Meet MAAP & Slovenia
Over the first week of August, two good mates and I were lucky enough join the MAAP crew for their Spring photo shoot. On paper it was going to be a super few days exploring some unknown cycling territory in a place I had never visited, Slovenia. The biggest challenge was going to be our lack of condition. We were heading into a four-day venture without touching a bike for two months and instead we had been travelling the European continent, sightseeing, sunning ourselves and partying! But mentally we couldn't have been better prepared.
We were driven through Slovenia to a tiny town called Volce that looked to have never seen a non-European tourist before. The MAAP culture was in full swing upon arrival at the timber Slovenian accommodation. After a tasty meal of pizza and a few local wines, we relaxed and got to know the crew.
Out of the blocks on day one we headed up a climb and within 10km I was in big big trouble. My back was in pieces, I was pedalling squares and dreading the 10km of climbing to come. At this point in time, the Slovenian scenery came to be my saviour - the picturesque view at every corner provided indirect resting opportunities. While Derek Zoolander, aka Luke Parker, threw his somehow conditioned body up and down specific sections of the climb, I enjoyed the fortuitous opportunity for a stretch and mental regroup. After the first break things improved, my body somewhat realigned with cycling and the unbelievable scenery day in and day out made it easy to disregard the physical stress. I'd never been on a cycling "expedition" like this before! We rode, explored, ate and then did it all again. Slovenia provided continual untouched mountainous roads that were authentic, picturesque and engaging - there was so much to explore .
If you want a recap of the week and some elite pictures check out MAAP's recap here.
I had previously been a consumer of the brand and I knew MAAP as a company that continually created elite cycling clothing but after the trip, it became evident that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath is a brand culture that engages their audience, which creates a community and the "MAAP experience".
At the heart of MAAP is a passion for their products, a passion that is overwhelmingly present throughout all their ventures. This was exemplified by the meticulous manner in which the two directors, Ollie and Jarrad, went about conducting day-to-day activities. At the same time, their involving nature created a fun and fruitful environment.
The aspect of MAAP that I found intriguing was their overall ethos. Whilst they are leading the charge in the art and progression of cycling clothing, their effort towards creating a prosperous culture was second to none. Resulting in a group of nine people, from around the globe, all together to work as a team and inspired to assist in the creation of an elite end product.
Normally, I don't get that excited about cycling products but throughout this week my involvement and enthusiasm grew exponentially - I had been transformed in an Apple-like manner. I was obsessed with this product and nurtured it in the same manner you unbox a Mac or cradle a crisp iPhone. I do tend to gravitate towards aesthetically appealing products, but nonetheless the environment that surrounded the apparel brand was class A. The hands off open guidance from "The Boss" (Ollie Cousins) allowed this to occur and an overall unanimous input arose.
Previously, my interaction with MAAP was limited to their website, Instagram and use of the product. But after this week, my mentality has dramatically changed. Obviously, it might be a little difficult to send their entire customer base to Slovenia. But I wonder, can the owners replicate my experience to a wider audience?
If the office experience is anything like my experience of being "in-house" for this week in Slovenia it’s clear why you see so many people around the streets rocking their kit.
See you back at the social club,