When you take the bus or the tube after work it’s like leaving one job for another – I find myself still thinking about the same things I had been thinking about when sitting at my desk. If you’re still stuck thinking about work, you might as well not have left.
Commuting is about getting from A to B, and there’s no escaping this, but if you’re on the bike it’s like you’re using the time rather than just wasting it. Riding for 20 minutes after work is like punctuation for your day, an ‘in between’ time. I think this is because of the simplicity of riding a bike in town – what I mean is that you can’t really avoid thinking about the little things involved of riding a bike: following traffic, making turns, looking after yourself. You’re forced to have these things on your mind for a while, and they’re the opposite of the ‘big’ decisions about money or overheads or critical pathways, you spend the rest of the work day thinking about. Riding slows life down for a few minutes.
You have to remember to dress less warmly for riding, and to keep scarves and gloves in your bag because your neck and fingers can freeze even when the rest of you over heats. The indispensible things are the versatile outer layers, like a good quality rain jacket that doesn’t look like a florescent bin bag.
Get good mudguards and you’ll be in a far better position than the pedestrians, hiding under umbrellas and regretting their choice of shoes on slippery pavement. Sure, it can be a drag getting soaked or riding into a headwind, but at least you have something to fight against. Riding is always the best choice, whatever the weather.]]>
My routine is this: I get woken up by my housemate who comes looking for a good gossip, so we sit around and talk about the ins and outs of work, the goings-on of our friends, the art world, politics, what have you. Then I’ll quickly cook up some porridge and get my kit on, and all my housemates will say, “there goes the queen of lycra,” then I’ll head out to the park on my bike.
I’ve fallen into quite a nice pattern of riding. Wednesdays are normally spent with the Rapha Condor Club who go out for a long ride past North London. There’s the ‘Gents’ ride on Friday, which is full of Londoners trying to pretend they don’t live in London for a couple of hours by getting out into greener pastures. I also ride with a group of women who meet up at the Cycle Club, and we’ll head out once or twice a week.
If I can, I nip off to Regent’s Park before or after work. I went last night and rode around the park clockwise so no one would get on my wheel – sometimes it’s nice to be in your own company, riding for yourself and remembering why you do that. There’s not much natural light around at those times of day, so I’ll often wear something with high-visibility details and flashes of bright colours, like the Women’s Brevet Jersey and Gilet.
Last year I was all set up to race for the first ever time – I was with a team, we had sponsorship from a local shop, we’d made plans for the season – but then I had to have my appendix out, which took me off the bike for a while. It was more than a bit of a downer, but I reset myself for Rapha’s Manchester to London. I’m not sure what I’ll be up to next year, but I know I’ll be out for a ride tomorrow.]]>
The summer felt really long – which isn’t a complaint at all but you can’t keep riding hard indefinitely. I rode Rapha’s Manchester to London in September, then spent a couple of weeks staying with friends in the Peak District, enjoying the climbs and the views. Now I’m back to deadline and coursework and getting things done, which is as good a reason as any to take a couple of easier weeks.
Riding out into Warwickshire’s lanes and country roads is an absolute pleasure – I have the countryside to myself most of the time, and at this time of year it’s as if the world around you changes every day. The weather is unpredictable, so I layer up. Winter collars, hats and leg warmers can be rolled up and stuffed into a jersey pocket when it warms up, or you ride that little bit harder, and pairing the Souplesse Jacket with a merino base layer is about as comfortable combination as you can get. Cold winds can cut through a jersey, but the windproof front panelling of the Souplesse Jacket keeps the cold air out.
As much as I love exploring on my own, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old riding buddies and trying to tear each other’s legs off. The best group ride around here is called The Bash – 25 riders meet up on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and go out full gas for a couple of hours. Most of the time I’m just holding onto the bike, muttering prayers about not getting dropped, but it’s pretty much the most amount of fun you can have.
