Photos & words by J. Dunn
In the United States we typically associate the month of June with what we like to call Summer. So, no matter how much warning we received from Alex Stieda before our first Rapha Continental North America rides in Alberta, Canada, we weren’t expecting the weather to be so bad. But, a look at the stories coming from the Rapha Continental in both the United Kingdom and Australia shows us a running theme. Crap weather makes for interesting viewing.
With Dan Sharp shooting photos and the crew from Droptree Productions filming this weather was easy. They offer more than enough support with a curious blend of verbal encouragement, trail-mix and flat out raw humour. With Sharp fresh off a trip to Italy — where he allegedly wrestled that Esta Thé cap from the grips of the tifosi all the while shooting round after round of that famous Italian race called the Giro d’Italia.
You may also recognize another face there in there by the way of Timothy Coghlan whom we quietly stole from his post in the Portland office as the head of Customer Service and put him straight to the front as Mr. Logistics. He is a fan of Aeropress Coffee, which Dan makes very well, so that kept him at his ready. Edmonton’s Da Campo Caffé was a brief and beautiful respite from what looked to be an otherwise coffee-less land. We made do.
The riders were in from all over the US — Steve Francisco from a Wisconsin vacation, Rich Bravo leaving the swelter of New York City, Greg Johnson back from Texas and Hahn Rossman who had been with us from Seattle. We had a well rounded squad and were anxious to meet our host Alex Stieda – a name that, if you have yet to hear in conjunction with the Tour de France, you will certainly know soon.