London-based customers of high-end cycling clothing brand Rapha specifiying the Fast Fridays bike courier delivery option on items they order this week may be in for a surprise.
That’s because Rapha Condor pro riders Dean Downing and Matt Cronshaw will be helping speed the North London-based brand's goods from its Belsize Park base to customers in some 44 postcodes across the capital, ranging from Hampstead to Clapham and Holland Park to Bow.
Rapha is asking its customers to help test the riders’ skills through the London traffic by using the delivery option, which costs £20 and applies to orders taken between 2pm on Thursday and 2pm on Friday, although there is a limited number of slots available.
Elite Circuit Series champion Downing promises to enter into the spirit of things, responding to an enquiry on Twitter about whether he would be riding a fixie for the day with the response, “will be needing one yeah, gotta do it right hey.”
That could mean a trip down to Condor’s shop on Gray’s Inn Road to get kitted out with a bike, and the shop is handily placed for Clerkenwell’s Duke of York pub, a long-time magnet for London’s bike courier community, should the pair feel the need to swap some war stories afterwards with those who brave the capital's streets on a daily basis.
Downing and Cronshaw’s stint delivering parcels around the city comes the day after the London Courier Emergency Fund, which takes care of those injured while out working, holds a courier appreciation day.
The organisation will be distributing free food and coffee to working couriers at the junction of Bloomsbury Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, and free bike checks will also be available.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.