The Indescribably Beautiful Island of Mallorca (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – “Rapha and Team Sky are proud to present the first Team Sky clothing products of the 2013 season,” according to Rapha’s Communications Director, Chris DiStefano.
“In fact,” continued DiStefano, “‘proud’ is a trite, crass understatement of how we feel about these, the most beautiful and comfortable and perfect bike clothing that has ever been draped across the back of some almost preternaturally fortunate (but, lest we denigrate the utter perfection of the Rapha brand, let us append ‘yet still unworthy’ to ‘fortunate’) — rider.”
His eyes misting over, DiStefano proceeded to describe the indescribable: The Team Sky Rapha product line.
“How do I even begin?” asked DiStefano, rhetorically, seeing as he had in fact prepared a 148-slide presentation (using Apple Keynote, naturally, because PowerPoint is gauche).
“Well,” said the Rapha representative, struggling to be heard over the chorus of angels, “perhaps we could start with the Team Sky Pro category, which is the very pinnacle of haute couture for the discriminating professional cyclist.”
“The jersey – if something of this quality can be called a mere jersey – is made of a special fabric that is lighter than the breeze at the dawn of a summer morning.”
“It is so aerodynamic that if you climb upon your bicycle, yet do not pedal, you will nevertheless begin to move forward — wind direction and incline status notwithstanding.”
Continued DiStefano, “Every size fits every person perfectly, because it would otherwise be a travesty for both the wearer and the Rapha brand, and we will not have our good name besmirched by having an ill-fitting jersey with its name upon it appear anywhere, ever. Full stop.”
DiStefano paused to cast a melancholy-yet-stoic look off into space. Photographers took many photos, all of which are now posted in the better museums across Europe.
“Beyond this, the jersey imbues the rider both with the appearance of confidence and with actual confidence itself. But not that smarmy confidence you see affected by the faux-beurgeoise. Non. Your confidence will be of the sort that is terse, yet affable.”
“When wearing this jersey,” said DiStefano, self-assuredly, “you will think winning thoughts, and those around you will not be able to help but think winning thoughts about you.”
“And, of course,” confided DiStefano, “they are two orders of magnitude more beautiful than any man-made object heretofore observed in this or any previous generation.”
“Finally,” said DiStefano, before moving along to slide 2, “This jersey completely obliterates any untoward odor the wearer may produce, replacing it with the fragrance of cinnamon, vanilla, and motor oil.”
“Let’s move on to the Team Sky Pro Bib Shorts,” said DiStefano, at which point he — voice brimming with pride and emotion never before so richly expressed in the history of humanity — talked about the never-before-heard-of features in these beautiful and tasteful clothes, ranging from its slimming properties to the fact that the wearer finds that he never needs to fart while wearing the shorts (the female version of the shorts lacks this property since women don’t ever fart anyway) to the ability of the shorts to anticipate that you are about to begin sweating and accelerate its wicking properties accordingly.
DiStefano then described the Team Sky Long Sleeve Pro jersey, the Team SkyPro Base Layer, the Team SkyWiggo Pro Base Layer (sublime!), the Team Sky Pro Race Cape, the Team Sky Pro Bib Shorts, the Team Sky Women’s Pro Bib Shorts, the Team Sky Merino Drawstring Hat, the Team Sky Cap, the Team Sky Pro Socks, and the gloves, adorably known as “Team Sky Pro Mitts.”
Replica Clothing – For When Only The Nearly Best Will Do
“And that’s just the pro-level gear,” enthused DiStefano. “Which leads us, naturally and elegantly, to the Team Sky Replica clothing we are announcing.
The assembled press corp, which had hoped it was time for a no-doubt excellent lunch, sat back down, reverently.
DiStefano went on to describe how Rapha Team Sky replica clothing is both the best cycling clothing that money can buy, yet is not quite good enough for the pro category. Said DiStefano, “Is there anything better? No! Is it good enough for our “pro” category? No! Is it good enough for you? Ha! Better should you ask whether you are good enough for it, because I assure you that you are not!”
“And yet,” said DiStefano, his voice softening, “We condescend to let you purchase it, because we believe that even proles like yourselves should have something to strive for.”
More. Infinitely More.
Now — nine hours and nearly a third of the way through his presentation — DiStefano reluctantly acknowledged that the hour was growing late and he would pick up the following day, unless everyone was as captivated as he by the glorious bounty that was the 2013 Rapha / Team Sky collection.
“No, please don’t stop!” shouted all in attendance, completely enraptured (many weeping) by the hundreds — if not thousands — of unbearably tasteful articles of clothing emblazoned with the Sky logo. “We wish this revelation of clothing items to never end!”
Gratified by his audience’s appreciation of what was, after all, the crowning glory of human achievement, DiStefano continued on.
“The Team Sky bounty from Rapha does not end there!” said DiStefano, to deafening, protracted applause, leaving him to describe the Team Sky Supporter, Team Sky Womens, Team Sky Kids, and Team Sky Accessories clothing lines.
“In all, the number of products in this line of clothing is as close to an irrational number as it can be, and still be a positive integer,” said DiStefano. “I would tell you more about how many items this actually comes to, but — alas — the human numbering system is not as elegant and perfectly formed as each and every Rapha product, and thus I cannot express it.”
“This does not mean, however,” continued DiStefano, his face brightening, “That you cannot attempt to purchase each and every one of these products. In fact, if you do not, I feel very, very sorry for you, because of the huge and dark hole in your life that would otherwise be filled with Rapha loveliness.”
More Features Than You Deserve
As exquisitely conceived and well-appointed as the 2013 Team Sky Rapha clothing line is, it is not how you feel or ride that is the main benefit of Rapha wear.
No. Not even close.
The real benefit you will immediately notice is how you will be observed and photographed as you wear your Rapha Team Sky clothing, as well as how those around you behave.
When you write about your adventures, you will write things like this:
“I glowered purposefully ahead, my mind just becoming aware of for the attack my gut had known about for all too long,”
“I gazed abstractedly into my third espresso, my ennui a startling counterpoint to the stark rage I had shown in the saddle not an hour earlier.”
In other words, it’ll be like you’ve turned into Bill Strickland or something: understated, wistful, and introspective, yet still piercingly insightful. As if you’ve just spent the afternoon sharing meaningful conversation and playing chess with a wizened old man, an espresso never far from your grasp.
To accompany those very Rapha-like words that will surround your life, you’ll suddenly discover that photographs of you gain a starkly palpable beauty.
Here are typical photographs taken in Mallorca of Team Sky in their new Rapha gear, along with captions describing the poignant truths within:
“Shall I ride? Or shall I weep? Cannot I do both? To ride is to both give the world beauty and to take that beauty in; still, my soul aches. I am grateful I have such clothes as these to soothe my troubled heart.”
“Is this my body? Or is my body me? Which is to say, is there more to me than this finely-tuned organism? If not, what reason is there for me to keep it warm with this beautiful and tasteful jacket? Am I more than an animal if I pursue comfort? I do not care! This jacket is AWESOME!
My body is as relaxed as a panther at rest, while my eyes betray the coming storm.
“I do not see the world in color.”
“Nor do I, and the field to our right is barren.”
“We are so fortunate to be wearing Rapha. It is the only good in this world . . . and perhaps the next.”
Most gloves, in the absence of hands, are lifeless. Husks. Shells. The opposite is true for Rapha gloves. Mitts too.
Whence my happiness? My winnings? My adorable espresso? None of these. My happiness stems from my Rapha clothing and nothing else.
Some Team Sky Rapha clothing is available now, and more will be available in the coming months, should Rapha choose to grace you with it.