I’ve got lots planned, all motivated by the thought of racing for fun for the first time in years. I look at my calendar and cross out the days of exams or big deadlines, then say to myself, I could try some cyclocross here, or do this time trial, or get back into crits. I want to qualify for the national time trial and the British university championships – but for the next couple of weeks you’ll just find me out in the lanes.]]>
The Elites were given a chance to stretch their legs in preparation for the following day’s National Trophy race in Southampton. Jody Crawford of Hargroves RT took his third win in as many attempts in this year’s series, but Hope Factory Racing managed to hold on to the team classification after their strong showing in the first two rounds. Dan Craven of Team Europcar made his cyclocross debut with a guest appearance for the Rapha Development team. Moments after the Elite race, Dan lined up next to fancy-dress pandas, tigers and frogs (amongst others) for a turn in the Fun race – he spent much of the next half hour in the tequila shortcut.
In the Women’s Elite category, Annie Simpson of Hope took her second win of the series, holding off a late charge from the young Yorkshire rider Amira Mellor. Ruby Miller of Hargroves RT rolled over the line less than a minute later, shortly followed by trainee doctor and Rapha rider Sarah Murray, who’s racing only her second season of cyclocross.
The Kids and Youth races saw unprecedented levels of participation, boding well for the future of cyclocross in the UK, while Vets racers demonstrated the virtues of experience as they battled up the muddy climb. In the Seniors, Hackney GT’s Benjamin Lewis bested the field over nine gruelling laps.
Highlights of the racing included Bruce Dalton of the Rouleur team choosing to bunny-hop the barriers rather than bothering to dismount, Dan Craven (almost) mastering cross without so much as a practice lap beforehand (will he run up the next Grand Tour hors catégorie climb?), and one of Rapha’s product developers, Miles Gibbons, gamely racing in a Team Sky skinsuit custom-made for one of their tiniest riders whilst understandably looking a little…constricted.
Rapha Super Cross will return next year, with dates to be announced in the first part of 2015. Stay tuned.
Click here for full results »
This was the first time Lisa and I had really spoken. Yes, we’d exchanged pleasantries at cyclocross races across Australia. As she had won many of those elite women’s races, I had congratulated her on her victories, especially when she won both the 2013 and 2014 Elite Women’s category at the Australian Cyclocross National Championships. But we had never had a good chat. Having read the articles she had written, and having seen her interviewed on cycling-related television programmes in her guise as a Cycling Australia board member and Chair of Cycling Australia Athletes Commission I had a pretty good idea of her background, but I was intrigued as to what made her tick. What motivated Lisa? As a lawyer myself, I understand the pressures of work and how difficult it is to train for cycling around work but Lisa takes things to another level.
Lisa first appeared on the domestic women’s cycling scene in 2007 and has been in the top tier of domestic racing, both road and cyclocross, ever since. There have been highs and lows, victories and injuries, a rollercoaster of a ride. In that time, Lisa has represented Australia in road racing and cyclocross.
What got you into serious bike racing?
I was always sporty through school and uni and had a natural interest in cycling. I started my legal career in London. During that time I got into dualthon (bike/run/bike) and multi-sport events. I had a professional licence to race dualthon and competed in a world duathlon championship. In 2007, I came back to Australia and joined a national talent identification program for road cycling being run out of South Australia.
I found I had an aptitude for tour racing and multi-day stage racing. I’ve got pretty good recovery and I can climb pretty well. And I love the strategy of tour racing.
In 2010 you got selected for the Australian National Women’s Road Team.
Yes, that involved a season of racing in Europe with the Australian Institute of Sport including the women’s Giro D’Italia. When I went over there I went straight from a lifestyle where I mainly worked and fit in training around work, into a full time athlete’s schedule with three months of hard core European racing. It was a big adjustment for me and I went into it too hard too early. By the time I got to the Giro I was so over-raced that it was terrible, it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
You got injured around that time.
