When geared up and preparing for a long ride, David Figueroa has a focus about him, and an outfit that says everything you need to know about his mission. A cycling jersey is an unmistakable piece of clothing that often does the talking, akin to asking an in-progress forklift operator what they do for a living. Like his favorite mode of transportation, David has a couple speeds, and he regularly activates his casual cyclist mode, which allows for some style versatility. When he is joy riding, David's fashion choices require less moisture-wicking while still taking into account the elements and styles that play well with spokes and saddles.
David's a big fan of HELM--a venerable Helmsman--whose go-to casual cycling outfit begins with his footwear. His riding go-tos are The Lou (featured below, in transit) and The Xander (featured at the top of this post).
David admitted his love for The Lou was a positive born out of a negative; he twisted his ankle and began wearing his Lous more due to the added stability. What he discovered was they were great to wear all the time.
"I did not think they would be comfortable as an everyday shoe," he said.
He's had his same pair of Lous for several years now and they've been re-soled with love. According to Dave, he's "a re-soler when the quality is there."
Water-resistant suede was also something the HELM Team was excited for David to showcase, which was a key reason we gave him a pair of The Xander Whiskey and followed him around with a camera.
David discussed The Xander as a great option for versatility, since it's a sneaker that can go with many outfits, whether he's casually riding to work, or meeting up with friends.
When he's joy riding in the morning, you can usually find David at Mañana for some coffee. At happy hour, Hold Out Brewing is a favorite.
David spends his professional time at Austin's Rapha store. When asked about what ties many of his favorite things together, David pointed to customer service and his experience with each product. The journey should not stop at a purchase, and money spent should go beyond the product to include its life beyond the purchase; the atmosphere and experience created around it.
"I feel like people won't bat an eye at the cost if the experience is there," said David. "And if you have to actively think about the product too much then it's normally not a good experience."
How David incorporates this into his own professional life is important to him. He leads free rides out of the Rapha Austin store, and regularly participates in others' rides to support the cycling community. The store offers rides for all levels of difficulty.