It was the launch of Rapha's new cycle club last Wednesday (5th May) and I went to poke my nose in and see what you get for being a member. It isn't a club where you pay membership fee, or a place where women writhe on a pole and it isn't a place to go all night raving either, what you get is a place where you can join a community of fellow passionate cyclists and watch cycling on a couple of big screens whilst sat at an enormous banquet table that stretches the entire length of the main room and enjoy a small coffee.
It isn't just a coffee shop although it does sell very splendid 'Nude' coffee from a blend specifically chosen, possibly by a naked virgin, and exclusively for Rapha, well, they do have their own sticker on the packet and it is bloody good coffee, Rapha cycle club is also a shop.
It isn't just a shop that you can enjoy supping Rapha's handpicked coffee beans whilst flicking through rails of possibly the finest British cycling threads in front of giant plasma screens showing your favourite sport of cycling but it is also a gallery. The basement is dedicated to exhibit cycle culture, currently on display are glorious black and white prints from Rouleur magazine, Rapha's neighbours.
Over the 3 months that this pop up club house is installed in London, before it gets transplanted across the pond to New York for a further 3, the Rapha cycle club will be hosting various exhibitions, film nights, club rides, launches, coffee mornings etc. If, by the time you leave, you haven't been brain washed into needing anything with Rapha branding impaled on it then you are a marketers nemesis and someone that membership to this club is wasted on.
Here are more pictures of the Rapha cycle club on our Flickr thingy