30 Days of Rapha – That’s a Wrap

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Coyote Creek Trail Ride: 30 miles
Weather: Sunny Temp: 70 deg.
Rapha Kit:  Rapha T-shirt, Touring Shorts, Rapha Manifest Cap
Accessories:  Merino Socks

What a month. Sometimes it's good NOT to know you're biting off a bit too much. Riding for thirty straight days turned out to be the easiest part of the series. The photography and daily publishing duties overwhelmed the hours on the bike. The late nights piled up towards the end... I'm not sure I'd have managed a month with 31 days.

I owe a huge debt to my wife Juli for spending countless hours shooting the clothing and rides and putting up with all the art direction. My friends Brendan, Tim and TJ who rode with me in the bay area. Slate and Daniel for dragging me along in the quest for Otto Miller then literally pushing me back to Portland on "the 30" with a mechanical problem. My heartfelt thanks to the entire Rapha family, Continental riders and UK HQ, the prolific Brian Palmer of the washingmachinepost for encouragement and lending me his audience for a week. Finally to all who followed the series, commented and contributed, merci.

I put together a few highlights from the month.

23 Responses to 30 Days of Rapha – That’s a Wrap

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

  2. NickM says:

    Thanks for the 30 Days of Rapha series. It was beautifully written and photographed.

  3. Tim Cox says:

    Michael – it’s been a great ride!

    I’ve enjoyed both watching and participating. It was a daunting undertaking but you delivered the goods and kept me coming back for more with your fun narrative and super shots.

    Looking forward to our next sortie.

    Tim

  4. Thanks Tim,

    Sorry the logistics of Saturday were so last minute, it would have been great to have you along. It will be a few months before I summon the energy to do Mines again, but you’ll be the first to know… you’d definitely enjoy it (well, until the backside of Hamilton).

    We should do the front side of Hamilton soon, just so you can experience that perfect downhill. Kamikaze descender that you are, you may just get airborne.

    ::M

  5. BR says:

    Super day…watching a rider – any rider – battle a categorized climb from the comfort of the support car was one for the books. It was made more meaningful that this friend is committed to the road and its reality. It’s humbling to me that Michael started this day knackered from the previous three days of Sierra Rd (also categorized), SF, and with a formal holiday meal tossed in the middle of it all. On the drive out there I thought he would ride a bit..sit in the car for a break…ride some more, etc. No shame in the car on this road in November. The route up from Livermore is in my personal top 3 rides for any local rider that needs or wants to see what their limits are. Miles such as these are where we face the doubts and find the limits and live with the truth even if it disappoints. No disappointments on this day. We had a good chat on the way down that hill about how well the Enigma handles in all conditions and distances, the value in the clothing, Michael set a new standard for himself, a month long project in the bag, all of the pieces fell into place. I am so proud of him and knew all long, that sidelined or not, I would not have been able to keep his pace so that is a genuine compliment. Juli – it’s my opinion that you set the standard for support and your blend of “you’re doing fine to MOVE IT!” made that ride possible. Such a great ride – thanks Michael & Juli

  6. thank you for your writing and great images of the last 30 days
    looking forward to the next one
    ciao
    michelangelo

  7. Richard says:

    Congratulations on finishing the 30 days in superb style Michael.

    I’ve very much enjoyed this last month’s daily dose – a brilliant effort, fine prose and as always, excellent photography. A super project, beautifully executed.

    Many thanks sir.

  8. Patrick says:

    Fine work. I’m glad you got the jacket – you deserved it, that’s for certain. I wore my rapha classic jersey the other day and it didn’t work. Guess I’ll just have to live vicariously through this site. Keep it coming and keep up the good work.

  9. What was the problem Patrick, didn’t fit right or wrong for the temperature of your ride?

    ::M

  10. Ernesto says:

    Thank you very much indeed , to you and all the people behind this enjoyable 30 day ride along with you.
    I hope you share in the near future another fantastic riding month with us .
    Regards from Lima, Perú (So. America)
    Ernesto

  11. John P. says:

    Great Job Michael, and you too Juli. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride over the last few weeks. Now rest up and start another one! :)

  12. IM says:

    I have been an avid reader of the 30 days series all the way from the England. It’s been great to get in from work and catch up on the ride and the outfit!
    I was introduced to Rapha and road cycling by my good friend MS, and it’s good to know he approves of the series!
    ps I don’t suppose you could be tempted into the ’12 Days of Christmas’…Rapha style?