I’ve had a few long-term injuries over my career ranging from nine months to a year. I would have liked to have gone back over to Europe for another season but the injuries put paid to that. The first time you do anything like that European season it is pretty tough, the second time you have benefitted from the first.
You survived the Australian Institute of Sport selection ‘Survival’ Camp in 2011.
Yes. It was a pretty ground-breaking project for the AIS at the time. They designed the course in conjunction with the SAS and made it properly about survival of the toughest. By the final day I was literally curled up on the floor of a transit van vomiting. They threw everything they could at you over ten days. There was no feedback over the whole time. It was modified after our camp as it was a bit extreme.
I made it to the final five out of 16 starters, and it’s probably one of the things I’m proudest of. It was a good experience of me because I love that kind of stuff. It was the second hardest thing that I have ever done after the Giro. At least you know when at the AIS chances are you won’t die because it’s bad PR for them. It was a great thing to be part of, something quite amazing, and I came out of it with a renewed confidence in what I was capable of doing.
The 2012 Women’s National Road Series got you back into racing.
After an injury-plagued 2011 , in early 2012 I got a call from Donna Rae-Szalinski (my long-time coach) telling me that she didn’t care what form I was in but she needed me to start the Tour of Mersey Valley in Tasmania. If I didn’t start the team couldn’t compete as they needed three riders. So I started, thought I wouldn’t finish, but I won. That started me loving riding again. The Victorian Institute Sport crew is like my second family. We had a really good year. I ended up second in the National Road Series rankings that year to Ruth Corset.
Your first cyclocross race was in June 2012.
I was in the mood for something different as I was training for the mountain bike Tour de Timor at the time and needed to improve my dirt skills. I picked up my cross bike the night before the first national series race, an alloy Apollo that retailed for $1500. Practised a few dismounts and then raced. I won that race and the overall 2012 National Cyclo Cross Series.
Your victory in the 2013 Elite Women’s Cyclocross Nationals was somewhat of a surprise.
In early 2013 I got pretty run down. Tour de Timor the previous year ended for me in the back of an ambulance and my body didn’t really recover over Summer, then in May I went overseas for a family holiday. I came back, tried to race a National Road Seres tour a day later and got taught an absolute lesson. I am very goal focussed so I decided I needed a goal. And I get enjoyment dreaming about the future. I was in terrible form but it usually doesn’t take me too long to find it and my goal was just to have a good race, so that whoever wanted to win that National Championship race would have to earn the victory. I wasn’t going in thinking I could win it, I just wanted to make sure that it would be a hard race. With Donna’s help I put a lot of work into preparation. Coming from being quite unfit in June to being in good form in August takes quite a lot of effort.
What about the infamous bike build?
I got the bike on the Thursday night before the Saturday race, and I had two great mechanics over at my place helping me, Ryan Moody and John Groves. It’s wasn’t a straightforward build as the bike was a prototype and quite unique in design. It took ages. At 11pm we had tubeless wheels exploding with sealant everywhere! On the Friday morning, the day before the race, I rode it for the first time and the seat post kept slipping. A friend who owned a bike shop raided all his bikes for seat post clamps, but because of the sloping top tube design it was difficult to find a clamp that gripped properly. We eventually found one, put on a lot of carbon paste and then duct taped the seat post for good measure. On the day of the race I only had dry tyres and the course was quite muddy. Doing the course inspection I bumped into Paul Larkin who loaned me a set of wheels with great FMB muds on them. Paul also gave the bike the once over. The way I see it, I had four different guys who rescued me before that race and if it hadn’t been for them I’d have been running out the back.
And the victory was your first Australian National Championship.
There was so much stress attached to the days before the race that to come out and win was such a surprise. And I hadn’t really won anything all year. It was a beautiful moment. You did look pretty happy at the end I comment. I went nuts, I’ve never gone that nuts after a race. Usually I’m quite reserved. Although I started realising now that there may be fewer and fewer victories ahead of me so I’ve started celebrating more.
