30 Days of Rapha – Pairing Up Two Singles

Commute: 25 miles roundtrip
Weather: Sunny Temp: 70 deg.
Rapha Kit:  Base Layer, Touring Shorts, Purple Long Sleeve Jersey, Black Light Weight Jersey
Accessories:  Merino Socks, Softshell Gloves, Rapha Cap, Fixed Backpack

Fridays lend themselves to a certain degree of informality. We never have Friday meetings, more people claim to be working from home and the day seems to compress to about three hours of actual work. We just show up and then go home. If I didn't suspect we'd just migrate the malingering to Thursdays I could be persuaded to eliminate the day altogether.

This morning that informality translated into a pairing of two singles in more ways than one. First I chose to layer the black Light Weight Jersey over the purple Long Sleeve Jersey. This is not an officially sanctioned look showcased on either Rapha's home or colonial site but it's perfect for commuting and very comfortable because my LW Jerseys are XL and the Long Sleeves are Large (as if I planned it). You might think Perren Street had released a new set of arm warmers and, with a touch of purple showing at the neck, perhaps another scarf. I even fold the left sleeve up to reveal the white band on the long sleeve. A little asymmetry goes a long way... the offset zippers in Rapha jackets attest to that. Feeling good about the day I rolled out.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and around half way I passed a lone commuter spinning along on a green steel Motobecane. He was riding quite a bit slower than me but he pulled back alongside as I waited at the next intersection. I asked him where he was headed and struck up a conversation.

And here's the where pairing-the-two-singles theme comes in again. In the summers of my early twenties I apprenticed at a public golf course (the most fun I've ever had working). One of the duties was to act as a starter on busy days. I'd highly recommend this job to anyone considering a career in the diplomatic service.

Groups of two, three and four would check in and wait for me to put them on the tee, and I'd have a cast of singles jotted in the margin. I can't tell you how many times the first words from the groups were "we'd just like to play by ourselves" and I'd tell them politely "that may not be possible." I'd then do my best to size them up and find a suitable match from the singles list (and this was way before match.com). Invariably I'd see the combined group come into the clubhouse after the round, as friendly and jovial as if the single had been a life long friend. This is one of the truly magical qualities of golf, you make real friendships on the golf course.

It wasn't uncommon to see the new "group" arrange another game and appear together the following week. That's what jumped into my head as I stood at the light chatting. Instead of waving goodbye and leaving him behind I asked if he wanted to join me. I rode slower and we talked about the route, commuting and work. Twenty minutes of conversation later we rolled past my office and I peeled off wishing him well and a safe journey. I thought back to the golf course... the starter in me was happy about that.

3 Responses to 30 Days of Rapha – Pairing Up Two Singles

  1. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha – Assembling a Collection that Lasts | VeloDramatic

  2. Groover says:

    And I thought the Rapha gear would turn even the nicest person into a perfect snob. :-) Great story, mate.

    As for the layering – maybe not! But that’s just my opinion. :-)

  3. Pingback: 30 Days of Rapha – Time Off the Bike for Bad Behavior | VeloDramatic