About us / History
Rollapaluza are THE crew responsible for the resurgence of roller-racing in London and the UK.
Roller Racing was a very popular sport in the UK back in the forties and fifties with events drawing huge crowds to ballrooms, cinemas and even luxury hotels such as the Savoy. The bike racing was often accompanied by dancing girls and big bands, check our movies page for an excellent documentary by our very own Jono and Buffalo Bill featuring the legendary Eddie Wingrave.
Since 2000 Rollapaluza have been dedicated to reviving this near forgotten sport in the UK, all Rollapaluza nights have either live Djs, bands or both to recreate the old roller-race format in a contemporary style.
Rollapaluza have run 75 roller-races in the last 12 months with over 8000 competitors, recent highlights were:
- Organising and promoting the biggest roller-race in London since the fifties with 88 competitors and over 350 spectators.
- Chris Hoy’s first cycling appearance after winning three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics was on the Rollapaluza rollers!
- Running a Rollapaluza competition at the World Fire Fighters games in the 11,000 seat Liverpool Echo Arena.
- Showcasing Rollapaluza at the Tour de France prologue where over 300 members of the public raced on our rollers.
In 2008 we have put on many events, had celebrities James Cracknell, Lawrence Dallaglio, Richard Blackwood and TV presenters Mike Bushell and Mike Ramsden try Rollapaluza and had a full six page article written about us in Cycling Plus.
Back in 1999 London Couriers experienced “Goldsprints” (European name for roller-racing) at the European Cycle Messenger Championships in Zurich. One of their number, a certain Greg Tipper who was also a track racer and had participated in club roller racing in the UK was keen to launch something similar in the UK. He promoted the first London Courier “Goldsprints” with the help of other couriers, more than a few of which were also keen track racers and had drunk tea and raced in front of a handful of fellow spectators at club roller races. The event, held at the Horseshoe pub in Clerkenwell was a huge success and luckily someone filmed it! Caspar, Winston, Bill and Stevie are featured and all are still involved in Rollapaluza to this day…watch it here.
The London Courier events soon became entitled “Rollapaluza” and Caspar has been involved in organising every Rollapaluza event since then. Rollapaluza events have grown in scale and now we not only promote our own major events but we are involved in organising Roller Races and other events for clients and clubs in the UK and Europe.
In January 2008 Rollapaluza returned to where it all began, the Horsehoe pub, to promote the unofficial London Courier Rollapaluza Championships. It was one of the best ever with a fantastic atmosphere, this event will be covered in a future edition of Cycling Plus.
In recent times Rollapaluza have been attending many community and cycling events and festivals bringing their unique style of bike racing to the wider public. This work is particularly important to Rollapaluza as we have the opportunity to get young people competing on bikes in a totally safe and fair environment, some of these kids may not have ridden or owned a bike before.
Rollapaluza now have a Schools programme, we are taking this unique form of cycles sport into the P.E. lesson, in the schools we have been to so far all the kids have loved the experience, we replicate adult Rollapaluza nights with pumping music and encourage teachers and students to emcee / commentate the racing. Condor cyles have provided us with specially designed child specific roller-racing bikes!
In 2008 Rollapaluza hope to continue the resurgence of roller-racing, we have just completed a 40 date University tour for a corporate client and have lots of plans for the coming year including Regional and National Championships for the 2008/9 winter season.
Rollapaluza is currently run by Caspar Hughes and Paul (Winston) Churchill
Rollapaluza is a company registered in the UK.
“Rollapaluza” is a registered trademark.
Rollapaluza events are covered by their own commercial insurance policy.