Intro by Yasmeen Schuller. All photography by Chris Dilts.
The Chainlink couldn't be more excited about the recent opening of Rapha's clubhouse in Chicago. Not only is Rapha well-known for high-quality cycling apparel, they also put on challenging events like the Rapha Prestige (see Chainlink's ride report), lead regular group rides, and work closely with local cycling communities to continue to grow our sport. Join us at Rapha for our upcoming Chainlink social on December 15 (details below).
You may have heard that Rapha has landed in Wicker Park. Taking up the space that served as the exterior of Championship Vinyl from the movie High Fidelity, the store is more than just a retail space and a café. Rapha hopes to give all of Chicago’s cyclists a clubhouse that serves as a meeting point for riders, venue for race viewings, and space for community events.
Chicago plays a prominent role in the history of American cycling, with its concentration of frame builders, and historic velodromes, making it a natural choice for Rapha’s next clubhouse. In opening their newest clubhouse in Wicker Park, Rapha hopes to honor the city and shine a spotlight on its contribution to the sport.
“Rapha Clubhouses were designed to turn what most people think of a ‘bike store’ on its head,” said Robert Fleming, General Manager, of the new clubhouse. “We want to connect with the local cycling community around the love of being on your bike. We’ll support the cycling community with activities, ride fuel, culture, and, of course, a full range of apparel. There’s a lot packed into a single location and the best way to understand what we are all about is to jump on your bike and head over. We have bike parking inside the café.”
Robert added, “Our location, just north of downtown, offers a great spot for group rides to kick off. I’m especially excited for Rapha’s annual riding challenge, the Festive 500, where folks commit to riding 500km during the common days off over the holiday. We’ll host group rides every day starting on the 24th through the 31st to help you hit the mark. 500km in Chicago in December is going to test even the most dedicated riders.”
Join The Chainlink on December 15 from 6-9pm for this month’s “bar night” at the Rapha Clubhouse, 1514 Milwaukee Ave. Drinks and small bites will be served. RSVP at rapha.cc/chicago.
1514 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago