Clothing brand shows solidarity with victims, iPhone app will tell you if there's a ride near you...

Cycling clothing firm Rapha is planning a series of rides around the world to help support victims of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The country is one of the North London-based brand’s key overseas markets – it is due to open a Rapha Cycle Club in Tokyo next month, and also sponsors a group of riders based there.

The London ride takes place this Sunday 20th March starting at 9am outside Barnet Cinema. Rapha stresses that it’s a ride of solidarity, not a race, and riders taking part are asked to donate a minimum of £10 which will go to the Japanese Red Cross.
Donations, which will be matched by the company, are also being accepted through the Rapha website, where further information on the rides is available.

Named Rapha Rides For Tohoku, besides London there will be similar events held in a number of cities in Japan, as well as Seoul, New York City, Portand and possibly other cities – you can check the Rapha iPhone app to see if there is a ride near you.

In a press release, the company said: “Rapha are planning a series of rides around the world in support of the victims of the worst disaster in Japan since the 2nd World War.

“For the last four years Rapha has had a team of riders based in Nagano, Japan, who have been documenting their rides, the Yonretto, on Rapha.cc. The devastation after the earthquake and following Tsunami is enormous, and Rapha will be supporting Japan by holding a series of global rides. Anyone can take part and participants will be asked to make a donation prior to hitting the bike and the roads in support of Japan.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.