You have an interest in how cycling is governed.
Yes, there have been some good opportunities to get involved in sports governance. When you get to the end of the sports institute process you think about transitioning and you want to stay in the sport as its been part of your life and you want to contribute. A lot of people go into coaching but with my background as a lawyer I have skills in governance. I become Chair of the Cycling Australia Athletes Commission which for the past year came with a seat on the Board of Cycling Australia. I like that I can use my skills as a lawyer for a positive effect for the sport.
What are your racing plans for the next couple of months?
All currently cyclocross. Next week I am going to China for the Qiansen Trophy. This is the second running of China’s only cyclocross race and the second time that I have raced. Last year I had a bad crash and broke my wrist early in the race, but finished (in 14th) because Grover was yelling at me that there was prize money down to 15th! I only found out afterwards that it was broken. I will be racing against some of the top American and European women.
Then I am off to the USA. First to a race in Sacramento then to CrossVegas. It is a race that I am very much looking forward to. It is a course that suits my skills unlike the extremely technical European courses, so I looking forward to having a great battle with some of world’s top female cyclocross racers including multiple US-National Champion Katie Compton and British Champion Helen Wyman. These girls are amazing riders and it’s a big ask just to stay in the bunch at that level but hopefully given that the dry courses in the US are a bit more like Australian courses, I’ll be able to have a crack.
Before all the travel starts I will have to make sure my new bike is completed and working. I suggest to Lisa that she thrives on having bike build deadlines, for example the 2013 Nationals and now this trip. She laughs. It will be finished. Another LJ goal accomplished.
(A couple of weeks after the interview, Lisa came second in the Qiansen Trophy, a Category 2 UCI cross race held near Beijing. She then travelled to the US to compete in CrossVegas, finishing an excellent 17th from a field of 60, including some of the world’s best female cyclocross racers. Lisa was only two minutes off the pace in the forty-minute race in the Las Vegas heat, despite a slipped pedal at the start and feeling under the weather. When I say the world’s best I mean seven of the top-20 ranked UCI riders, including Katie Compton and Helen Wyman).
„Schmerzen geraten in Vergessenheit. Und das ist auch gut so. Auf die Schmerzen kann ich verzichten. Aber weißt du, was mir fehlt? Wind und Wetter … wenn der Schweiß von meiner Nase herunter auf die weiß schimmernde Straße tropft und Schneeflocken auf meiner Haut schmelzen und ein leichtes Kribbeln hinterlassen. Um mich herum scheint die Welt vor Kälte erstarrt zu sein, doch in mir lodern die Flammen – als ob ich in einem Cabrio mit voll aufgedrehter Heizung durch den Winter fahre. Ich bin meine eigene Natur. Ich trotze ihr.“
– Aus The Weather von Rigo Zimmerman
Ob eiskalte Abfahrt in den Bergen oder regennasse Straße in der Stadt – Rapha bietet für jede Witterung die ideale Oberbekleidung. Doch die Frage nach dem passenden Oberteil für eine Ausfahrt kann manchmal schwierig sein. Softshell- oder Hardshell-Jacke? Die gut sichtbare oder doch lieber die stark wärmende Weste? Hier sind unsere Empfehlungen.
Definition: Wetterfeste Außenschicht hergestellt aus Raphas Antwort auf Gore-Tex.
Bedingungen: Wenn es richtig hart wird – also nass, windig und kalt –, sind harte Bedingungen kein Problem mehr.
Fahrer: Straßenfahrer, die den Unterschied zwischen schlechtem Wetter und schlechter Kleidung kennen.
Passt perfekt zu: Thermal Bib Shorts oder Winter Tights / Winter Base Layer oder Long Sleeve Jersey (In der Stadt: Merino Jersey oder Polo / Rapha Trousers oder Jeans).
Das Hardshell Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Die wohl vielseitigste Radjacke der Welt.
