With Love to My Rapha Cross Bibs
When I first found Rapha, I held them far away from me with a necessary fear and amazement. How else to react to a cycling apparel company that offers a $3500 three-piece cycling suit?
Even in this crazy cycling world of constant upgrades and never-ending eye-candy, Rapha seemed completely out of my league. Besides, what was the point? They don’t even make women’s gear.
Then I got my hands on a pair of Rapha Cross 3/4 length bibs.
I put them on and stood in front of the mirror and did not feel faster. Nor did I look faster. I was extremely skeptical.
The chamois pad was massive. Ridiculous, almost. I was befuddled at first, with all that extra stuff. The hairy-legged hardman in me (he resembles a very small version of Erik Tonkin) was screaming, “SISSY CHAMOIS!”
I felt like I had just sat down in a theater to watch an over-hyped movie – I was underwhelmed before the first preview.
And then I went on a ride. And you know what? They didn’t blow my mind. I didn’t jump off the bike and start singing gospel.
But, they did eventually win me over. In small increments. One ride after another.
The sheer comfort alone sealed the deal. The wide straps and super-soft interior. The road-dampening effect over a long, winter basemile ride.
Soon I found myself laundering them night after night so that they would be at the ready. A whole drawer full of high-end cycling apparel and custom kits sat un-used.
I threw fits when they went missing, requiring Sal to stop whatever he was doing at that moment and scour the house for them. (Although I am often given to hyperbole, in this case I am not exaggerating. I’m sure Sal wishes that I was.)
So, in the interest of sappy Valentine’s Day cycling love notes, this one goes out to the bibs that have changed the way my ass feels about long days in the saddle:
I love you, baby. I didn’t see it at first, but you’re the best thing that ever happened to me.
My butt won’t ever be the same. And for that I thank you.