Last night Bianchista had the pleasure of an invite to the opening of Rapha’s newest venture, the ‘Rapha Cycle Club’. Billing itself as part café, part gallery and part retail space, Rapha plan to host a variety of events from the location, encompassing many activities from rides to album launches to exhibitions and not forgetting daily screenings of the upcoming grand tours. All this whilst offering a unique meeting point for all southern rouleurs, with generous opening times all seven days of the week planned for the next three months.
The space is located a few roads down from Condor Cycles, near to Farringdon tube. Boasting two impressive Sharp 60 inch plasma screens, the club offers a great venue to meet up with friends, enjoy a special Rapha blend espresso from the café, indulge in some fine works of art from the major players in the world of cycling photogtraphy, and should funds allow, all manner of Rapha merchandise can be purchased, from casual wear to team kit to all manner of publications, such as the wonderful ‘Le Metier’ book.
I enjoyed rather a few glasses of Prosecco and mingled with some great people, from industry bods to fellow fans and enthusiats. My pals tucked into the very pretty looking antipasti whilst we soaked up the chilled vibe.
Personally I had three main highlights of the evening…. firstly meeting and chatting to Camille McMillan, a highly talented photographer whose images im sure, dear readers, you are familiar with. We discussed his adventures shooting Le Metier and he offered me some sage advice on my upcoming work trip to Johannesburg (including hiring a sawn off kalashnikoff, a crazy word from a wedding he went to that I cant remember, and to always order my steaks in ‘lady size’, all valuable tips I assure you!)
Secondly I had the pleasure to meet Nadya and Rich who were with my main wheel based-hooligan Simon (You’re still in trouble for ignoring the texts hehe), they were both lovely. Nadya and I discussed many a things and we all teased her and James about puncturing on the HOTN ride even though they enjoyed CX rides, whilst was great to talk to Rich about his wicked Rouleur t-shirts. Nadya and I have decided they need to get a couple going in ladies sizes :->
Lastly, the ever amazing Claire from Rapha ladies team bought me a very special gift, a bloody signed photo of none other than THE DUDE Kristian House!!! Kristian if you are reading this, you are one PRO ASSED DUDE and I can’t wait to see you defend the jersey this year… you made Bianchistas day! (The picture will now be adorning my desk at Getty towers… good times!) So thanks very much Kristian & Claire, that’s some straight up awesome schwag right there!
My only regrets of the evening were missing the appearance of uber coaching guru himself Dave Brailsford, and also missing thanking THE DUDE in person for my picture.
I cant wait for the Giro to start in earnest, in some respects I’m fortunate to work a crazy work schedule, often getting mornings and weekdays off, so il be heading to the space to kick back and watch some of italia’s finest terrain be navigated by the peloton.
Id highly recommend heading down to check out the club, with its relaxed and friendly vibe, its wonderful to have a chilled venue in London town where you can fully immerse yourself in bike culture.
Id lastly like to offer an apology to Mr Ellis Bacon. So sorry I was leaving and couldn’t stop to chat, hope to cross paths soon for a good old chinwag mister!
Thanks to Laura for the invite, and thanks to Rapha for putting on a superb night. Most enjoyable…
For detailed information on Rapha's Cycling Club including map & opening hours, click HERE