Bedingungen: Diese Jacke hält die Körperkerntemperatur vom Herbst bis ins Frühjahr hinein stabil. Die Jacke schlechthin.
Fahrer: Straßenfahrer, Pendler und sogar Mountainbiker.
Passt perfekt zu: Baselayer an milden Tagen, ergänzt durch ein Langarmtrikot darüber bei kälteren Temperaturen. Sieht genauso gut zu Jeans oder ¾-Radhose aus.
Das Classic Softshell Jacket anschauen »
Das Women’s Classic Softshell anschauen »
Definition: Seit dieser Saison mit verschweißten Nähten. Diese leichte, wasserdichte Jacke ist die ideale Wahl bei unbeständiger Witterung und eine erstklassige Schicht für den Notfall.
Bedingungen: Plötzliche Schauer, Touren in die Berge, stürmische Witterung (die Jacke ist auch winddicht).
Fahrer: Unerschütterliche Straßenfahrer, die auch bei Wind und Wetter in den Sattel steigen. Rennfahrer, sportlich ambitionierte Fahrer, Radtouristen. Aber auch Pendler in der Stadt.
Passt perfekt zu: Allen Produkten aus den Rapha-Kollektionen Training & Rennen oder Stilvoll in der Stadt.
Das Rain Jacket anschauen »
Das Women’s Rain Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Diese leichte und äußerst vielseitige Jacke genießt beinahe denselben Kultstatus wie das Classic Softshell Jacket.
Bedingungen: Nasse und windige Tage im Frühjahr, wenn steile Abfahrten eine Extraschicht erfordern oder beim Start am frühen Morgen.
Fahrer: Jeder Straßenfahrer sollte eine solche Jacke besitzen.
Passt perfekt zu: Allem – vom Wintertrikot in der kälteren Jahreszeit bis zum Baselayer an wärmeren Tagen.
Das Classic Wind Jacket anschauen »
Das Women’s Wind Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Eine Außenschicht aus Softshell-/gebürstetem Material – mit dem Tragekomfort eines Trikots und dem Schutz einer Jacke.
Bedingungen: Kühle bis kalte Witterung.
Fahrer: Fahrer, die kein überschüssiges Gewicht mit sich herumtragen möchten, die hohes Tempo fahren und die auf das beste Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis Wert legen.
Passt perfekt zu: Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts, Leg Warmers und Merino Base Layer.
Das Pro Team Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Diese ursprünglich für das Team Sky entworfene Jacke im reduzierten Design bietet Schutz vor Niederschlägen.
Bedingungen: Nasse und windige Witterung, plötzliche Schauer, Starkregen usw.
Fahrer: Profi- und Amateur-Rennfahrer, Tempoliebhaber und Gewichtsfanatiker.
Passt perfekt zu: Pro Team Jersey (Kurz- oder Langarm) Pro Team Bib Shorts (oder Thermal).
Das Pro Team Race Cape anschauen »
Definition: Das Souplesse Jacket vereint zwei eigenständige Materialien. Es bietet Wetterschutz, kann aber dennoch Wärme ableiten. Mit kontrastierender Farbgebung, versetztem Reißverschluss und reflektierenden Details.
Bedingungen: Kalte, trockene und stürmische Tage.
Passt perfekt zu: Women’s Winter Hat, Women’s Padded Tights.
Das Souplesse Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Diese Jacke im alltagstauglichen Stil bietet zuverlässigen Schutz vor den Elementen. Die Kapuze ermöglicht eine ungehinderte Sicht und kann darüber hinaus eingerollt werden.
Bedingungen: Nasse, schmuddelige Witterung in der Stadt. Diese Jacke ist extrem wasserdicht, wärmend, winddicht und sieht zudem bei jeder Gelegenheit gut aus.
Fahrer: Vom elegant gekleideten Stadtradler bis hin zum Vollblutpendler.
Passt perfekt zu: Rapha Trousers oder Jeans / alle Midlayer aus Merinowolle.
