Retail cycle gear store Rapha and the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain are two bodies that want cyclists to feel safe and have fun when they cycle.
Traditionally, cycling in Great Britain is just to get from one place to the next. But with major cycling events taking place all over the world, like the Tour de France, more people are back on their bikes even as they bet on their favorite team under EU gambling laws, to savor the feel of a good biking tour.
It turns out too that most cycling fans know the British brand Rapha. What they don’t know is that the man behind the brand is none other than Simon Mottram, a passionate biker, whose ambition is to promote the sports world wide. He wants to get people together from all walks of life to cycle for fun, to get to places but in a relaxed mood and to promote cycling events for charities.
Rapha replaces Adidas as Sky sportswear provider
Mottram, an ex-brand consultant founded Rapha in 2004. Rapha is a high-end retailer of chic cycle wear and accessories destined for rich road cyclists. Mottram is himself hung up on biking and it’s no wonder then that Rapha ripped into the market scene at a time when cycling was making a major come back just around that time, especially among middle-aged workers who needed a quick and cheap method of transport to get to and from work.
Just a few years later the brand went mainstream. According to EU gambling news, in 2013, the Rapha brand rocketed when the news spread that it was officially the new kit supplier for Team Sky, the British professional cycling team. This was a big boost for the company which would be replacing the Team Sky’s former supplier of sportswear, the Adidas icon.
With sales going up every year by 30%, Rapha’s turnover was a whopping GBP 39 million in 2014. But that doesn’t stop Mottram from pedaling every day to work. Mottram said“We already have 110,000 customers around the world and we’re looking at Hong Kong to tap into the Asian markets”. Rapha is also piercing into the international market little by little.
For just GBP 200 a year cyclists can team from all over the world to participate in sports events
Rapha which is based in London is renowned for its unique marketing strategy. For, the retailers eight “cycle clubs” which are to be found in US and Japan too also serve as a café, a place that caters events and where cycling fans can chill out, enjoy online betting and watch races. The company is an online retailer too and the stores are a great place to get bikers together, even as they purchase cycle wear.
This concept is strongly pushed by Mottram who declares that “Cycling still has an ‘underground’ feel to it. But it’s very much a connected community. A lot of people know each other. When people take up cycling, they generally fall head over heels in love with it. For many of our customers, cycling is probably the most important thing in their lives apart from family. Often, it’s even more important than their career”.
In order to get people cycling, Rapha came up with a brilliant idea. They created their own social network online. It launched a global members’ club in January 2015. So far the club boasts more that 2,250 members. The membership fee is GBP 200 and members can rent top-end bikes from clubs in other cities if they want to indulge in cycle tourism abroad.
British cyclists feel unsafe in the UK
The club also organizes social rides for people worldwide if they want to bike and race together. Other clubs will soon be springing up in places like Los Angeles and in parts of Asia. With spring upon us and summer just around the corner Rapha is prepared for the big boom as warm weather normally pushes people to pedal.
According to the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, a voluntary organization that campaigns for safer cycling methods, “Cycling should be the simplest, easiest and most convenient way to get around in most places in the UK, and yet the reality is that it’s not – the roads are busy, and feel unsafe or unpleasant to ride on, and what cycle paths there are seem to take the long way round, or run out just when you need them most”.
Today, it has been estimated that about 8% of people over 5 years old cycle three or more times a week, which represents 4.64 million people. Also people who cycle to work every day do it because its faster and healthy. But, according to statistics from the Government’s department of Transport, 2/3 of British people, or 37.7m, cycle less than once a year or never. They will though take advantage of events like the Tour de France set to begin July 4, 2015, to buy cycling gear. Last year Halfords reported a boost in sales “by a fifth in the days after the Tour de France started in Yorkshire and passed through London”.
Mottram wants to radically change how people perceive cycling
Mottram is trying to change the perception of cycling from being just “a nice transport method being an inconvenient way of getting round a city”. He himself sets aside four hours every Wednesday morning to cycle out of London to places such as Essex, Kent or Surrey.
Mottram is also ready to make concessions to have his 95 employees at Rapha offices in North London do the same, saying they can “catch up on work another time”. This year Rapha is sponsotring a bike trip to raise funds for a UK-based charity Ambitious about Autism, as his own son is an autistic.
Other events being planned by Rapha in 2015 is the launch of Rapha sunglasses and a range of headphones designed by Bang & Olufsen. Mottram admits that “Riding is my whole life. It’s the most amazing pastime. Combined with great health benefits, it’s also a great way to have adventures and discover amazing places that you’d never get to see by car.”