Dutch author and amateur cyclist Tim Krabbé expressed this idea of ‘glory through suffering’ very eloquently in his 1978 novel, The Rider:
“The greater the suffering, the greater the pleasure. That is nature’s payback to riders for the homage they pay her by suffering. Velvet pillows, safari parks, sunglasses; people have become woolly mice. They still have bodies that can walk for five days and four nights through a desert of snow, without food, but they accept praise for having taken a one hour bicycle ride. ‘Good for you’. Instead of expressing their gratitude for the rain by getting wet, people walk around with umbrellas. Nature is an old lady with few friends these days, and those who wish to make use of her charms, she rewards passionately.”
As Rapha Continental spread to mainland Europe exploring the unknown, the hidden and the forgotten from the Mediterranean to the Arctic, from the Lowlands of Flanders to the highlands of the Carpathian Mountains, they aligned with some of the world’s most reknowned builders from Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Scandinavia and beyond.
They approached Vandeyk. Vandeyk approached us.