Das Hooded Rain Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Das Rain Bomber Jacket mit klaren Linien und innovativem Material ist die perfekte Außenschicht für den Alltag.
Bedingungen: Für das Radfahren, Arbeiten und Reisen bei kühler oder nasser Witterung.
Fahrer: Diese Jacke ist für jede Fahrerin ein Muss.
Passt perfekt zu: Women’s Jeans, Women’s Printed Bomber.
Die Women’s Rain Bomber Jacke anschauen »
Definition: Eine beidseitig tragbare Jacke in unterschiedlichen Farben, mit PrimaLoft®-Isolierung und Bündchen aus Merino-Mischgewebe.
Bedingungen: Kalte Tage in der Stadt, an denen Regen möglich ist.
Fahrer: Leute, die bei jedem Wetter mit dem Rad zur Arbeit fahren und auf dem Nachhauseweg eventuell noch in der Bar Station machen.
Passt perfekt zu: Merino Crew Neck, V-Neck Base Layer.
Das Reversible Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Ein aus technischen Materialien gefertigter Blazer im entspannten, minimalistischen Stil, der sich auch wunderbar auf dem Rad trägt.
Bedingungen: Von kühlen über milde bis hin zu warmen Tagen. Je nachdem, was unter dem Blazer getragen wird.
Fahrer: Für den eleganten Herrn, der funktionale und modische Kleidung bevorzugt.
Passt perfekt zu: Merino V Neck Baselayer, Rapha Oberhemden, Polos oder T-Shirts.
Das Lapelled Jacket anschauen »
Alle Rapha Jacken anschauen »
As warm-blooded mammals, we’re losing heat constantly and need to burn calories to keep our fires stoked. It’s surprising how delicate this internal thermostat is: if our body temperature drops below 35C we’re on the verge of mild hypothermia, manifested in a general clumsiness, impaired judgement, slower reaction times and a certain argumentativeness. Simple activities such as zipping up a jacket, let alone changing an inner tube, become more difficult. We shiver violently because heat is a byproduct of muscle activity. But with a core temperature below 32C we no longer have the fuel to shiver. Below 30C and consciousness ebbs away. By 20C – the temperature of a late-summer afternoon – the heart has stopped.
So, why is keeping our hands warm so important? “We rely on electrical impulses to send signals to and from our brains,” says Dr Davis. The hand is a hotbed of nerve activity, befitting such a complex piece of engineering and at a temperature below 20C those impulses are inhibited. The 30 muscles in our hands prefer to operate at above 28C, while the synovial fluid around the hand’s 30 or so joints acts like lubrication in a car engine – it’s sluggish when cold. And there’s an interesting third factor, notes Dr Davis: the pain of cold hands distracts you from the task of achieving your goal, which for cyclists translates as a psychological hindrance on overall riding performance.
Hands get cold because we have evolved a life-over-limb survival strategy: when air temperatures fall, blood vessels in the body’s extremities (the hands, the feet, the ears and nose) constrict, keeping warm blood away from the surface of the skin where body heat will be lost through conduction. But it’s a balancing act – to stop skin freezing it has to be supplied with blood, so when the temperature of the hands falls below 10C capillaries suddenly reopen in a warm rush, then continue opening and closing to manage the core body temperature against the loss of feeling in the fingers. With a high surface area, a low volume and lots of blood vessels close to the surface, our hands are especially susceptible to heat loss.
Our worst enemy, however, isn’t just the cold and the air temperature doesn’t have to be below 0C for trouble to strike. The crucial relationship is between the cold, the wind, the effects of which are more pronounced when riding, and being wet. Graeme Raeburn is the designer behind the Rapha Winter Glove System, which comprises the Winter Glove, the Deep Winter Glove, a Merino Liner and Overmitt. “There’s more than one type of cooling,” he explains. “Even in non-freezing conditions, moisture – whether that’s rain or sweat – combined with wind can mean experiencing greater heat loss than you would in cold but dry weather.” Bearing in mind that air temperatures typically fall by 1C for every 100m of ascent, cyclists in hilly country will want to protect their hands from the wind and the rain. Wind chill charts show that a temperature of 1C will feel like -5C in a 25mph breeze. Dr Davis concurs: “Wet hands are especially risky – water is a far more efficient conductor so the exchange of heat takes place fast [up to 25 times faster – which is why swimming in cold water is more dangerous than treading water].”
