041: Inside Stories.

Rode outside yesterday.
The weather was pretty temperate and the pace was high.
Made me question my decision to move from the East to the West.
But only for a second.

This is Colin. He's as Pro as they come.

Don't worry, I've still got a ton of Nahbs stuff to go through. Will try to get some videos out this weekend.

Also, a good friend of mine who wishes to remain unnamed is helping me to compile a new list of awards from the show. Lets just say that not only does it involve sock puppets, but it also involves hot tubs and hairy men.

In other news. Embrocation Volume3: Cyclocross is at the printer. Just a few short weeks and we (meaning you) should have that puppy in your hands. There is a launch event that is coming together as well, so stay tuned for that.

Ok, enough small talk, lets get on to what I really want to talk about today. Rapha.

Since I've been gone for the past few months I have directed all of my mail to my LBS. I wouldn't recommend this method of mail transfer for everyone, but it seems to be working out ok for me at the moment. The tough thing is, when you've got packages that show up addressed by the likes of Slate Olson and the Rapha crew (if only they knew that the package was from Ben Lieberson and contained prototype gloves would they have left it unopened?) its hard to keep these things under wraps.

However, I stopped in today just as the postman was leaving the shop. I think I saw a little glimmer of disappointment in Jasons eyes as he handed over the fedex envelope.

Initially I thought that it might be the new copy of Rouleur. Maybe they decided they should send over their amazing publication as a sort of a...well I don't know what? Catalyst maybe? Or maybe it was a new product? Something slim and sort of the size of Rouleur? Maybe it was a bunch of Italian newspapers for me to stuff down the front of my shirt for tomorrows ride. How tight would that be?

'hey guys, why use the craft baselayer when you can go Italian?"

No, it wasn't that either. Ok, well it was a copy of Rouleur, I lied, but that's not what I was psyched about. There was another little book tucked away in the envelope. That's what caught my eye. What could it be?

Inside Stories — A Collection of Rapha Labels.

Since our launch, every Rapha has contained a discrete label, featuring a story about a cycling hero, mythical place or dramatic race.

Is the first thing that greets you as you open the book. What I first noticed though was the attention to detail in everything that you see when first presented with the book. The paper is of high quality (as should be expected with any Rapha product) the layout is simple and smooth, even the little drawings contained within have a touch of class to them.

The label stories themselves run the gamut from Commuting to words about classic mountain passes (Mortirolo) to references to classic teams come and gone —St. Raphael and Peugeot BP to name of few.

The drawing of the "Bad Fish" ie...doping till it hurts you. Is priceless.

My favorite though is the page that beings "Campag or Shimano." Oh, tireless debate, turn over once more in our minds. And that is half what you expect, yet, the writing around the circles on the opposite page read like this:

Campy or Shimano?
How about mistake #1 or mistake #2?
Campy or Shimano?
I'm not part of that discussion.
It makes me laugh.
How about 9 hours or 10 hours?
How about, will I be freezing cold, or will I be freezing cold and wet?

That's why I like the guys over at Rapha.
They get it.

At the current time of posting I have no idea where to get this book.
Just that it is awesome.