Despite working at Rapha for almost six months, I hadn’t gone on any of the clubhouse rides. Usually, I’m at the cafe, but for the Rapha Retro Ride it was my day off and I thought it would be the perfect time to tag along and get some photos of the event.
The Retro Ride is a yearly event where we partner with Vecchio’s Bicicletteria, round up our friends on some vintage bikes, put on old school jerseys, and head out on a fun throwback ride. Since I only got into cycling a year-ish ago I only had modern gear but that’s ok, I wouldn’t be in the photos so no one would know! Except you I guess.
We set off from the Boulder Clubhouse at around 9, took a quick group photo and headed east. After I had to scramble back and grab the water bottle I forgot. From that small bump, the ride only got better. We made our way through Boulder until we hit the outskirts of the city, heading to the Boulder Reservoir. This is where things got fun. We took a left onto a dirt road that rolled over and back down gentle hills and we rode into the fog. The weather was all we could hope for, chilly in the shade but warm in the sun and perfect for a relaxed ride. Riding on the dirt made me thankful for my modern bike with wide tires for while I was having a great time when we hit pavement again, the rest of the pack let out a sigh of relief that the bumps were done and their bikes made it to safety. From there we made our way to Hygiene and stopped at the store there, grabbing snacks and refueling for the way back.
Our group split here and the one I joined went for another quick lap on a dirt road. We wound our way through trees and cow pastures, dirt and dust kicking off our wheels and catching the light of the sun. We met back up with the rest of the group and turned our bikes back towards the clubhouse. At this point, I had put away my camera and was now fully along for the ride. I found myself alongside my boss Steve at the front of the pack, and together we led the ride back home, pushing through the wind. Here I learned something else about group rides, everything seems way easier when you’re at the back. 35 miles later, Retro Ride had come to an end.
Cycling has become a huge part of my life over the past year. It has turned from a way to get around campus to a hobby to a job and hopefully more. It has helped me clear my head, get outside, get stronger, and become a happier person. The Retro Ride may have been my first group ride but certainly not my last. Riding with a good group of people is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Maybe next year I’ll find a retro bike to ride and fit in just a little bit more.