For mountaineers, Dr Davis advises shaking the hands out every now and then, getting rid of wet gloves and warming the hands in your (or someone else’s) armpits. Then put on the spare pair of gloves he recommends climbers carry. Cyclists don’t have the luxury of being able to carry several sets of winter gloves. Which is precisely why Graeme spent two years designing the Rapha Glove System. Given the variable conditions on long rides – warm valleys, cold summits, squalls of wind and rain – Graeme devised a versatile layering system which can be adapted depending on conditions. The Winter Glove uses breathable, lightweight resistance against wind, water and cold and can be supplemented with the Overmitt in very wet conditions. “The Deep Winter Glove,” Graeme explains, “is extremely technical, with sealed seams and a patented waterproofing technology. It’s insulated with PrimaLoft®, which is very fine and has a very low moisture absorbency. The body and shell is stretched nylon coated with a durable water repellent.”
A key objective of the Glove System was to retain the hands’ natural dexterity.
“A lot of work went into the fit and ergonomics, matching the curve of the hands on the handlebars,” says Graeme. The lining of the Deep Winter Glove is fully bonded to the outer glove, so there’s no shifting or slipping, and the fingertips feature a touch-screen-friendly finish for smartphones and GPS units. The result is that riders in wintry weather avoid having to take their gloves off and exposing their hands to the cold.
It seems that most of the northern hemisphere has been blessed with a warm and dry end to the summer, but sadly our good fortune is about to come to an end. When the seasons change, so do the demands on your kit – when you head out of the door in October and November, you never quite know what weather you’re going to encounter. This unpredictability calls for versatile outfits with layers and warmers. Our first port of call is always a merino-blend fabric. At once breathable, insulating, naturally anti-bacterial and supremely comfortable against the skin even after hours in the saddle, merino wool is a mainstay of the Rapha range.
As we enter the autumn, Rapha is offering a Merino or Merino Mesh Base Layer for £20 with the purchase of a long sleeve jersey.
See the Rapha base layers »
When temperatures dip in early mornings and late evenings, we reach for warmers and accessories. A merino hat or knee warmers can easily be folded and packed into pockets, and can be called into service for both cool commutes and day-long excursions.
See Rapha’s riding accessories »
For some, the autumn brings with it thoughts of the next year’s successes. If you’re hitting the road to accumulate base miles before spring or honing legspeed for this weekend’s cross race, the new Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat hs been developed for you. Constructed form a lightweight softshell fabric with a resilient DWR coating, the Pro Team Winter Hat has been tailored for riding in the drops – the high rear hem prevents bunching when you hold your head up, and the sidepanels are pared-back to protect peripheral vision. The Pro Team collection will be launching soon.
See the Pro Team Winter Hat »
Petrus bescherte München einen wunderschönen Herbsttag, der mehr als 2000 Besucher in den Olympiapark lockte, um die Rennfahrer in Deutschlands wohl größtem Cyclocross-Rennen mit Kuhglocken anzufeuern. Dabei waren besondere Schmankerl die Streckenführung durch ein Bierzelt, wo den Fahrern von der Blaskapelle Poing´s Bunter Hauf´n der Marsch geblasen wurde, eine Schaumwand sowie die berüchtigte Tequila- Abkürzung.
Auch abseits der Strecke war für ein spannendes Programm gesorgt: FOCUS Testräder und ENVE Laufräder mit den neuen Challenge Reifen konnten bei den Cross-Workshops der „Schwalben“ vor Ort auf Herz und Nieren getestet werden. Die Muc Off Waschstation verhalf den staubigen Rädern wieder zu neuem Glanz, und im Bierzelt konnte man bei Pommes, Bratwurst und Bier die besondere Atmosphäre genießen.
