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Friday Roundup: Rapha Foundation support, SAFE Streets, Czech gravel & more!

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Charitable Rapha Foundation drops $750,000 on next gen of racers – Rapha has just launched a new Foundation set out to support the next generation of racers with a ton of grants to keep them going & getting faster. Rapha says their origins in making classically-styled, premium clothing was to inspire more people to ride bikes than just racers. Now 15 years later they are going back to inspire more racers too.

After their two-year Roadmap research project looking at the state of pro cycling and how to make it more exciting & engaging, Rapha is going to the grassroots of the sport to support the next up-and-comers. The charitable Rapha Foundation’s mission then is to build a better future for the sport of cycling by “inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of racers”.

The idea is to direct fund not-for-profit organizations that are getting more underserved people onto bikes. All around the globe, Rapha plans to hype up these types of groups to get people excited to become competitive cyclists. The Foundation accept grant applications each spring & fall from registered charity organizations promoting cycling projects.

The first round of Rapha Foundation funding is being awarded to five established US groups with programs supporting cycling: Amy D. Foundation, Boulder Junior Cycling, The Mudfund at the USA Cycling Foundation, NICA & Star Track. Future awards will be open to similar groups from the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia & Australia as well. The new Rapha Foundation was made possible by seed funding support from new Rapha shareholders Tom & Steuart Walton, with a plan to distribute $1.5M in 2019.

Supporting the most important grassroots causes in cycling has been a long standing dream at Rapha. I’m confident the Rapha Foundation will have a huge impact and further our goal of making cycling the most popular sport in the world,” says Rapha founder Simon Mottram.

Where to Ride

  • Ride/race gravel with us at the Czech Gravel Blinduro June 22-23 – I gave this two-day gravel riding & racing event my Editor’s Choice seal of approval last year, and I’m set to head back in just over two weeks to Staré Město pod Landštejnem. Gravel makes for fun racing with timed enduro-style segments linked together with low-key transfers. And Gravel Blinduro does it as good as any other event – riding blind on a course over two days, with great socializing in between. Registration for the event is open for just one more week, closing Jun 14 (hint: just put a random number into the last required field in the English registration. It’s for your rider number in the organizer’s larger Enduro Series.) Plenty of info on the race via the event Facebook, and we’ll look forward to riding with you soon.

  • Ride Granby Ranch Bike Park near Winter Park, CO – About 85mi outside of Denver, Granby Ranch Bike Park opened up for the season last weekend. The were in the Grill watching UCI DH racing last weekend from Fort William & will likely repeat this weekend from Leogang. Granby has every type of MTB trail from XC to DH, and even allows e-bikes on their private land too.

Advocacy

  • America needs SAFE Streets, so get your Congressional Rep on board – We love bikes because they are fun to ride, healthy & bring us together with friends. But they also help us avoid getting stuck in a car in traffic & pollute less. But we could always use safer streets (& paths) to ride on. In the League of American Bicyclists‘ 2018 Benchmarking Report, they highlighted a public health crisis happening on our roads: nearly 1 in 5 people who die in crashes with motor vehicles was biking, walking, or using a mobility device like a wheelchair. 18% of traffic fatalities, yet states spend <1% of their federal safety funds on improving safety outcomes for pedestrians & cyclists. So help make a change & ask your Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 3040, the SAFE Streets Act, which would target funding towards safety improvements in areas where the lives of people who bike and walk are most in danger.

Gear

  • Get custom printed pro Elite water bottles for your club or team – Elite is making their premium custom bidons even easier to get thanks to a new digital printing setup. They don’t mention pricing, so you will have to reach out and see yourself if you want to go custom. But Elite says the new process effectively kills minimum order quantities and allows for faster turnaround times. They even say you can do one-off personalized bottles with rider names or race numbers on them, for example.

2019 Assos Trail kit trail-riding all-mountain bike clothing gear

  • Assos speeds up sales for USA cyclists – Over the last year Assos of Switzerland has seen a need to make it easier to better serve North American customers. So they developed a new US-focused consumer-direct e-commerce platform. Now it is easier to find what you want, and get it shipped fast than before, plus free standard shipping for everything over $50 (which is pretty much anything, right?)
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