Words: Jeremy Dunn | Date:
The Rapha Mobile Cycle Club will take to the road once again later this week. In the past couple years we have done our best to find spots on the roadside at the premiere road racing events in North America, from Gila to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and everything in between. This year will be no exception, and with a completely new rig, the MCC is all set for a full season of adventures. With a new vehicle comes a new name, so without further ado may we present Tillie, the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club.
What’s in a name?
Hennie Kuiper was the inspiration behind our large grey motor home, and we decided that a new name was needed for the new incarnation of the Rapha MCC. The addition of a Volvo to the mix got us thinking about the Swedish contribution to cycling in the United States. A rabbit hole of an internet search kept turning up the name of a Swedish immigrant who was tearing the legs off of competitors in turn of the century bicycle racing. Tillie Anderson – aka The Terrible Swede – was her name, and if all accounts are correct, she was a pretty fantastic rider. So, it is with that that we christened our Mobile Cycle Club “Tillie.”
“It does not fatigue me in the least to take part in these long-distance races, and I am just as fresh after a two-hour run as when I commence.”
– Tillie Anderson The St. Louis Republic, Sunday December 12th, 1897
The New Vehicle
We went from the ground up this time, the RV was not cutting it and couldn’t get us to where we needed to go. Turns out, it is difficult to stash it on a mountain pass or hide it where we needed to at KOMs, and then pop it up and start pulling espresso shots in the time it takes the GS3 to warm up. The silver trailer will be pulled by a Volvo XC70. Undoubtedly the best part of the rig is the custom coffee cart that rolls out the back of the trailer — shod with Continental Gator Skin Tires — to pull some of the best shots of espresso that you’ve ever had.
Speaking of espresso, we’re pleased to announce that Stumptown Coffee Roasters have come on board to be the official roaster of the Mobile Cycle Club. Over the past three months they have opened their Portland based training facility to David, the MCC operator, to ensure that his shots from the La Marzocco GS, and his cups from the aeropress and pour overs, are some of the best in the business. This is where we’ll take the chance to brag a little bit — Bo Thunell and David George, his trainers at Stumptown, were blown away by his ability to pull silky, delicious espresso shots in the short amount of time that they spent together. Plus, Stumptown Coffee itself will be on hand every stop of the way.
David Wilcox joins the team all the way from the East Coast. He has been a part of this project since its decision to rework the vehicle earlier this year. Working closely with Stumptown and Engin Creative here in Portland, he helped design this trailer from the ground up. And if you think that he cannot hang on the group ride, think again, David comes to us from the Ride Studio Café team in the Boston area where he, along with cohorts Matt Roy and John Bailey, have completed the Vermont Challenge. When asked what was his longest ride ever, he replied: “Hmm, I think something like 600k.” He has also been a part of the Rapha-Focus Cyclocross team, using his mechanic skills to help Gabby Durrin complete her early season campaign last year.
So, if you see him parked next to the road, make sure to stop and chat.
The Schedule for the Tour of California portion of the summer can be found on the Mobile Cycle Club North America page — check back for frequent updates.
Make sure to follow the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club – Tillie – on Instagram and Twitter as she makes her way around the country. If you’d like to schedule an event in your area, David Wilcox and Tillie can be reached at Tillie@Rapha.cc. Know of somewhere that you think we should be? Send us a note. And if you see us along the way, at one of the races, catching some rays? Do not hesitate to ask for a hot cup of coffee. That’s what Tillie is here for, after all.