Rapha Continental – Four Canyons and the Man

Andy Hampsten

The canyons above Boulder Colorado were the venue for another spectacular Continental ride, taking the group up to the majestic vista of Brainard Lake above 10,000'. Starting in Boulder at University Bicycles a large group of locals riders including a full squad from VeloNews were joined by a very lean, fit Andy Hampsten. Andy was wearing the pink Passo di Gavia jersey Rapha produced in 2008 celebrating his legendary Giro ride, smartly paired with Seven Eleven shorts, black socks and black shoes.

Brainard Lake

For those of you keeping track of such things Andy effectively ends a couple of stylistic debates. First, black socks and black shoes works. The recent retro revival of white socks with black shoes, looks as bad on the bike as it does on the street; awkward and slow! Second, the Maglia Rosa was wearing Lake mtn bike shoes. High performance and practical. On this count I've got nothing against road shoes, but opting to wear mtn shoes on your road bike is perfectly acceptable; Andy says so! Note to Specialized, send the Continental guys some white shoes for those nice white Rapha socks.

On the ascent, Andy rode mid pack, chatting with Doug from University Bicycles, on the way down he was often at the front of a select group bombing the descent. To catch them Dave Christenson and I had to hit 60mph in the car (they were hovering around 50mph)

In the last third of the ride the cue sheet got more difficult. Dave and I missed several poorly signed roads and wasted a lot of time waiting for a peloton that never arrived. Just when we were about to detonate with frustration a mistake turned into a special opportunity. After missing a left turn off Highway 36 onto "Hygiene" and waiting in vain for the group to arrive we were rewarded when a solitary Hampsten crested the hill we were shooting. Remarkably there were no cars in the background, as the first shot documents. Andy needed to get back to town and was cutting off the last five-mile excursion onto dirt.

After that happy accident, we returned to our misdirected ways, eventually waiting at the wrong city limit sign for a final sprint that never came. Win some lose some. Our excursions aside, this was a great route. Thanks Rob.

Andy Kansas focused on the climb Ride host Rob Leading the descent Andy

6 Responses to Rapha Continental – Four Canyons and the Man

  1. Christopher says:

    dig the hampsten jersey.

  2. Matt says:

    Just started reading the blog. Great pictures and commentary! I looked around for info on your photo kit but couldn’t find any. I’d love to know what you are using. Keep up the great work and happy riding.

    • Hi Matt,

      I shoot Canon. I have 1D mkII N and 5D mkII bodies. 200mm f2*, 100mm f2.8, 85mm f1.2, 50mm f1.4*, 20-25mm f2.8* lenses. I use the asterisked lenses most often for cycling. The 200mm f2 is my newest and favorite lens. Tough to hand hold but worth the effort for the exceptional subject/background separation when wide open.


  3. BR says:

    ALLEZ ALLEZ!!!! Andy!!! It’s great to see those images and I would have traded my chrome shoes and Leprechaun socks to be there and meet him. Run what ya brung!

  4. Dave Wyman says:

    >The recent retro revival of white socks with black shoes, looks as bad on the bike as it does on the street<

    Black shoes and white socks on the bike have never gone out of style for me.

    Yes, as a man of “a certain age,” I find I can mix and match shoe/sock combinations with impunity. I can even mix sock colors when off the bike – no one cares, because no one, except perhaps my wife, notices. And yes, certain balance problems may be expected to ensue from wearing two left or two right shoes, whether the colors match or not, and no amount of core training seems capable of overcoming that faux pas.

    However, black cycling shoes with white socks have always been a given for me. It’s the same for those around my age with whom I ride.

    On the other hand, I’m willing to wear my red “Republic of Anaerobia” socks with the matching team jersey (red corpuscle design); it’s the pair of socks and the jersey I reach for on the big climbs.

    By the way, another great post, both photos and story.

  5. Hi Michael,

    Great shots! I especially like the one of Andy on the road alone.
    Thanks for the compliments on the ride too. It was an incredible day!
    I have a couple of shots I want to send your way so please send me your email address when you have a moment.