Archive for the 'Rapha' Category

We are what we watch: YOUTUBE!

In Canada, all stock images of watching TV feature hockey. It's the law.

As avid cyclists, the one thing we like almost as much as riding bikes is watching other people ride bikes.  Ever since Mark Zuckerburg invented the internet, we’ve had an unending supply of videos to watch.  Thought I’m tempting to suggest that the kind of videos we watch reflect our personalities, I don’t think that’s always the case.  Based on my own experience, I might favour old-timey races and “classic” moments in cycling history, but I’m also likely to watch Vimeo trailers for track bike tours and bar spinzzzz.

Some videos appeal to almost all cyclists for one reason or another.  Usually it’s because the video represents something we can’t attain, either because we can’t go that fast, or because we can’t afford to take time off, purchase expensive clothes, and hire a camera crew.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Other videos are harder to watch.  For example, deep down we are troubled by fighting in cycling.  Though fodder for the “is cycling gay” debate, these altercations provide no real answers.  It is only when professional cyclists fight that we can truly witness ambition tempered by ability.  These men seem to want to hurt each other.  They just can’t.  I’m guessing they both had cyclist fathers who, tragically, taught their sons to fight in the same way: “Now son, remember to keep your arms straight, aim for the ears or the back of the head, complete at least one full spin, and for the love of God only close your fists when you get tired!”

Cycling fans, however, are another story.  Put simply, don’t fuck with them.

But what about taking inspiration from cycling?  What if we want to know why people race bikes professionally, but aren’t satisfied with the answer “because we get paid to. Why do you go to work every day?” Most importantly, what if we’re totally disappointed in the amount of cycling featured in Love Actually?

And then, of course, their are the videos that simply seem as if they were made for you alone.  In all likelihood, cycling is tangential to the video and it strikes at something deeper.  In this case, a dark, dark sense of humour.

Maybe we are what we watch, we just hate to admit it.

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Rapha-related product surprisingly affordable: Subscribe to Rouleur

Will lighten, but not eviscerate, your wallet.

When I lived in Europe (Paris and London, for a too-brief 6 month period), I enjoyed the easy access to cycling material.  When in London, I would often get off at King’s Cross station (alight! I mean alight!) and walk to Condor Cycles, where I found lots of gorgeous bikes and all the Rapha gear I could drool over.  I could only look at the clothes and bikes (save for one time when I treated myself to the Fixed Jersey), but I had no problems justifying buying issues (and back issues) of Rouleur Magazine.  When I prepared to fly home, I had to shed a few pounds of baggage and the magazines sadly were left with friends.

Magazine box. Overkill perhaps, but the upside down 13 is a nice touch.

I have often looked into subscribing to Rouleur, but the shipping and handling was, in their words, prohibitively expensive for North Americans.  Well, that seems to have changed.  On a whim last week I visited the Rouleur site and was thrilled to learn that subscribers now pay nothing extra for shipping and handling.  A one-year subscription is £36 ($61.25 CAD), which isn’t too bad for 4 issues.  For those of us more interested in the history and intrigue of road racing (instead of the power-meters and discussions of “junk miles” that are the focus of most bicycle magazines), you’d be hard pressed to find a better read.

While it’s easy (and quite enjoyable) to make fun of Rapha, I’m glad it exists.  There’s nothing like treating yourself once in a while; although a new jacket isn’t in my future, some good reading is.

Proper Usage: Expensive Cycling Apparel

Rapha’s new bomber jacket (which I love) is the perfect $350 garment for:

Dont spill on it.

Don't spill on it.

1: Eating a sandwich.  You don’t eat sandwiches in a jacket worth less than $350, do you? AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A CYCLIST?

Chic creepy

Chic creepy

2: Downloading pornography.  Always download your pornography on a Mac.  They don’t get viruses (which cannot be said for people who sleep with people who download pornography in a $350 jacket).

The jacket is very nice.  You can even ride a bicycle with it.

Dandyhorse Magazine: Summer issue

Free in the Tdot.

Free in the Tdot.

As COG magazine preps another issue (#7), I thought I should remind people that issue 3 of Toronto’s Dandyhorse magazine is still available for free (ZERO MONIES!) in various shops in Toronto.  If you ride in Toronto, or in any city, or own a bicycle, or know what a bicycle is, then this might interest you.  Keep an eye out for back issues, which you can pick up for free (courtesy of the Gladstone Hotel) or purchase for a measly $6 (including delivery!).

Or, you could spend $432 on 13 issues of Rouleur.  Your call.

Rapha’s $260 pants

Do they come with a bike?

Do they come with a bike?

I love Rapha clothing.  I’m also broke.  So this just makes me angry.  But they look really nice and I bet they’d last forever. Unfortunately, yesterday I spent $150 on Schwalbe Winter Marathon tires for my winter bike (which I’m converting now)  so whatever I have left over will go into a pair of long johns to wear under my increasingly worn out jeans.  Rapha claims that these trousers (that’s “English” for pants) “are tough enough to survive the rigours of the winter commute,” but I doubt they had Montréal winters in mind.

But if you can swing it, these are the ones.