The First Signs of Rapha Spring

In the beginning there was Rapha black; classic, timeless, refined, tailored, graphic, urban, edgy, luxurious, flattering BLACK. If they did nothing else I'm sure I'd still be happy, but each season Rapha brings a refined sense of color to the road for discerning riders.

Rapha's subtle visibility for 2009; Misty Blue Stowaway Jacket

2009 Rapha Stowaway Gallery

2009 Stowaway Jacket – Misty Blue Impressions

In 2008 Rapha delivered its second generation Stowaway Jacket. Cut from lighter, softer, stretchier fabric and licensed to kill, it was a featherweight companion you could take anywhere, and did! If the Londoners hadn't seen fit to tempt us with the equally impressive Classic Softshell, Light-Weight Softshell, and Fixed-Jackets, it might have been a monogamous relationship albeit with a little more inventive layering in the bedroom. This year the definitive black model has been joined by higher-visibility Stowaways in Orange and Misty Blue. Lucky bastard that I am, I was fortunate to receive a Misty Blue version early last week and as you can see from the accompanying photos, its predictably stylish.

Misty Blue is popular with the locals Asymmetrical front zip and comfortable high collar Simple Branding, collar and back

The 2009 Rapha Stowaway Jackets (Black, Orange, Misty Blue) are priced at £175 $290 €195

If fashion is as much about "being seen" as "how we see ourselves" cycling fashion on public roads must ensure we are SEEN. All too often it seems we must sacrifice style for a measure of safety, but not this time.

Misty Blue doesn't pack the concentrated punch of it's orange sibling, but it manages to reconcile the seemingly opposite aspirations of higher-visibility and subtlety in one sophisticated, translucent shade of blue. Pulling it on gives me the same confidence I get from my red Lightweight Softshell. I don't kid myself it will protect me from the blind, the distracted or the criminally stupid, but that's an intervention best left to my DiNottes.

If you're reading this and haven't accepted a Stowaway into your life, it's time to confess your sins and give yourself up to a higher power. Chapter and verse according to the creative gospel of Luke (Scheybeler). But enough of this blasphemy, when there's more kit to review.

Note: After a few reminders from those of you who stop to photograph traffic accidents I've updated The Tab. Yes, the world economy is in shambles but I'm still doing my best to bolster consumer spending. Step up and do your part. Looking good might help us ride fast enough to stay ahead of the flames.

One for the Road

Enigma Eulogy wearing Edge Composites Clinchers

A freshly washed Enigma Eulogy wearing Edge Composites Clinchers

11 Responses to The First Signs of Rapha Spring

  1. Matthew says:

    I’ve been on Schwalbe Ultremo’s for a few years (recommended to me by Dan Schmatz). I’m definitely a fan, but the Michelin Pro Race 3′s are also quite nice.

  2. kurt says:

    I understand the desire for understated fashion, but when it comes to matters of road safety I tend to er on the side of caution.

    Yes, I am guilty of wearing Neon Yellow to avoid being seen. The misty blue really is something but I think I have to go with the orange. I saw it on the Rapha site last week and was blown away. Rapha did a great job getting the colr of orange in a stylish shade, a kind of faded lifegaurd orange. I can see the beach babes running my way already.

    I inquired on availability last week and received an April 10th-ish response. Just in time for my road trip North. Taking the TT up to Boston to pick up my brand new custom steel ride from Peter Mooney then heading straight to the pastoral rolling hills and steep grades of North Carolina. With any luck, the inaugural ride will include an orange Rapha stowaway to keep the mountain chill at bay and the rider alive.

  3. Sounds like a perfect plan. I’m keen on the Orange too, and for exactly the same reasons. Luckily there’s no shortage of those babes in California and Florida.

    Look forward to some pictures of your Mooney… you must be pretty excited about that trip. Enjoy.

  4. DancingTool says:

    I think the site is pretty cool, some great photography and really slick look. So slick in fact, I’d bet you some of those items on your Tab that you’re on the Rapha payroll. I mean, come on…”The First Signs of Rapha Spring” as a blog entry title?

    Nothing wrong with at least getting some sweet free gear, but you may want to come clean with the people that follow your blog. Honesty is always a solid policy.

    • I’m glad you asked. Sadly no Rapha payroll to report on this year’s taxes and in the interests of full disclosure there have been a few pieces sent my way to test since last November’s “30 Days of Rapha” but the purchases on the Tab are all mine I’m afraid. This morning I just bought the Orange Stowaway, about two minutes after it became available. Still a paying customer. Hope that puts your mind at ease.

      And let me add at my nominal billable rate:

      4 hours photography
      2 hours editing
      3 hours writing

      Equals $1350 dollars I could have been charging a paying client on MY weekend. I’m doing this because I love cycling and just happen to love Rapha. I’m as excited to see what’s coming next from the U.K each season as I was the first time I discovered the brand. That’s why the post was titled “The First Signs of Rapha Spring”

  5. BR says:

    Fair question DancingTool but he’s accurate and honest about his tab. It’s all for love of the sport and giving credit or criticsm where due in the blog. It’s tough to extract the same impression of a person unless you ride some miles with them as I have with Michael. He’s genuine.

  6. DancingTool says:

    Well…there you go. I stand corrected (happens more than I care to admit).

    I work in marketing and tend to be cynical when it I see products mentioned in such glowing terms. My fault, not yours.

    Point is, this is a really nice blog. The photography is excellent and it’s obvious that you’re serious about riding. Somebody ought to be paying you for it.

    See you on the road.

  7. kurt says:

    So you just had to buy the orange one….

  8. You and Mr. Palmer at twmp are responsible for that bit of excess. Never hand a crack pipe to an addict.