Cafes have been embedded in the culture and tradition of cyclists since the 1950s. They are used as a meeting point for the start of a group ride; for a ‘cafe stop’, half-way through a 50- or 100-mile club run; for essential refreshment for long-distance cycle tourists and as a finishing point of hard-training pros and leisure riders alike.
Look Mum No Hands! (below) in Clerkenwell in London features classic Italian racing bikes and cycling accessories decorating the interior. It is a space to be used and enjoyed, not too fussily designed, with a big screen showing bike racing and a workshop and mechanics for the customers’ bike repairs.
Boutique cycling brand Rapha has its “Cycle Club” cafes, which usually appear on a pop-up basis. This maintains a degree of exclusivity to the boutique brand, although a permanent cycle club is now a fixture in San Fransisco.
A combination of gallery, shop and cafe, the Cycle Club is a meeting place and hub for road riders. Unlike most ‘pop up’ stores, the Rapha Cycle Club will be more than just a retail space. With live screenings of road races and a full calendar of exhibitions and events, the Rapha Cycle Club will be a home for the sport and culture of road racing.