Got a special visit from my friend David last week. David works for Rapha now and he’s been traveling the country with Tillie, the Rapha Mobile Cycling Club. He’s been in Chicago all week, putting in appearances at the velodrome, at cyclocross clinics and even the Night Bison gravel race in Dekalb.
David’s a special friend to me because he was one of my very first bike friends. We met 10 years ago when we were both living in Boston. He worked for Bikes Not Bombs, an excellent nonprofit that does a lot of bicycle relief charity work both in town and abroad, and was famous for riding crazy 225km brevets. I worked for a public radio show and was just starting to become obsessed with bikes. I decided that I wanted to ride my bike from Boston to Montreal, and was starting to go on longer and longer rides to train.
I met David at a party after I had blown my own mind by riding 40 whole miles on my bike. He said, Let me know if you ever want to go on a ride together, and I looked at him, like, that is a thing that we could do?! Amazing!!! After that he and I and a group of our friends would go on summer adventure rides, putting our bikes on the commuter rail train going out to some spot, riding another 30 miles or so and ending up at the beach. Those were good times.
I’m really happy that the Rapha gig seems to be going so well for him. Judging by the reception he’s gotten on social media, he and Tillie are very, very popular. Also, I’m glad that he has, you know, hardened up and graduated to riding 1000 kilometer brevets.
He’ll be following cyclocross national champion Jeremy Powers around the UCI circuit this fall, including a stop at the Trek Cup in Madison in a few weeks. Say hi if you see him, because he’s really nice.
Also, incidentally, Tillie the trailer it is named for Tillie “The terrible Swede” Anderson, an early champion bike racer. Which is pretty cool.