Words: Jeremy Dunn | Photography: Jeremy Dunn | Date:
We love it when a plan comes together. But the thing to remember is that it never comes together all on its own. The Rapha Women’s Ambassador program is off and rolling. But we could not have done it alone. Aside from beautiful Rapha Women’s kit, we had a short list of partners that came together to see that our ambassadors had the right equipment and fuel along the way.
This was one of the key components in the Ambassador program. They will take these Domane 5.2 series bicycles home with them for the year and put them to the test. Through crits, long road rides, the Women’s 100 and even a little gravel, they will ride these sleek looking bicycles every day. There was a little trepidation, as to be expected, from the women that were riding the bicycles from LA to Sacramento as part of the reconnaissance of the Tour of California route. But that all faded away as they made their way across that glorious state and everyone commented openly about how good the bicycles felt and rode day after day. It should also be of note that there were a few women that were receiving their very first ever road bikes with these Domanes, and they took to them faster than anyone could have imagined.
Giro Helmets and Shoes
Giro have been a partnering with us for a number of years, such as the Rapha-Focus cross team and a product that continues to amaze and delight, the Grand Tour Shoes. So, they were a natural selection to help provide helmets and footwear for the Ambassador program. Black and white Factress shoes coupled with their Amare women’s helmet did the trick nicely. The polka dots on the rear of the helmet were a nice touch and were remarked on by more than one passing rider.
To try and break down the eyewear choices of these ladies would take all day. But when it came time to ride their bicycles, the decision was almost unanimous – the Oakley Radar Lock Path with its large surface area and multitude of lens options covered all the angles. Plus, they have the effect of “making us look like a badass group…” said Julie Krasniak. She also added “…just make sure that you put the arms of the glasses over your Giro helmet straps. That’s a pro tip for you.”
Nutrition and Education from Skratch Labs
This, of course, was one of the fun parts of The Calling weekend. Any time that you get to spend with the dynamic duo of Allen Lim and Biju Thomas, especially in the context of food, is going to be a lot of fun. Aside from taking the time to fully explain their real foods philosophies, they also took to the kitchen to whip up some home cooked meals. But, the kicker was the message behind the menu — why some foods were better pre or post ride, what was the best thing to eat on the bike (white bread?) and of course, how to make those wonderful rice bars. These women were fueled for the ride. And bacon, always with the bacon.
And of course, clothing from Rapha
Everyone was excited about the Women’s Lightweight Bomber Jacket and what it says for the development of the Women’s City Riding Collection. More on that later. However, the real news of the weekend and of The Calling, was that we had our Women’s apparel designer on hand to speak directly with everyone about the inspiration and direction of the clothing. Emma Green has been with Rapha for going on three years now and has had a hand in nearly everything that has come to see the light of day. With feedback from the Rapha Women Ambassadors she will continue influencing the ways that people view cycling clothing. She also happens to be a DJ, so pleasing an audience came naturally.
We keep finding ways to partner with great people here at Rapha, whether it be with our Rapha Continental program, our professional racing squads, or even to help with photo shoots. It is these partnerships and the people behind them that help tie the room together, as they say.