Rapha Brevet: Distance Yourself
When the act of travelling far is the only motivation you need.
10 October 2023
The first randonneur
Since the invention of the bicycle in the early 1800s, people have been riding further and further in search of their limits. Today, the idea of riding through the day and into the night is not a new one, but at the turn of the 20th century, any journey beyond A to B by bike would have seemed preposterous. That is, until long-distance pioneer Paul de Vivie – or Vélocio as he liked to call himself – made it his mission to show the world that any ‘healthy organism’ could not only ride far, but find joy in the simple act of doing so.
The Distance Doctrine
Paul de Vivie gave much to cycling. A French bicycle builder credited with the invention of the derailleur, he’s often cited as one of the father’s of ‘audax’ (Latin for ‘bold’) riding, and wrote passionately about his dedication to distance. More than 100 years ago, penned under his pseudonym, Vélocio gave another gift to cycling: his seven cycle touring commandments. Despite their age, these guidelines for ‘the wise cyclist’ are as sound today as they were then:
1. Stop infrequently and for a short time only so you don’t lose motivation.
2. Eat lightly and often, before you get hungry. Drink before you are thirsty too.
3. Never ride until you are so tired that you cannot eat or sleep.
4. Put on extra clothing before you're cold, and take it off before you're hot. The sun, air and rain is good for your skin!
5. Don't drink wine, eat meat, or smoke during your ride.
6. Don’t rush. Ride within yourself, particularly during the first few hours of a ride when you feel strong and are tempted to force the pace.
7. Don't be a show-off. Vanity is ugly.
Pack Light. Travel Far
Audax. Brevet. Touring. Randonneuring. The discipline of riding great distances goes by many names, but all share one thing in common: the only competition you face is with yourself. There’s no race times or podium placings, just the drive to complete your goal – however long you’re riding. To travel far in the name of pushing your limits is what the Rapha Brevet collection was designed for. Durable yet lightweight clothing and accessories that offer ample storage, visibility, and versatility, each tested to perform on your longest rides, whatever the conditions.