by Simon Mottram, Rapha founder
Every season, the keen road rider can choose from numerous exciting riding holidays. Training camps, cycling tours, the Etape and Gran Fondos, all offer the chance to ride on smooth european tarmac, in great scenery. So why choose a Rapha Randonnee?
The unique appeal of Randonnees is all down to the structure that gives them their name. Unlike most training camps or cycling holidays, the Randonnees are point-to-point adventures where each day presents a new goal, eighty to a hundred miles away. Reaching that goal takes endurance, teamwork and application and each day takes you on new roads, often along the routes of racing history.
Reaching your destination each day is certainly satisfying. But, it’s the rhythm of the Randonnee that makes it most fulfilling.
I have planned and led trips like these for my friends every year for ten years and the thing I look forward to most is the constant rhythm of the ride, day after day for a week. Each day follows a similar pattern of fuelling, riding, fuelling, arriving, celebrating, sleeping and fuelling again. Following this routine, all you focus on is the effort of riding and the company of your fellow riders. The stresses and pressures of normal life fade away after a couple of days. Email is forgotten and priorities are changed for the better. It’s a simple existence and a powerful counterpoint to our sedentary lives. And, with the excellent service and support offered on the Rapha Randonnees, you can enjoy this cleansing and uplifting adventure to the full, without worrying about food, accommodation or mechanical assistance.
The Etape and Gran Fondos are great challenge rides, but the roads are busy and the ride is over in a day. Training camps are great for fitness, but not for the soul. Conventional cycle tours provide escape and culture, but don’t test the spirit or give the satisfaction of reaching journey’s end. For me, a Randonnee is the best week of every year and I’m already looking forward to joining one of the Rapha Randonnees this year.
Rapha Randonnées have been conceived in collaboration with Rapha as exclusive point-to-point adventures running over six consecutive days, averaging between 80-100 miles of riding each day.
For more information visit: www.rapha.cc/rapha-randonnees