Gear Shift


Over the last decade, cycling has turned from a pastime into a passion, with bike sales rocketing and more people than ever choosing to hit the road. Roula is a young company capitalizing on this fast-changing landscape, offering travelling cyclists a premier concierge service with access to state-of-the-art equipment.

When a cycle ride can offer non-competitive camaraderie, numerous mental and physical health benefits, and a reasonably short time commitment, it's little wonder cycling has overtaken golf as the executive sport of choice. “It’s the new way to network,” says Roula founder and CEO, Mark Voysey, “and amateur cyclists are grasping the freedom and discovery that a bike affords them when they travel, too. When you want to see a city and its surrounding area properly, do a 20 – 70-mile bike ride and you’ll see it through a different lens.”

Roula launched in the summer of 2018 to make cycling abroad as efficient and enjoyable as possible. “Roula avoids the hassle and pain points of you dismantling, transporting and potentially damaging your prized possession when you travel,” explains Mark, “We enable the bike of your dreams to hit the road when you’re on the road.” Using a network of handpicked independent local retailers and manufacturers (and Roula’s own cycling cafés) the platform allows clients to book a bike and accessories to be delivered to them at their destination. Whether it’s a Colnago C64, Serotta or the Pinarello Dogma (Team SKY’s bike), cutting- edge superbikes can be test ridden by Roula clients while they soak up the scenery of say, New York City, Barcelona, Paris or Hong Kong.

The company’s flagship location is on the renowned Hudson River bike path in New York City and includes a cycle café to complete the experience for ardent fans (Roula is currently working on café hubs in the key cycling markets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Barcelona and Taiwan). Many of New York’s top hotels – Soho House, The Greenwich, the Mercer and Four Seasons – have teamed up with Roula and, through the company’s collaboration with Brompton Bicycles, are offering folding bikes in guest rooms. These can then be ridden to Roula’s location where the client can switch to their preferred road bike for a pre-breakfast power ride. Or, Roula’s fleet of customised Vespas can simply deliver the elite bike –set up to your fit measurements – straight to your hotel.

In true concierge style, if a client requires more guidance than their ready-fitted Garmin, Roula can organize a personal ‘domestique’ guide. Popular guided rides in New York City include 20 miles within Central Park and 35 miles along the Hudson River road. The adrenaline, serotonin, endorphins and euphoria associated with cycling can now meet you wherever, whenever – without the baggage. “In a world in which customers are increasingly looking for great experiences rather than ownership, Roula fits that changing model,” says Mark, “ and it serves an increasingly fitter and healthier audience base looking to perform at their peak.”

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