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  #1  
Old 03-04-2021, 09:05 PM
Yoshi Yoshi is offline
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Paris Roubaix Challenge?

Anyone here that has done the Paris Roubaix amateur race?

https://www.parisroubaixchallenge.co...t/presentation
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2021, 09:24 PM
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joosttx joosttx is offline
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Its a blast. The roads are $hit, its mostly flat, the scenery is meh, the wind sucks and its the most fun you'll ever have. The main challenge is that it is a one way route so you need to find a way to the start point or a way home from the finish. The organizers provide a bus service but its better to have someone drive you.












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Last edited by joosttx; 03-04-2021 at 09:26 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2021, 09:32 PM
Yoshi Yoshi is offline
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First questions are logistics I guess.
Did you train it from Paris or Brussels? We’re you able to ride to and from start/finish from you hotel? Did you make reservations for a place a year in advance? Remember the hotel where you stayed?
Looks like you got some rain? Bonus!
Thanks to all

PS, sorry, just reread your post about getting back to the start

Last edited by Yoshi; 03-04-2021 at 09:36 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2021, 09:38 PM
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lavi lavi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
Its a blast.
Sick! I'd like to hear more about that Bilenky with Ambrosia rims and all the other goodness. Year? And that Rock Racing kit FTW! And that Rock Lobster looks might fine tooooo.
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2021, 10:08 PM
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joosttx joosttx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
First questions are logistics I guess.
Did you train it from Paris or Brussels? We’re you able to ride to and from start/finish from you hotel? Did you make reservations for a place a year in advance? Remember the hotel where you stayed?
Looks like you got some rain? Bonus!
Thanks to all

PS, sorry, just reread your post about getting back to the start
I took the train from CDG in Paris to Lille, France. It was no problem. My hotel, which was the hotel that the head of the IMF would have orgies in just months prior, was in walking distance. Stay in Lille. FlashUNC got an AirBnB which was beautiful from the pictures when he did it.

I rode in 2015. It rained for the first 50 miles and there were strong headwinds for the last 50. I did not sleep the night before and was exhausted before starting. My average heart rate was 163bpm for the 104 mile ride. What I remember was I wore two pairs of gloves and I removed one pair and had to put them on because my hands were hurting. The headwinds were about the worst I experienced I remember going about 8mph on the carrefour just dying. Get a fast bike. Moderate aero wheels are your friend. Ride tubulars. Have thick bar tape.

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Last edited by joosttx; 03-04-2021 at 10:45 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2021, 10:32 PM
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FlashUNC FlashUNC is online now
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It is the greatest and worst bike ride you will ever do.



I did it with a group including Lionel, the Summer Cycles crew and a fellow Reno2Cino'er as well as a couple locals Lionel rides with Aix. We rented a bananas AirBnB -- it was actually a chateau -- in Wambriches outside Roubaix and did a rental bus down to the start. I was broom wagon'd at the second feed totally ruined, with a guy who's frame snapped at the downtube/headtube junction, and a guy's who's seatpost snapped in two.

If you do it, do the full route. The shorter routes are a loop that start you with the first sector as the Forest of Arenberg, which is friggin madness. The star system they rate the cobbles by both totally makes sense and does a disservice to every sector. They're all hard. There's a short downhill cobbled sector outside Saint Python that was bumpy enough that it rattled my eyeballs and for the first time in 25 years doing this stupid hobby I thought I was going to die on a bike. I watched the pros ride it the next day shoulder to shoulder chill as hell.

Agreed with joostx. Tubulars, double wrap the bars. Know none of it really matters cuz the cobbles are brutal. I crashed in a ditch in a field and a French woman appeared from nowhere to ask how I was doing. The locals in the villages you ride through treat you with the same kind of enthusiasm and cheer they do for the pros the day after. It was dry and freezing all day. I cannot imagine how difficult a wet Roubaix would be.

If you want a brief taste of what it's like, you have to do it. It's also miserable and I have little desire to ever do it again. I book ended the trip with a couple days in Paris. The trip ended getting to watch Notre Dame burn. Kind of encapsulated the whole thing.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:35 PM
livesadventure livesadventure is offline
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I did it in my young and naive days - single wrapped bars and 23mm tires. I remember deciding it wasn’t worth buying 27mm corsas “for just one ride”

Was great fun nonetheless, I did the short route with no regrets, made a lot of friends and had as much fun off the bike after the ride


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  #8  
Old 03-05-2021, 03:55 AM
Duvivr6 Duvivr6 is offline
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I had a similar experience as others and it was certainly the worse day I have had on a bike. I remember sitting down at the last rest stop and all I wanted to do was chuck my bike into the forest and take a taxi home. Since I was in a not so nice part of France by myself I got back and pedaled to the velodrome. I've said since that someone will have to pay me to do it again.

Was riding a Cannondale Caad 8 with 25s, but should have gone with a cross bike and just enjoy the day. If I were to go back will just ride something gravel with good fat tires or a 29er.

At the end of the day it was a good experience, don't be like me and go alone. Or just do Flanders or Amstel Gold much more fun.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:03 AM
antlockyer antlockyer is offline
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I'm really tempted by this and then snap back to reality and wonder why on earth I'd put myself through it LOL
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2021, 07:37 AM
M_D_S M_D_S is offline
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These descriptions are great. Some of my most memorable rides are the ones where I've suffered the most. Or where my riding buddies have suffered. In one recent fondo, a friend of mine threw his bike into the weeds at the top of the climb and declared he wasn't "having any f---ing fun!" Good times. We always come back for more..
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2021, 07:56 AM
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thwart thwart is offline
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Great fun to read about!

But honestly, age and bike accidents/broken bones have made it impossible for me at this point. I’d be on a morphine drip afterwards...

But enjoying it vicariously nevertheless.
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2021, 04:34 PM
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joosttx joosttx is offline
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I have verbally committed to the 2022 PR Challenge. Hey Flash, Can I borrow your bike?
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:51 PM
PTinz PTinz is offline
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P-R ride

FlashUNC said it best, "It is the greatest and worst bike ride you will ever do". Did it twice in 93 & '94 as a brevet, then decided to compete in the amateur version race, 160 kms'-started right on the first cobbled section at Troisville. Each time I finished I swore i would never do it again...first year I doubled wrapped some Cinelli cork and wore first generation Spenco Gel gloves.....next year I had some vinyl, lightly padded tape and regular gloves and for the race I didn't wear gloves! Each outcome was the same, my fingers and hands hurt the most! The first two were on an older Vitus 979 with early STI components, and the race was on a Lightspeed Classic with Sachs components-no flats, but I did overcook a corner in year one, biffed in a field and bent one of the soft alu fork blades on the Vitus, rode the rest of the way wrestling the bars in order to keep tracking straight. Finished all three times, and best I recall, all three rides were on Wolber Pro SP1 tubulars.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2021, 10:56 PM
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FlashUNC FlashUNC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
I have verbally committed to the 2022 PR Challenge. Hey Flash, Can I borrow your bike?
Sure, just bring it back in one piece.

The wheels have already been through Arenberg once and have worked flawlessly, so you've got that going for you.
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