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Control-Alt-Delete: Bikepacking the AZT – Plan B

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Control-Alt-Delete: Bikepacking the AZT – Plan B

When this year’s last winter storm went big (like, really big) we realized we’d have to adjust our plan to bikepack the Coconino Loop in northern Arizona. We shifted our focus South, to the Arizona Trail segments around Tucson, hoping the lower latitude and elevation would deliver the sunshine we craved.

Instead, we were greeted in Tucson with heavy rain, so we postponed the trip by a day, hoping it would blow over. When the next day also looked rainy, and kind of snowy too, we lost half our riding crew. My partner Brandon, our friend Sarah and I decided to make a start anyway.

A Look at Rapha’s New Powerweave Explore Gravel Shoes

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A Look at Rapha’s New Powerweave Explore Gravel Shoes

In my opinion, you don’t need racing shoes to do rides. Back when we started riding ‘cross bikes on singletrack and fire roads, the only real options were stiff ‘cross racing shoes. Footwear tech and ideologies have come a long way since with the case in point being the latest from the Rapha apparel line, the Powerweave Explore Gravel Shoes. I’ve been lucky enough to get my grubby hands on a pair to check out and post up a quick first impressions review of these beautiful shoes.

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the Further Away, the Better

Rapha presents an Icelandic excursion:

“I’ve ridden many thousands of miles on my bike all these years and I can’t say I regret anything… There were rough times but also good times. You just know it’s a challenge that you’ve got to overcome.”

We all have roads that lodge in our mind, routes we want to take. One such route is across the Sprengisandur, an uninhabited highland plateau crowned by an 826-metre pass in the central ranges of Iceland.

Plenty have tried to cross, and plenty have failed. In 2015, Rapha sent filmmaker George Marshall and framebuilder Tom Donhou to attempt the crossing. But after days of high winds, the pair were forced to stop. Four years later, George returned to lead another group across the 170 miles between the end of the tarmac near Reykjavik and the northern stronghold town of Akureyri. But they were far from being the first to make the crossing.

Over 60 years before, Ron Bartle joined Dick Phillips, Bernard Heath and their guide Raymond Bottomley for the first-ever unsupported ride across the Sprengisandur. They spent ten days in the wilderness, crossing rivers in inflatable dinghies and pushing their bikes for miles over boulder fields until they finally reached the first farmstead in the north.

Now in his mid-eighties and still an avid cyclist, Ron has recounted the story of his unexpected Icelandic adventure. And at a time when many of us cannot ride the roads lodged in our minds, he reminds us that they’ll still be there this year and the next.

Rapha Sponsors Sarah Sturm and Lael Wilcox and Launches Women’s Instagram Channel

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Rapha Sponsors Sarah Sturm and Lael Wilcox and Launches Women’s Instagram Channel

Rapha is growing their support for women and not just professional cyclists. Today the brand announced its sponsorship of two charismatic personalities, Sarah Sturm and Lael Wilcox. Both of these women are great representatives of the gravel/adventure/touring market and we couldn’t be more stoked for them. Rapha also launched a women’s Instagram, so keep an eye on that for more updates as events warrant.

Rapha + Palace Giro d’Italia Bikes to Be Raffled to Further Support Diversity in Cycling

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Rapha + Palace Giro d’Italia Bikes to Be Raffled to Further Support Diversity in Cycling

Remember the Rapha + Palace kit and bikes that dropped right before the Giro d’Italia, causing quite the stir? Well, USA Cycling is hosting a raffle with all proceeds going towards Contributing to New Co-ed Cycling Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities. Cannondale and EF Pro Cycling have donated two of the Giro d’Italia change out bikes for this raffle.

Read more below…

The Rapha and Palace Collection Will Be Available This Friday

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The Rapha and Palace Collection Will Be Available This Friday

This Friday, October 9th, the Rapha and Palace collection will be available for Rapha Members. That means it might be hard for non-Members to get their hands on some of these goods but we can only hope! Here’s the word from Rapha:

“Every Palace launch is highly anticipated, and each garment they make is an extremely limited edition, produced only in very small numbers. This foray into the professional peloton will be no different. And with much of the kit going directly to EF Pro Cycling at the Giro d’Italia, availability will be especially limited.

To give our members the best possible chance of securing a piece of the switch-out kit, the Rapha Cycling Club has managed to secure a very limited run of team edition race clothing and casualwear. Members will have exclusive early access from Friday, 9th October. Stay tuned for more information.”

*The collection will be available to members who were active on or before Sunday, 4th October or have renewed a previously lapsed membership since that date.

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Womens 100

Now in its eighth year, the Rapha Women’s 100 challenges riders around the world to share the road and ride 100 kilometers together on the same day. 2020 may be looking a little bit different from previous years and coming together can be complicated, but there is still a way… Watch this video for some familiar faces and check out the entire Womens 100 collection at Rapha.

Rapha and Geoff McFetridge Collection

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Rapha and Geoff McFetridge Collection

Rapha and artist Geoff McFetridge have long admired each other and this week, they made their admiration formal with an entire capsule collection, complete with socks, jerseys, base layers, musettes, and more, designed by Geoff himself. As a skater kid, I personally have admired Geoff’s ability to document culture through his ambiguous figures, and in recent years, his work has popped up everywhere. This collection looks fantastic and is in stock now at Rapha.

Rapha’s New Classic, Explore, and Pro Team Sunglasses

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Rapha’s New Classic, Explore, and Pro Team Sunglasses

Classic, sporty, and modern. The three new sunglasses models from Rapha launched today. The Classic sports a simple silhouette, inspired by Wayfarers and other icons, while the Explore utilizes a modern, full-frame protective design, and the Pro Team offers two options: frameless or full-frame, for full-on performance protection. Head to Rapha to check out more details. Pricing starts at $125.

Rapha’s 2020 Men’s and Women’s Bib Short Catalog

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Rapha’s 2020 Men’s and Women’s Bib Short Catalog

For 2020, Rapha compiled an extensive guide for their men’s and women’s bib shorts, offering something for every rider. It doesn’t matter if you pine for twisting paved roads, or prefer to ride off the beaten path. From the Classic to the Pro to the Explore Cargo, these shorts are designed for every sort of drop bar riding. The women’s Detachable Bib Shots go one step further and add functionality to the age-old problem of nature breaks for women. Most of you are aware of these bib short models, but if you’re not, check it out at Rapha. Honestly, we really wanted to share this imagery from the product shoot more than anything, so check it out below.

Rapha’s Outskirts Collection Features Tie Dye Garments

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Rapha’s Outskirts Collection Features Tie Dye Garments

Inspired by the Outskirts’ trip to Vietnam, their new collection from Rapha includes tie-dyed garments including a Wind Jacket, Cargo Bibs, Longsleeve Tees, and cycling caps.

Each piece in the catalog is unique, due to the dying process and the entire collection is now live on Rapha, so head over to check it out.