Den Auftakt zum Renngeschehen bildete der Nachwuchs: fast 170 Kinder und Jugendliche zeigten auf der legendären Strecke ihr Können im Rahmen des MTB Isar Cups. Nachdem sich die Sonne durch den herbstlichen Frühnebel gekämpft hatte, ging es dann im ersten Cross-Rennen des Tages bei der Damen Elite zusammen mit den Masters 2, 3 und 4 ans Eingemachte. Mit 40 Startern schon ein großes Feld, aber nur ein Vorgeschmack auf das, was bei den Jedermännern folgen sollte. Mit unglaublichen 173 Anmeldungen im gemischten Feld der Jedermänner wurden zunächst zwei Qualifikationsläufen ausgetragen. Im Finale traten dann die besten 30 Fahrer an, um den Tagessieg unter sich auszumachen. Insgesamt waren sieben Nationen vertreten, und vom fünfjährigen Laufradfahrer bis hin zum 60jährigen Crosser-Veteran sind alle Teilnehmer auf ihre Kosten gekommen; nur ein gebrochenes Schlüsselbein war zu vermelden.
„Ein unglaublicher Cross Tag war das heute im Münchner Olympiapark. Rapha hat eine ausgezeichnete Veranstaltung auf die Beine gestellt mit einer nahezu perfekten Strecke, beeindruckende Teilnehmerzahlen in allen Kategorien und vielen begeisterten Zuschauern. Das zeigt wie gesund und wachsend der Amateursport in Deutschland ist. Das sollte ein Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl für alle Sport-Funktionäre sein, sich intensiver um diese Sportlergruppe zu kümmern als nur um die Profi Sportler. Ein großer Dank geht an alle Helfer und Organisatoren, die dieses Event möglich gemacht haben. Wir sehen uns nächstes Jahr!“
– Ken Bloomer, Crema Cycles/Enve, Füssen/Allgäu
„Rapha Super Cross ist jedenfalls eines: Eine mord‘s Gaudi. Schaum auf der Strecke und Tequila-Abkürzungen mögen hart an der Grenze zur Geschmacklosigkeit kratzen, aber wer noch nie mit dem Crosser durch ein Bierzelt gedonnert oder beim Crossen ein Stamperl Schnaps gekippt hat, hat was versäumt. Wer nach einem Shot bei Puls 180 noch weiß, wo‘s lang geht, der ist definitiv auch für die Wiesn geeicht – und für jedes andere Gelage abseits der Rennstrecke auch. Unbedingt probieren, unbedingt vormerken für 2015!“
– Robert Wolf, Rad Core, Wien
Conditions were sunny, dry and dusty for this year’s proceedings, but the results could not have been better. Jeremy Powers looked resplendent in his Aspire Racing kit and took the race nearly from the gun on both days. His continued dominance over the US racing circuit cemented by a win in his adopted hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts was the icing on a multi-layered cake.
The racing wasn’t without incident, however, as Meredith Miller, a hopeful on the first day in the Elite Women’s category, crashed on the final lap and received eight stitches as her only reward. But foreigners Helen Wyman of the UK and French Citizen Caroline Mani seemed more than eager to pick up where Miller left off, taking the wins on the first and second day, respectively.
Tillie – the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club – was on site to keep the espresso intake coming for the inaugural Rapha Super Cross Gloucester. David Wilcox, the man on the ground, is a native New Englander himself and seemed content to pull shots throughout the entirety of the day; only stopping to don a skinsuit and race the Men’s Elite race himself. Tillie’s pilot/ barista just does not stop.
And as the throngs of people left behind the fishermen and citizens of Gloucester, it is safe to say that they did it with an eye to the future and the promise of a return.