Rollapaluza is a cycle sport like no other where participants battle it out on bikes over a sprint distance at speeds in excess of 50mph, accompanied by music, an MC and cheering crowds. And guess what? You don’t have to be a cycle pro to join!
As part of this week’s Wednesday Wellness series, the London Living team caught up with manager Jake Ashby to tell us more about Rollapluza, including the cycle challenges they will be hosting as part of the upcoming wellness weekend, Elefit on 27th – 28th April in Zone 1’s Elephant and Castle, Castle Square. To view the full timetable of events at Elefit, vist: http://www.elefit.co.uk/
How long has Rollapaluza been around for, and what is the story behind getting it started?
Rollapaluza has been around for 11 years. Initially, Rollapaluza was a courier based evening of roller racing, and Caspar (our Director) was involved in the inaugural UK event at the Horseshoe pub in Clerkenwell in 2000. Caspar and his then business partner Paul Churchill, both ex cycle couriers took Rollapaluza full-time in 2007 and it’s been a success ever since!
How does Rollapaluza differ from a normal cycling class you would do at a gym?
Well for a start, races do not last 45mins and although we stand at the front and encourage the racers to keep going, spandex is not a requirement. Our activity is open to anyone and everyone, of all ages (leg length the limiting factor) we offer participants the chance to race over a simulated 250m or 500m on our static rollers with a 1.2 meter dial behind displaying distance. It takes kids roughly 15-20 seconds and adults 10-15 seconds on average unless racing the full 500m. We are not about keeping fit, but reminding people how fun it is to ride a bike. With the variety of events we do we meet all kinds of people and all are equal on our equipment. It is a great way to test your legs against some of the best.
Judging by your website and funky videos – it seems you have to be a cycle pro to be a part of your classes – Is that true?
Not at all! A large number of our events are for local councils on Family Fun Days as well as work in schools where the room fills with cheers and shouts as the kids race and try to beat each other’s times. We have a soft cap minimum age of 5 years old, but it really comes down to leg length. If you can reach the pedals we will let you try our Condor bikes.
We hear you will be hosting a class at the upcoming wellness weekend, Elefit in Elephant and Castle from 12pm – 4pm on Saturday 27th April. Can you give us any hints as to what ‘cycling challenges’ you will doing in these classes?
Our cycling classes at Elefit will be ‘have a go’ sessions where anyone can come along and have a race between 12pm and 4pm over 250m. We will sign people up in pairs and get them racing, keep track of everyone’s times and take photos. And then the results will go live on our website after the event so people can check out how well they did.
Can you tell us more about the types of events you host?
We have a couple of options. Our 2 bike set up allows for the above mentioned ‘Have a Go’ which is open to all. Our competition events are usually an evening affair, more suited to adults, starting with a qualifying session. We then take the fastest riders through to knockout rounds until we have an overall fastest male and female finalist.
Our 4 bike set up is great for our Team Games format. This works with 4,8 or 16 teams of 4 to race in a variety of rounds. The rounds are called – Team Time Trial, Madison, Elimination and Win and Out. Teams score points over the course of the evening as they battle through the different races.
Video footage of the 2 bike Competition evening can be found here https://vimeo.com/208123972
Video footage of the 4 bike Team Games can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPZXD7OCzBU
How do people sign up to be apart of a Rollapaluzza race?
There are a couple of ways people can have a race on our Condor track bikes. We have a public calendar on our website that shows all open events coming up along with the location of where they will be held. (http://www.rollapaluza.com/coming-up.html). Or you can book directly with us, by calling us on 07747 041 596. We also host events for schools, TV shows and also corporate clients. Cost does vary on the type of event we host.
Do you care to share Rollapaluza’s future plans?
Keep on Rolling. We have been doing what we pride ourselves in doing for the last 11 years and we plan to keep on going into the foreseeable future. We also run the ‘Urban Hill Climb’, our closed road hill climb up Swains Lane annually – this year on Saturday 28th September. That is a great afternoon of racing to watch / race and is growing each year.
With the increasing London pace, what are your top three wellness tips you could share with our readers to be the healthiest version of themselves?
Get out in the ‘fresh’ (if you can call it fresh with current air pollution) air. Take advantage of the parks and green spaces to get away from the hustle and bustle of the continually connected world and enjoy some time with nature. If that is what floats your boat. Just take some time to be, doing what makes you relax and de stress. I think mental wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing. I have recently tried my local parkrun (https://www.parkrun.org.uk) a free weekly 5k timed social run or walk. There are hundreds of open spaces across the globe that have these and it is great. I would recommend to anyone trying to get out and do more…… and of course cycling!