TWO BROAD ARROWS
A film by Adrian Moat with Ridley Scott Associates for Rapha
The idea was to make a short film that reflected the spirit and drive of Sean Kelly. I wanted to capture a sense of possibility by using him as an example of a man that knows how to suffer, and to identify his spirit with the potential of youth. Two Broad Arrows is about confidence, discovery and learning how to try.
– Adrian Moat the finest cycling clothing
RAPHA CONTINENTAL WITH GREG LEMOND
The final Rapha Continental North America ride of 2012 was a journey with none other than Greg LeMond, riding in his home state of Nevada.
ABOUT THE RAPHA CONTINENTAL
The Rapha Continental began in the USA in 2007. A series of endurance rides that sought a more adventurous style of riding beyond the confines of regular training and racing, the Continental was established to rediscover the lost spirit of cycling.
Taking the road less travelled, a group of riders explored North America, documenting their travels through photography, words and film. Now, in its fifth year, the Continental has become a global journey with rides being mapped across the UK, Japan, Australia, Europe and Southeast Asia.
The Rapha Continental project also champions the finest frame builders in the world, partnering with craftspeople to create custom steel road bikes for a variety of terrain. Above all else, the Rapha Continental sets out to explore the freedom, camaraderie, suffering and inspiration that can only be experienced on a road bike.
The Road Less Travelled
The Rapha Continental was established in the United States in 2007. A unique adventure, it was driven by a simple idea. In an age when cycling has become increasingly clinical and sanitised, the Rapha Continental’s mission was to travel the back roads of America in an attempt to rediscover something of the lost spirit of cycling. As an increasing number of us pin race numbers to our jerseys at weekends, sometimes we can be guilty of slipping too far into the racer’s mentality. If we focus solely on measuring watts and counting calories, it’s all too easy to lose sight of why we love to ride, to lose touch with the unique experiences that only road riding can offer.
The Rapha Continental is about the view from the road less travelled. It is about seeing the land through the eyes of the people you meet, and learning its story through their voice sharing those intimate, compelling moments you can only discover when you ride.
In the five years the Rapha Continental has spent criss-crossing North America, its riders have discovered rides and tales that are always diverse, often unusual and sometimes highly personal. From punishing climbs on forgotten gravel roads to the endless tarmac of the Tour of California, they have ridden together and they have suffered together. Recording their experiences in words, pictures and on film they have, in the process, learned about each other and about themselves. The result is a unique journal, an ever-expanding library, complete with maps, ride data and cue sheets, showcasing the most inspiring rides the American continent has to offer.
So what characterises a Rapha Continental ride? The Rapha Continental is not touring. The Rapha Continental will take you through spectacular scenery; it may even allow you to savour authentic artisan cuisine. But the Rapha Continental is about riding hard. It’s about riding far and riding fast. The Rapha Continental is about being tested: by distance; by duration; and by the mishaps, mechanicals – and crashes – that occur precisely when it seems things can’t get any worse. The Rapha Continental is about those moments familiar to every tired rider, those moments when you feel your sanity fading with the sunlight.
And yet because the sun also rises, the Rapha Continental is about the times when the opposite is true. Those days your bike seems to sing; the days when you take every climb effortlessly and in the perfect gear; and those days when descents feel like flying. We didn’t invent this style of riding, and we don’t own it either. It belongs to every like-minded rider that ever came to a fork in the road or the foot of an unknown climb and said not, “I wonder where that goes?”, but rather, “Let’s find out”.
In the next twelve months, as part of our ongoing commitment to the glory and suffering of road riding, Rapha will publish stories, images and films from the Rapha Continental; from North America and now from around the world.
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RAPHA RANDONNÉES 2013
Historic routes, breathtaking scenery and classic riding.
Inspired by the classic ‘brevets’ of Europe, Rapha Randonnées are exclusive point-to-point journeys that combine the same kind of exploratory riding but without the hassles of more traditional touring.
Run over six days averaging 130km of mountainous riding each day through Europe’s greatest terrain, groups of twelve randonneurs follow carefully designed routes. Each route is fully supported with transportation, experienced guides, mechanics and all inclusive luxury accommodation and cuisine.
Each Randonnée features:
Groups of twelve riders
Exemplary service and support from experienced Rapha guides
A unique Rapha Randonnee Sportwool jersey
Souvenir photo book, brevet card and ride patches
"There were so many highs - reaching every summit was a real thrill and by day three I'd say the climbing became enjoyable too. All in all the whole week was a high and the level of service was also superb."
– Murray Hardie, Rapha Randonneur 2010
The culture and history of each region, camaraderie with your fellow ‘randonneurs’ and very challenging terrain makes for the ultimate escape. Each randonneur will receive a Randonnée Jersey with an exclusive embroidered 'brevet badge', a photo book and brevet card to commemorate the journey.
[Randonnée: a type of organised bicycle touring, typically covering between 100 to 1,200 km.]
Find out more about the Randonnée Alps 2013 »
Find out more about the Randonnée Dolomites 2013 »
Find out more about the Randonnée Pyrenees 2013 »
Why ride a Randonnée?
by Simon Mottram, founder and CEO of Rapha.
Every season, road riders can choose from numerous riding trips: Training camps, cycling tours, the Etape and Gran Fondos, all offering the chance to ride on smooth European tarmac, in great scenery. So why choose a Rapha Randonnée?
The unique appeal of Randonnées is all down to the structure that gives them their name. Unlike most training camps or cycling holidays, the Randonnées are point-to-point adventures where each day presents a new goal, eighty to a hundred miles away. Reaching that goal takes endurance, teamwork and application and each day takes you on new roads, often along the routes of racing history. Reaching your destination each day is certainly satisfying but it's the rhythm of the Randonnée that makes it most fulfilling. I have planned and led trips like these for my friends for ten years and the thing I look forward to most is the constant rhythm of the ride, day after day for a week.
The pattern of fuelling, riding, fuelling, arriving, celebrating, sleeping and fuelling again puts all focus on riding and the company of your fellow riders. The stresses and pressures of normal life fade away and priorities are changed for the better. It's a simple existence and a powerful counterpoint to our sedentary lives.
With the excellent service and support offered on the Rapha Randonnées, you can enjoy this cleansing and uplifting adventure to the full, without worrying about food, accommodation or mechanical problems. The Etape and Gran Fondos are great challenges, but the roads are busy and the ride is over in a day. Training camps are great for fitness, but not for the thrill of pure road riding.
For me, a Randonnée is the best week of the year and I'm already looking forward to joining another Rapha Randonnée.