Our resident food guru’s top pick for Most Delicious Big Bike Race™ Party—Dinamo plus Rapha.
Mya Anitai isn’t one to back down from a race, specifically the biggest bike race in the world. When the Big Bike Race™ hits the streets of Richmond, the co-owner of Dinamo and her crew will be ready–ready to party. From Thursday, September 24th until Sunday, the 27th, Dinamo will host a viewing party/beer garden with premier cycling apparel company Rapha in the grassy lot adjacent to SweetFrog on the 800 block of W. Cary Street.
As soon as Anitai learned about the race and its projected impact on the city, she started imagining ways she could connect with Rapha. “I’ve been a fan of theirs for a really long time. Their brand is really thoughtful,” says Anitai. “We like their aesthetic a lot and thought it would complement the aesthetic of Dinamo.” A Dinamo regular and cyclist, Fred Gerson, had a connection to the company, and the discussion evolved from his introduction.
Anitai asked herself, “How am I going to participate during the race and both get people to come in to Dinamo and do something fun and unique that anybody in the community is welcome to do?”
The answer is for Dinamo to host a four-day party that’s free and open to the public. Sandwiches, salads, and snacks will be available from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM in the tent each day. Rapha will bring their Mobile Cycle Club, aka “Tillie,” named after the famed turn-of-the-century Swedish cyclist Tillie Anderson. The sleek silver trailer is equipped with a La Marzocco GS espresso maker, and Rapha will be pulling Stumptown espresso to accompany the food, beer, and wine from Dinamo, which will be open throughout and after the event, as well as for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday.
“I wanted something that people on foot or on bike could see from far away and come stop by and have a cup of coffee,” Anitai explains. “We’re going to have wine, beer, juice. Everybody’s going to have bottled water. We’ll have everything else.” The menu will include an Italian-style hero, a mozzarella and prosciutto hero, and a turkey sandwich, plus “nice, healthy sides–high impact protein, good for riders and snacking,” says Anitai, adding that guests are also welcome to order a pizza to-go from Dinamo and take it over to the tent.
Tillie comes to the party prepared–with proper racks for bike parking and a picnic table, plus cycling apparel and accessories to purchase, as well as a big screen broadcasting live coverage of the races. Mya says that, by her calculations, W. Cary Street will be largely unaffected Thursday through Sunday, making Dinamo relatively easy to access. Rapha will also be leading morning rides and introducing professional riders throughout the weekend. Check their website for the full schedule.
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Rapha is more than merely stylish and functional clothing and accessories. It’s a lifestyle brand devoted to cultivating cycling culture and celebrating the wonders of road racing. Rapha began selling clothing in 2004. Now the company leads in more than just apparel, publishing a journal on road racing, producing several movies on the sport, and sponsoring Team Sky, the team to which Tour de France 2015 winner Chris Froome belongs. And soon they’ll be here, among us! Rapha’s Derrick Lewis says, “we’ve been blown away by how the community in Richmond has opened their doors and made it easy for riders to come and celebrate this event.”
For Rapha, the collaboration with Dinamo is all about creating an experience for both avid road racers and weekend watchers to enjoy the World Championships together with world-class food, beer, and wine. From there, Lewis says, “We wanted something special to happen in the tent, so we pushed the tent more toward a beer garden. What we came up with was brewing a special beer with a really cool cycling story behind it.”
Anitai connected Rapha with Ardent Craft Ales, and the collaboration expanded to include a limited edition radler, brewed and bottled by Ardent, with label design by the Rapha team. Lewis says the design echoes the label of St. Raphael aperitif from which Rapha gets its name.
Ardent co-owner Tom Sullivan explains that radlers are a mix of beer and a citrus soda, popular with riders in Europe (Radler means “rider” in German). Sullivan says, “A radler makes sense with the bike race. It’s a no-brainer to do one. We asked ourselves, ‘What do we want to do for our radler, putting our spin on it?'” Ardent came up with their own lemon and grapefruit soda made with natural extracts. They’ll pair that with their Honey Ginger Summer Ale to crisp, refreshing effect.
Sullivan says, “We’ve always been interested in connecting to the cycling culture. One of our board members is an avid cyclist, and we’ve been looking for a way to connect.” Last year, Ardent created their own cycling jersey and sponsored a cycling team. Sullivan adds that for Ardent, the Big Bike Race™ is “bringing Richmond’s creative community together in a lot of ways and presenting an opportunity to show the world what Richmond is about, from the restaurant scene to design.”
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For more information about the race, including where to stay, what to do, how many people are really coming, and why Richmond is so into bikes, check out our fabulous [Big Bike Race™ section](http://rvanews.com/tag/big-bike-race).