Rapha Roller Race

By Hazel Last edited 137 months ago
Rapha Roller Race

Rapha makes clothing for serious cyclists - the couriers, the racers, the hardcore fundraisers pedalling over the Andes. They are also organising one of the most unusual events we've had the privilege of hearing about: this Saturday is the second Rapha Roller Race Culture Clash which is "a four-way clash between teams of bicycle couriers, cycle journalists, media folk and a ‘dark horse’ Dutch team made up of unnamed riders." And before you try to picture what this might look like, you've got to also add the image of two bikes fixed to big rollers, the bikes wired to monitors displaying their speed. This is Roller Racing: competitors don't whizz around a track, they stay fixed and race for 500 metres as measured by the equipment.

Add also to the picture you're building the setting of the Classic Car Club on Old Street. Add DJs and a cash bar, a lot of fit young things in lycra cycling outfits and the chance to have a go yourself. It's a different way to pass a Saturday night.

This bicycle-mounted competition was popular in the 1950s, pre-games console simulators of cycling, and was held in ballrooms and theatres with big band live music in between races. As London seems to be in the grip of nostalgia for the old ways of having fun (did anyone get the chance to time travel with the Edwardian space pirate at White Mischief - anyone? Anyone?), it seems fitting that there should be a revival of this kind of night out.

And yes, it does count as your daily recommended half hour of exercise though the tequila slammers and dancing all night with a cycle courier does not.

Rapha Roller Race: Culture Clash II, Saturday 17 November at the Classic Car Club, Old Street. Entry is £10 on the door, £2.50 of which will be donated to leukemia charity Leuka. For more information, go to the Rapha Roller Race website here.

Last Updated 16 November 2007