Rapha is not infallible. Take the 06 Stowaway Jacket – a beautifully styled piece in gray with dramatic pink accent striping. It turned out to be as breathable as a Level 5 biohazard glove box. Exert yourself and soon the sleeves would fill with ice cold sweat, pooling from wrist to elbow.
Fast forward to this afternoon and both Tim and I were wearing Rapha's 08 Stowaway Jacket. What a difference a fabric substitution makes. Lighter, softer, quieter and transmissively superior in every way. On a day when the sun and clouds were deadlocked the new Stowaway was the perfect companion. Note to Rapha: You're forgiven. I still wear the 06, I just make sure I'm wearing a Long Sleeve Jersey underneath.
On today's loop we climbed King's Mountain to Skyline where we ran into Eric and his Rivendell Bleriot topping Tunitas Creek from the West. I spotted the beaten Rapha Cap and Fixed Shorts immediately. You don't get many riders in that neck of the woods in Chuck Taylors with a Bike to Work Day 2005 Musette slung jauntily over one shoulder. Chatting we soon made the connection he'd been on the Rapha Gentlemens' Ride out of Palo Alto. I distinctly recall watching those rat traps drop me.
Conventional wisdom says you don't descend Tunitas Creek, but Eric convinced us to give it a shot. If steep, pock-marked pavement carpeted in wet pine litter interest you then Tunitas is your creek. If we were surprised there was plenty of traction and no flats, the handful of ascending riders we passed were no less surprised at the two of us rappelling in Rapha.
The rest of the retrograde loop down Stage to 84 and 84 climbing back to Skyline was punctuated by two events. One predictable the other ridiculous. Tim flatted. This keeps his record of flatting when riding with me a perfect 100%.
Some time later a white pickup traveling in the opposite direction lobbed a full beer can or water bottle across the road at us. It missed Tim's head by a couple of feet and struck the embankment to our right. Fucking morons. First time either of us have encountered that brand of stupidity.
Perhaps Rapha should consider designing a shoulder holster.