The Rapha Continental riders continue to forge a legacy of stylish miles, documented with such cinematic excellence that the episodes exceed even BMW’s marketing masterstroke, The Hire. This year saw them venture Down Under to Tasmania, to South-East Asia and Japan. It’s the first year the legendary Continental bikes, a series of bikes handbuilt for the riders by the best builders in the business, sprung from the United Kingdom, making their debut at this year’s Bespoked Bristol show.
Robin Mather is a Bristol builder who was asked to create a frame for Rapha’s James Bowthorpe. James is no stranger to hard miles and hours in the saddle: in 2009 he cycled around the globe in just 176 days. He’s also a highly talented writer, having scripted at least two short films, one of which is featured on the Rapha website. So he’s a perfect addition to the Continental crew, just like Robin was an ideal candidate to join the ranks of Continental builders. Previous US builders include Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira, Richard Sachs, Independent Fabrication and Circle-A.
Robin’s bikes won awards at this year’s Bespoked Bristol show in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why. Robin included some details such as hand-filed lugs and an individual stem that include the bike in the Continental collective whole, but also set it apart as a bike that is singularly a Mather. I’d imagine James Bowthorpe would have nothing but good things to say about it. There’s a photofilm featuring Robin and an interview on the Rapha website, where you can view all the films of the Continental riders and information about the bikes and builders.
Special thanks to Wig Worland for the fantastic photography.