeurs. To visualize the moment, think Raiders of the Lost Ark, I swear there was a flash of light and the voices of angels as I removed and held up the Limited Edition Tweed Jacket. It might as well have been the Shroud of Turin (before the latest scientific evidence brought that icon back to earth as a magnificent fabrication). The Rapha Tweed Softshell is a magnificent fabrication AND the real thing. There's no need to carbon date these threads, and no one is getting anywhere near this with tweezers, shears, or anything sharp, dirty or sweaty.
Note to Self: Clean bike before any ride with Tweed Softshell.

Juli and I intended to take the ferry to Angel Island today and ride around the perimeter road, unfortunately traffic into the city was horrendous and we didn't make it in time. Instead we parked in the Presidio and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands. Not bad for an alternate route, I never get tired of the bridge with San Francisco shimmering in the distance.

With a significant birthday approaching next year the Tweed Softshell Jacket might have been on my secret wish list. This is not a typical piece of kit... even by Rapha standards its pure luxury, but ladies if there's a 30th, 40th or 50th birthday on the horizon and he's got more bikes than he can fit (or you'll allow) in the garage, you couldn't do better than this for the wardrobe. OK, that means the Aston Martin DB9 moves to the top of the list.

There's not much more to say, except thank you to everyone at Rapha.
I'll wear it with pride.

16 Responses to 30 Days of Rapha – Tweed and the Golden Gate

  1. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha – Thanksgiving on Sierra Road | VeloDramatic

  2. brian says:


    nobody deserves a tweed softshell more than you

    well done that man


  3. B

    Thanks. You know better than any of us how classy the Perren Street bunch are. It’s a real treat.

    You sir are supposed to be on holiday. I didn’t respond to your earlier comment about the headwind (of course you’re right) so those fingers of yours would get another day or two of rest.

    Relishing the thought of handing back the daily publishing duties to you and the wmp come the 2nd.

    Enjoy the last couple of days of freedom.


  4. timcox says:

    Wow! I will now be on the lookout for an extremely dapper-looking rouleur in the environs of Mountain View. That jacket certainly cuts quite a dash and, I dare say, will look equally good both on the bike and in the DB9.

    Can’t wait to get a closer look – I’ll let you know when I’m next gonna be in the K office.

    That’s a really classy thing for Slate et al to do – kudos to them and the other kind folks at Rapha.


  5. Richard says:

    Mmmmmm. Mighty fine threads, wonderfully styled.

    A fabulous gesture, very much deserved.

    Nice work all round.

  6. BR says:

    Dear Rapha – You sent then the wrong size. Please dispatch a 2XL to me immediately. I will provide a new address so don’t be alarmed. I can’t send the original because my dog ate it.

  7. willy in pacifica says:

    Hey Velodramatic,

    Was in the same neighborhood as you Friday. Headed over the GG bridge for a nice coffee run in full Rapha atire. Belgium jersey, touring shorts over bibs and the new stowaway team jacket. I have a couple of the lightweight softshell jackets but find them a tad on the warm side unless it is particularly cold in the Bay Area. The new Stowaway is now the perfect jacket.

    If you ever head over to Marin let me know of if you head out for a Woodside ride.

    I read you story regarding decending Tunitus Creek. My theory is that you climb the road with names (Tunitus, OLH, Kings Mt, Alpine) and desend the raods with numbers (hwy 84 or Hwy 92).

    willy in pacifica

  8. hi velodramatic
    the jacket looks real good on you!
    a well deserved present from a generous company.
    great story!

  9. Joe says:

    I guess you got your denouement….Congrats! Are you still contemplating the 3 Days without Rapha. I’m actually kind of curious what you might come up with…..

  10. RMW says:

    That is very cool. This whole month has been very cool. I look forward to acquiring more Rapha goods, and your site is always an inspiration.

    Keep rolling on…

  11. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha – Going Down the Mines | VeloDramatic

  12. Thanks for the good wishes everyone (Richard, RMW, michelangelo, Tim, BR)


    Nice to hear from you Willy, too bad we didn’t spot each other. Would love to have grabbed a photo of you in that kit like we did running into Erik at the top of Tunitas. I’m going to try and organize a ride in the new year for bay area readers (when Brendan is back on the bike). I’ll blog about it when it happens. Love to have you along.


    I’m going to do something for fun maybe later this week. I’ve got tonight’s summary to do then take a day or two off before getting round to anything. Amazing how tired I am, mostly from all the late nights writing.

  13. willy in pacifica says:

    I have a few bikes in my garage and when I ride my long distance brevet bike it just requires me to put on my best Rapha gear. It just would not look right to be in full team kit on this beautiful brevet bike. If you see me out there you will notice the bike before you notice the Rapha clothing. I’ll bring it along for your Bay Area group ride.

    BTW, I read somewhere along your Nov blog that you were considering Cyclocross racing. I just did my second race in GG Park yesterday and had a blast. It is less intimidating then I thought especially if you decide to ride toward the back for the first few races. There is still a lot of racing that can be had in the back you just happen to be racing the 5-6 guys around you. Lots of fun and I cannot believe how well a cross bike handles on a dirt course with the proper air pressure. I even got my 11 year old daughter into the Jr race and hope to sneek in my 9 year old in next week. They are suppossed to be ten but they kept trying to sign her up so may just let them. They will come in dead last but they love riding their bikes on the trails.

    willy in pacifica

  14. Dave Pankras says:


    Ooh… do you hear that? It seems to be the sound of your Rapha wardrobe crying out for some vintage steel with NR/SR components to accentuate. I heard it coming from my closet last year and heeded the call. It opened up a whole new money pit I had neglected in the quest for the lightest bike I could build. I’ve since seen the error of my ways and revel in the feeling of having something you just can’t pick up at the LBS.



    With regards to the tweed jacket. This has been out for how long and you’re just getting it now? I thought you had a standing order for anything and everything coming out of their shop!

  15. Dave,

    I’ll admit I’ve started looking at some classic bikes and where they used to have no effect on me, these days I’m seeing them in a different light. It’s probably just a matter of time before I ride into that money pit of yours.

    I’ve actually thought about selling my Cervelo SLC-SL, I’m riding the Enigma so much I rarely get out on it. I like the idea of another Enigma (they make a beautiful steel bike) or a Baum out of Australia.

    On the subject of Tweed, even in my obsessive state the jacket is not something I’d ever have purchased for myself. Every now and then they come out with a piece that’s beyond my means. The last time it was the Rapha Kit Bag.

  16. Dave Pankras says:

    There’s 3 guys I would look at next time. Sam Whittingham of Naked Bicycle Design In B.C. (he painted my Olmo and sold a custom bike of his to Lance Armstrong at the NAHB show in Portland) Russ Denny in Hemet who apprenticed under Dave Moulton (He built the Masi 3V I have) and of course Roland Della Santa.

    I hear you about some of the pricey Rapha items. For me I think the training journal was a little overkill. Also the heavier winter kit is lost on me since I’m good to about 35 degrees with a baselayer and long sleeve jersey or winter jersey but much below freezing point and my fingers and toes get to where it’s not fun anymore.