My name is Consuelo, I’m a designer, and (some people may say) I have a cycling addiction.

How does one end up with a closet overflowing with cycling gear and a garage so full of bikes (six and counting) that the car has to be parked outside?

While some may say “addiction,” I call it “paradise!”

It all started with my appreciation for well-crafted typefaces, and ended with a rising motivation to ride more miles. During a beautiful afternoon in May, I spotted on Twitter one of my favorite font/design studios—House Industries—announcing a design partnership with the 2014 Amgen Tour of California and Rapha, a cycling clothing shop I’d never heard of until that day.

They were working on an assignment for the TOC: the design of a cap. (Call it a “hat” and cyclists will circle, point, and laugh at you.) For me, it was design love at first sight.

Their “designment” was to help showcase the House’s new big and bold type (Velo), a custom re-draw for the cap, and an added pinch of bright colors (let’s call it California Pantone) that was reflected in the cycling attire. Challenge: Make the clothing noticeable and notable; make the design reflect and respect the sport.

The marketing strategy employed the tried and tested “limited edition” approach. The caps were only available from Rapha’s Mobile Cycle Club at the end of each stage of a race, so only true fans could proudly claim and wear the special designs. It inspired me to try to become a true fan, too.

True fans wake up so early that even roosters roll their eyes. True fans ride for miles before the Marina starts drinking mimosas. True fans ride, climb, and rise higher than Karl the Fog. It’s what we do. And when we claim a special edition cap, that’s how we recognize each other—that’s how we know that we connect through our shared paradise.

So, I found my first big race. There I was at stage 3 on Mount Diablo, CA. My gear wasn’t fully working and it was a 90ºF day, but that didn’t stop me before and it wasn’t going to stop me now. No matter what, I was going to make that 4000 foot climb. And I’m happy to say that I earned that trophy!

There are some great reasons to make anyone fall in love with bikes, from staying healthy to being aware of the environment and your carbon footprint; but for me it was the perfect combination of design and cycling and (the real reason) for a great collection of fun items and great stories that can be told by numbers:

Bike By Numbers