Cycling has never had greater currency in the UK than over the last month and most of it, with respect to all of the others involved, is down to one man: Bradley Wiggins.
With the Tour de France under his belt and the Olympic time trial sewn up, the man with the sideburns can reasonably claim to have inspired legions of new cyclists (except that he is too modest to do anything of the kind).
For those who have been cycling for a while, however, and the key demographic here is affluent 35 to 50 year olds, there is one goal to aspire to – as well as owning a £3,000 racing machine – and that is a complete outfit from Rapha.
Rapha is a cyclewear and accessories brand that was founded in 2004 and which, until a month ago, was available only online, or occasionally through one of the pop-up shops that it has created from time to time.
Now this has changed. Since the day before the Tour de France ended there has been a permanent Rapha store in London. Located in Piccadilly, designed by east London design consultancy Brinkworth and covering a little under 1,500 sq ft, this is as much a drop-in point for the two-wheeled community as a store that sells clothing that makes a hefty dent in the wallet. It achieves this courtesy of a cafe where you can choose from a selection of wines by the glass, fine food and, of course, a series of monitors that allow you to catch the action from the latest cycle race.
And if you do choose to buy some of the clothing, there’s a vintage Citroën van that has had its bottom cut away to turn it into a retro fitting room. If you like cycling, you’ll love every piece of this.