Paris-Roubaix Memories


Secteur pavé #17 – la trouée d’Arenberg

This weekend is the Paris-Roubaix! One of my all-time favorite one-day races, if not for the fact that it was first raced in 1896 on Sunday, April 19th – or on Easter Sunday – no one really remembers… – and I was born a little over 100 years later on Sunday, April 19th, which was also an Easter Sunday. These types of coincidences should not be taken lightly. So, when I found myself living in Paris, wanting to visit friends in Amsterdam, I thought it best to visit the route used in the race.

Below is what I wrote in November of 2009, after I finished up successfully making it to Amsterdam in 5 days. Certainly not a speed run, but the route from Paris to Roubaix, by first cycling fairly straightforward to Compiègne and then following the route eats up almost 400 km itself. Then there’s the simple matter of passing through an entire country in a day and finally traveling the Netherlands to Amsterdam in the final. Totally ruled.

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20,000 Feet of Climbing in a Circle

Weather seemed a little iffy on Tuesday, so I decided to keep the ride local. I had a idea for the weekend on what/where to ride and it was going to be a whopper ride in the mountains. I didn’t want to cover any of the tarmac I’d be doing on that ride, so I thought I’d just spin around in circles a little bit, up and down a little local aberration on the topo map called Lookout Mountain.

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Winter Trip up Loveland Pass

As been my convention and as mileage is slowly being increased during the Month of March, I’m seeking out routes that will keep me occupied and interested – creative minds can bore easily with repetitious activities. If this bid for the Tour Divide becomes nothing but a slog of miles over the same routes for purposes of plotting progress charts, or just simply because it’s easier or I dunno, realistic, to keep some sort of simple training regime – man, I dunno, I’d probably tap out.

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Abandoned Attempt at Quandary Peak, Elevation 14,265′

“I’m getting concerned about the visibility issue.”, my much more careful, much more level-headed hiking partner stated clearly and with enough gusto to make it through the wind and snow.

“Yes. I think we’re pretty close. The peak is at that rock.”, I point, “ten more minutes and we’ll re-evaluate the situation. How does that sound?”

“I don’t see a rock.”

And she had a point. The rock was now, gone. Ten minutes became ten steps. We reached a slow-going snowy slope and called it quits.

White out conditions
A last look up (unedited photo)

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