Simon Mottram, the founder of Rapha Performance Roadwear, was in Portland on Tuesday and he met with Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Hales paid a visit to Rapha’s North American Headquarters in northwest Portland.
Rapha was founded in 2004 and in recent years has enjoyed a massive spike in popularity. The company has sponsored Tour de France champions and is known for premium prices and dedication to epic road riding. In addition to an online store, they also operate nine retail “Cycle Clubs” around the world — including three in the United States.
According to Rapha spokesman Chris DiStefano, the conversation during Hales’ meeting also included the company’s North American General Manager Hillary Benjamin. They discussed the local bicycle-related industry and how Portland might do even more to encourage and promote it. Mottram, who lives and works in London, told Mayor Hales about the success of cycling in the UK and the recent strides his hometown has made in bicycle infrastructure.
Reached for comment after the visit, Mayor Hales had this to share with us:
“We talk about the biking culture in Portland. We talk about the outdoor apparent sector of our economy. And we talk about the importance of international trade. But when you visit a place like Rapha, you see that these are just different facets of the same diamond. The lifestyle, the economic sector, the lure of international businesses– they all go hand-in-hand in Portland.”
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