Rapha Inspired Bike Helmet Project – Climb/Suffer

Velodramatic helmet


I've often asserted that a brand has truly arrived when its customers create their own tributes. Shaving a logo into your hair or bolder still, tattooing it on your body, is a definite sign you believe in the message. Since the Rapha script is too complex for my stylist and I don't watch Miami ink (anymore) I opted for a custom-painted helmet.

Why Rapha? I'll give you three reasons: first, they love black as much as I do; second they have impeccable taste in fabric; and third, no design detail escapes their attention. I'm hopelessly addicted.

So here it is, my tribute – a collaboration with master painter, Josh Ellison of JE Illusions in Eugene, Oregon. A few sketches and one telephone conversation with the soft-spoken Mr. Ellison were all that was needed to get the creative process rolling. I think the Shain BK500 TT helmet minus its flimsy plastic dorsal fin made a fitting canvas for his beautiful paint.

I'm sending the pictures over to Rapha; we'll see what they make of all this. In the meantime I'm working up the nerve to take it off its pedestal and put it on my head.

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