  13. IM

    Glad to have readers across the pond along for the ride. I’d have thought everyone had exhausted their Rapha appetites for a bit. If there was a way to guarantee that spouses followed the series and got the “hints” for presents it would certainly be worth it.

    I’ll definitely do a Rapha Christmas post though, leaving enough time for gift giving.

    ::M

  14. James says:

    Great effort there, fantastic photographs.
    Being in Western Australia, every morning when I get up I’ve been having a read, it’s been inspirational.
    Thanks to you, or should it read no thanks to you, Rapha clothes are now my staple cycling setup.
    Ride safe.

  15. Bob says:

    Every evening (and sometimes even at work!) I was excited to check for the daily update. You’d think I was six years old and couldn’t stop counting the days until Christmas. I suffered sartorial jealously at every pedal turn. My fast days are long behind me, but it’s never too late to look good! Thank you both very much for a fun-filled month.

  16. Scott H. says:

    Great series. The photography made me jealous I wasn’t out there with you and your writing was more than worth the read. Thank Juli as well,

    Scott

  17. Alan D says:

    Big thanks to you and Juli for a most entertaining read all month and all the visual treats to go with it. Chapeau!

    Whilst I appreciate you get all the inside scoops from Perren St due to devotion to the cause, is that orange striped cap (and t-shirt) going to be available for the masses? Would go nicely with my mudstained Rapha cross shorts…………

    Alan (also across the pond)

  18. thanks Alan,

    I’m checking with Slate… both were done for the Manifest event in Portland. I’ll get back to you when I hear something.

    ::M

  19. All,

    I’ve been making sure that Juli reads the appreciative comments too. That was a true team effort.

    ::M

  20. Groover says:

    That’s a beautiful portrait of Juli. Simply beautiful. I’ll be hanging in for the day Rapha introduces their women line of clothing. ;-)

  21. Daniel says:

    Admire the commitment to and the execution of the 30 days. Impressive.

    Just discovered your site, made for great reading in cold New York City a few days ago. Today we had 60 degrees weather though…

    Couple of comments and questions if you don’t mind…

    I see that you have a few pieces of Assos gear. How would do you compare the Rapha and Assos brands? I like Assos’ gear quite a bit, in particular their Mille shorts and the 851 jacket and tights. I haven’t tried Rapha yet but obviously am tempted to now that I read about your experience.

    As pertaining to your bike choices, I find your going from carbon to titanium very interesting. I have followed the reverse path, recently going from a titanium Guru to a Cervelo R3-SL. I still enjoy riding the Guru a lot but, sadly, it has been relegated to casual ride or poor weather bike status. I just find the R3 offers a more lively riding experience, a better “connection” with the road. Amazing power transfer and incredible comfort as well.

    P.S. Been spending quite some time on the Rapha website recently…

  22. Hello Daniel,

    Glad you enjoyed the Rapha series. As you can see I’ve been dogging it lately, enjoying the holidays and haven’t posted anything in weeks. Hope to remedy that soon.

    Assos and Rapha may take their aesthetic inspiration from different sources but I think both brands are exceptional. The few pieces of Assos kit I have really impressed me with their construction and performance.

    To my mind Assos and Rapha are the clothing equivalents of Shimano and Campagnolo. Equal in quality… I’ve just chosen Rapha as my poison.

    The R3-SL is a fabulous bike. Cervelo really does an amazing job of blending material, geometry and design. Somehow Enigma has managed a similar feat with the combination of titanium and carbon in my Eulogy and it differs from my Cervelo by only a few mms. yet I just feel “right” on it.

  23. Daniel says:

    Happy New Year Michael,

    Well, while you did your pilgrimage to Mt. Hamilton, I had a chance to test my Assos winter gear in 16 degrees weather…

    Having said that, thanks to you, I caught the Rapha bug and have ordered a few pieces. I have little doubt that more orders will follow. In that context, I would be extremely grateful if there was a chance to get the “friends” discount code that one of your “30 days of Rapha” reader offered to share. No problem if it’s not possible.

    Best,

    D.