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Rapha Continental 2013
The Rapha Continental began in the US in 2007 as an antidote to the clinical aspects of road racing. It was conceived as a more creative expression of road riding, with the belief that you don’t need to pin a race number on to experience the pleasure that comes from tough rides. From the start, the Continental has been about exploring the road less travelled, discovering those things you only find out on the open road with your fellow riders. It’s about that sense of camaraderie that comes from sharing the effort and the adventure of meeting new places and people along the way.
In documenting their experiences the riders of the Continental created an inspiring online journal of films, photography, ride maps and cue sheets. Six years later, the Rapha Continental has become a global journey, with rides now being documented in the UK, Japan, Australia, Europe and southeast Asia.
Join us in 2013, in North America and around the world, as the Rapha Continental continues to discover the road less travelled.
The Open Road
by Jeremy Dunn, Rapha Continental veteran
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
Everywhere you look, there is the open road.
You may have noticed that when we take to the open road it is not often by ourselves. The joy of riding with the Rapha Continental — be it the dense jungles of Vietnam, the remotest reaches of northern Scotland or the backwoods of the United States — is that we do it in the company of others, with like-minded souls. Time and again, we rely on each other to get through the toughest moments. The confusion of getting lost in the wilderness, or lost in our own heads during the pain of a great climb or incessant headwind, can almost be forgotten with just a word, a reminder that you are not alone. The Rapha Continental will return this year with renewed vigor, setting out to discover the people, places and stories that can be overlooked when you focus solely on training and racing. It’s what makes us venture out the front door and use the bicycle to understand the world around us. There is always a new adventure to be found by bike, because everywhere you look is an open road.
The Best of the Continental 2012
The countries and regions explored by the Rapha Continental vary widely in their history, culture and terrain. What binds each and every ride together, however, is the Continental spirit, the desire to explore and discover the world via the road less travelled. The global expansion that began last year will continue to grow in the year ahead with more rides, films and stories. In the meantime, here is our selection of the best of the Rapha Continental 2012:
United Kingdom: Assynt
Twenty-twelve saw the first film from the UK Continental. ‘Assynt’ is a breathtaking journey along winding roads and over hills that are home to some of the oldest rocks in the world. The typically British weather encountered in this desolate and enigmatic region of north-west Scotland helped create one of the most beautiful and haunting Continental films to date.
Australia: Van Diemen’s Land
The Continental’s adventures in Australia invariably provide something of a history lesson. Using their bikes to explore the vast, sweeping landscape of Australia and its rich and complex history and people, the Australian Continental has created riding films and stories both visually stunning and highly evocative. ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ is a perfect example.
United States: Alberta, Canada with Alex Stieda
The Rapha Continental North America has made a habit of seeking out the greatest rides on the continent; in 2012, we decided to seek out the greatest riders, too. The first of our ‘rides with the pros’, exploring the roads around the home town of the first North American to wear yellow at the Tour de France, was a great experience.
To raise money for the victims of an area hit by one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, the riders of Rapha Japan mounted their bikes to explore Tohoku. Not only did they see first-hand the stark wreckage of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, they also discovered how the region is fighting to hold on to its unique heritage.