Rapha’s long-awaited iPhone app is now available to download from Apple’s app store, and what’s more, it’s free, allowing cyclists to flag up group rides and keep in touch with their fellow riders, as well as finding out what rides there are in their own area.
Named Rapha Rendezvous, the look of the app is pretty much in line with what you would expect if you’re familiar with Rapha’s website – white font on a black background, which incorporates elements of the pattern of the upmarket brand’s silk scarf, together with accents in the company’s signature pink.
The app is not designed to replace navigational apps or devices, rather it is a solution to the problem of getting everyone to meet up in the first place, to address what Rapha describes as the common problem encountered when “Organising a ride with friends. Or maybe not friends, more likely adversarial training partners, or perhaps someone you have never ridden with before. Arranging meeting for a ride can be a thankless task spread over a multitude of devices and communication methods.”
Even once a meeting point has been agreed, problems can arise, another issue Rapha is seeking to address. “Further to this complication of arrangement is the uncertainty involved in the act of meeting. An unforeseen puncture, a headwind from hell, getting lost, another unforeseen puncture (after two they become foreseen) – the epic could begin before the planned epic (or perhaps just a light training spin) has even begun. "Where the hell is Fausto?", it says.
Accordingly, the app allows you to invite other members to a ride and shows their progress towards the agreed rendezvous point on a map, as well as facilitating messaging between riders, meaning, Rapha claims, “No more waiting around for friends, failed phone calls, SMS annoyances or scrolling hundreds of emails, Rapha Rendezvous makes meeting for rides quick and easy, giving you more time on the bike.”
Key points of the app, according to Rapha, are:
Although going by the comments on the Rapha website there seems to be some demand out there for an Android version of the app, the company has told road.cc that while this is a possibility for the future, there are no plans to develop a version of the app for that platform right now with the vast majority of its customers being iPhone users.
While doutbless some will point out that anyone with a bit of gumption can find out pretty easily when and where a local ride is taking place, viewed in the context of Rapha's specific target audience, the ap is bound to have appeal, for instance someone perhaps bound to a desk during the day who wants to get out with some like minded riders in the area during the evening.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.