This summer, Rapha’s first-ever brand campaign aims to get more people on bikes and highlight cycling as a solution to many of the personal and societal challenges of modern life. As a company, Rapha ‘believes that cycling is an antidote to the daily pressures we face, and whether it’s a long ride or a short commute, the simple act of riding a bike offers the chance to be totally present and tune out distractions.’
For society as a whole, Rapha argues that getting more people on bikes means reduced carbon emissions and traffic congestion, and a pathway to a mentally and physically healthier population. A company release stated ‘We believe that cycling, more than any other sport, is unique in its ability to solve problems and help people improve their lives. We believe, in short, that cycling transforms lives.’
“Riding on my own or with others I find moments of perfect experience that make the ordinary extraordinary, that transform my daily life into something suddenly unforgettable,” said Rapha founder and CEO Simon Mottram.
To lead the campaign, Rapha commissioned a film with Los Angeles-based independent creative agency Mother LA, headed by original Rapha Continental rider Joe Staples, and put cycling and cyclists at the heart of the project. ‘The cast are all old friends of the brand or former employees, with a unique backstory and close relationship with the sport we love.’
Director and keen cyclist Max Weiland aimed to capture the feeling and promise of early morning rides, bringing out the good and bad from city life and following the group of riders up into the hills for their ‘aha’ moment of post-climb zen. The film is a clear departure from Rapha features of the past, highlighting city scenes and some of the problems faced in everyday life – stress, poor health, tension, traffic – and holds up riding a bike as an answer to them.
“Riding in LA is different to other places in the world,” said Max Weiland. “Before your morning meeting, before the emails and the coffee, you can climb from the claustrophobic city streets to vast canyon gravel roads. The noise suddenly fades and nature whips past.. .riding is like what skateboarding used to be; it’s about interacting with your environment, and it’s about finding a community.”
To support the brand campaign and film, Rapha’s global Clubhouses will be increasing their riding schedules and events over the summer to cover a variety of abilities and cycling-based interests. From beginner rides to masterclasses en route and as a place to watch racing, Rapha adds that it offers a hub of activity for cycling communities all over the world.
Some of the event highlights include:
- Beginner Workshops consisting of multiple evenings in June and July
- L’Etape du Tour training rides and launch event in partnership with ASO
- Herman Miller design city ride
- Rapha Race Radio – Tour de France 101
- Route Mapping event
- Bikepacking 101 with James Hayden
- Rapha Race Radio – the Transcontinental dot watching
The campaign consists of behind-the-scenes films and interviews as well as the main film and will be supported throughout the year by further editorial content and activities dedicated to promoting cycling.
Rapha was established in 2004 to ‘address a need for stylish, high performance cycling clothing’. It now provides products for every road cyclist and ‘continues to push the boundaries of innovation in cyclewear’. Alongside this, Rapha has cultivated a global community of passionate cyclists who come together as members of the Rapha Cycling Club (RCC), billed as the largest club of its kind in the world.
Rapha’s direct to consumer model and unique brand values also come to life in its travel offering and in the global network of Clubhouses that combine retail, a cafe and cycling culture under the same roof.