A Weekend with Rapha’s Merino Jersey

Waiting for breakfast in Rapha's Merino Jersey and Touring Shorts

The Pacific Coast Highway was shrouded in mist for most of the 100 miles we rode in yesterday's Best Buddies Challenge. Tim, Marcella and I flew the Rapha flag start to finish, with those two opting for arm warmers and gilets while I went with a black Stowaway Jacket. Other than a brief spell on the climb at Big Sur I kept the jacket on for the duration. Given the cooler temperatures I wish I'd opted to wear the new Rain Jacket (yes I'm lucky enough to have one a little ahead of the curve). It's beautiful, but we'll get round to that in good time.

After bagging the last two climbs I shot straight past the final rest stop at Ragged Point with just 17 miles of shallow rollers to go. The thought of a hot shower and real food was all the motivation I needed. Forty miles earlier, in an effort to keep warm, I'd ridden off alone expecting Tim and Marcella to rejoin me in a few miles. As it turned out that never happened. I soldiered on, passing and being passed repeatedly by the same five or six guys. I never fail to find that weird.

Ratcheting the Lakes The Merino Jersey going away

In that last stretch from Ragged Point I caught a three-man bullet train and together we made short work of those final miles with a little tailwind push (not as good as last year Brendan... and you were missed). I picked up my backpack from ride support and hit the shower truck for a blissful ten minutes of hot water, then wrapped in a big Audi towel got dressed out in the sunshine and privacy of the men's enclosure.

Clean but tired and hungry I pulled on some comfy clothes: Rapha Touring Shorts and Rapha's new Merino Jersey. This was my first chance to wear the jersey and it's a very nice piece of soft, itch-free luxury. Like everyone else addicted to the brand, I was on pins and needles waiting to see what the fall lineup would bring and as usual the boys and girls from London didn't disappoint. The Merino Jersey feels classic, urban and stylishly casual all at the same time. The perfect fit for relaxing on the edge of the Pacific in the reluctant sunshine we'd been waiting all day for.

Brian over at thewashingmachinepost has got more good things to say about the Merino Jersey. This morning, after a good night's sleep, Juli and I headed out for breakfast at the Naglee Park Garage. Inspired by egg, spinach and mushroom lasagna we took a crack at some photos of the Merino Jersey paired with the Touring Shorts. As always, yours truly... A.K.A. ordinary guy wearing extraordinary kit.

The Enigma Eulogy styling with white Continental rubber

Notes to follow about my Enigma Eulogy, and the latest mods/maintenance that had her purring beautifully on that century.

10 Responses to A Weekend with Rapha’s Merino Jersey

  1. Marc says:

    Hi VM, like you I am a true Rapha fan (still waiting on my UK champion jersey !!!). Seems to me that most of the merino cuts have stayed the same over the years. I am not a big fellow, more of a mountain goath to be honest. Upon looking at the picture, seems to me rapha would benefit a more -pro is go- cut by increasing shoulder width or decreasing core cut, or simply add a third panel at the waist. A small can fit me but I cannot stretch properly to my handlebars, a medium is not as flattering when I am down on the drops.

    • willy in pacifica says:

      Hey Velo,

      Man I missed you by a week. I was down there the weekend before and man does Big Sur kick my butt. From Carmel to Ragged Point you have 75 miles of up, down, in, out. I just cannot get into a good rhythm. This was a big tune-up for me for my upcoming race.

      My buddy drove my van and I left Pacifica at 6am to get over Devils Slide just as the sun came up. This way I could ride my race bike and my buddy could give me what I needed along the way. But with all the traffic I would actually have to wait at times for him to catch up with me.

      My goal was to get to Ragged Point before the sun went down and got there just in time. Then I had a nice 60 miles of flat to SLO before we turned around to get home before the girls got up. I was beat by Ragged Point having to deal with the irregular terrain thru Big Sur and having to manage the traffic. But I always get a nice tailwind boost along the coast and it is dark and beautiful as you ride by the Castle all alone. Not a lot of traffic on a Sunday Night out that way.

      willy in pacifica

      • Willy,

        Still wish I could be two places at one time so I could photograph your Furnace Creek 508 ride. I’ll be shooting a group from Specialized riding through Death Valley next week. I’ll send you an email offline for any ideas about vistas and the road.


  2. Hi Marc,

    I agree Merino is a little fussier when it comes to fitting me. I need a Large (what I’m wearing)in the shoulders but would probably be half a size smaller in the body… both for length and girth.

    I might be able to get away with Medium but I think I’d have to wear a close-cut base layer underneath, when the wool is tight against the skin, chest hair, nipples all can disturb the smooth surface and drape.

  3. Hey VM,

    Looks comfy. I bought 2 Champions when learning the money is donated to Prostate Cancer research.. which my Dad has been battling with for some time…the Jerseys are a bit Club cut , I prefer a bit snugger fit..so as to not have material flapping on downhills.. with that said.. its well made. Looking forward to the new wooly hats..my ears hate the cold..
    Ride on…


  4. Sorry to hear about your dad’s challenge… good cause. I’ll pass on the comments about cut to Mr. Raeburn when he’s done climbing all the mountains in the Alps. New Rain Jacket is a looker.

  5. Dougie says:

    Each time I look in the site looks fresh and vibrant. Amused to find that you buy merino products from Britain while I’m in Scotland buying merino from New Zealand. It’s a crazy world we live for sure.

  6. Stefan says:

    Rapha stuff, looks cool and fits well, today I got the Stowaway and the Cross Jersy, very nice. only disapointing “made in china”, for the prices they have, prodution in europe should be possible.