Joe Bike

Rapha founder meets Portland mayor at company’s North American HQ

Posted by on February 27th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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Rapha founder Simon Mottram, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and Rapha North American GM Hillary Benjamin.
(Photo: Rapha)

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.

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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.”

Read more from our Industry Ticker here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

8 Comments
  • Avatar
    Adam H. February 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    If Rapha wants more customers, they should encourage Mayor Hales to push for more safe biking facilities.

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      SJW February 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Another activism non sequitur in BP comments… This is an Industry article.

      Rapha is doing fine customer-wise, and does plenty to encourage people to ride their bikes in their own unique way. “safe biking facilities” is not their milieu, epic rides and the stories attached to them are.

      Let’s get real for a second here. There’s a few of you who just seem to use this forum to piggyback onto BP’s reach to push your own opinions and agendas with increasing frequency. you should consider creating your own forum, or move it to the forums…

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        SJW,

        I hear your concerns with Adam’s comment. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong or even annoying about it. I think he’s simply saying that better bike access in Portland would be good for Rapha’s bottom line.

        And please be nice to other commenters. I don’t appreciate your suggestion that Adam should take his opinions elsewhere. Oh, and the forums don’t really exist anymore fwiw. Thanks.

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          SJW February 27, 2015 at 4:38 pm

          Noted, carry on.. Sorry Adam… got hot headed, my mistake. Won’t happen again.

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        Matthew March 2, 2015 at 5:39 pm

        never be sorry for taking a swing & getting some wood on the ball. based on the number of “recommend” clicks there are more than just a couple others who share your views.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu February 27, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Rapha gear is sooo nice. I’m happy to see they chose Portland for their North American office.

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    Parker Knight February 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    What’s a good hi viz retro reflective bicycle attire? Brand and link to buy?

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    Lester Burnham March 2, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Hey it’s that mayor guy!

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