British Columbia Essentials

Ira Ryan lists out everything you could possibly need for five days of riding in British Columbia.
See the film, words and more photography of the rides here »

It all starts with one giant bag:

Extra large duffle (you could fit 2-3 bodies in this thing if you cut them up right) BaileyWorks Rapha Continental bag, black (of course). Within this you stuff with the following contents:

• 1 Pair of Rapha jeans

• 3 Misc t shirts (mostly bike related)
• 3 Sleeveless base layers. Note: I usually end up wearing these all the time.
• 4 Pair of boxers
• 3 Pair of non-riding socks. Taller and dressier.
• 3 Pair of riding socks.
• 3 bib shorts

• 3 short sleeve jerseys.

(Duffle bag continued:)
• 1 Pair Arm and Knee Warmers.
• 1 Pair of shoes for everything from climbing rocks to eating out — Adidas Sambas.
• 1 Pair road shoes. Specialized S-Works.
• 1 Specialized S-Works helmet
• 1 Merino Cap – for cool nights.
• 1 Ira Ryan cycling cap obligated to wear to be noticed by other cyclists.
• 1 Long Sleeve Jersey. ® For cooler nights and as an added layer.
• 1 Rain cape – just in case.
• 1 Pair sunglasses with clear lenses for the waning light hours.

Second: Toiletry Essentials all crammed into a tiny Brooks leather bag:
• Mild/summer embrocation for cool mornings.
• Grandpa’s stainless Gillette safety razor with an extra blade.
• Ventoux soap. (Side Note: I was around the table when the idea came up in Norway and I thought “soap that smells like Ventoux? come on!” But, it _REALLY_ does smell like Ventoux. The only thing missing is the feeling of the morning sun on your back as you ride past Tom Simpson’s memorial.)
• Travel toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Lotion that I stole from a past hotel stay. Always good to give your legs a little love after a day of riding.

Misc travel items include:

• Journal and pens.
• Sharpie to use to black out anything that isn’t black.
• Digital camera
• Ira Ryan Custom Framebuilder Business cards
• Rapha Continental cards (what are these? you have to find us on a ride to get one)
• Handkerchief.
• Magazine I grabbed from either the house or a coffee shop along the way.
• Cell phone. I am the only Rapha Continental rider not to have an iPhone despite Joe Staples trying to show me how cool they are.
• ID.
• Credit card and cash.

Tools in the Rapha Tool Wrap:

• Crank Brothers multi tool – I still like the quality and feel of this tool the best. Light, small and has the right sizes.
• Spare tube that probably has a puncture.
• Patch kit with dried out glue.

The Riding

The hosts were great and we got to see the best parts of Vancouver by bike. Everyone looked at us like we were nuts for not being on mountain bikes but the road and mountains are great and easy to get to. The second ride we did when we got to town was a club ride on a popular route and before long the pace was high and it turned into a sort of race with every man for themselves. We regrouped and rode a slower clip back toward town and got to chat it up back to the city.

The triple crown was the best day and climbed over the most scenic ski areas north of Vancouver, BC. Long grinding climbs with baby heads (gravel large enough to be the size of a small baby’s head) cemented into the road.

It was great to get some of the original members of the Rapha Continental crew together and the phrase “we’re getting the band back together” came up a number of times. We seemed to be missing the coke, sunglasses and black hats as we all seemed to complain about being old and the good old days in the white van with Cole doing something obscene. If I have learned one thing about how the Continental rolls, it is to be flexible and able to adapt to whatever happens at any time. It is a special type of “cat herding” that makes the this group great. Ryan Thomson is always going to be uptight and want to either force the pace or slow it down, I still want to roll it on for the climbs and since Hahn Rossman was just back from 1200km in France, he couldn’t be stopped. Aaron Erbeck won every sprint that could be gone for and was still able to look back like “are you gonna go or what?”

See the film, words and more photography of the rides here »