The Roubaix home base at the "Chambers Farm"

If you have never seen any footage of the European road racing classic, the Paris-Roubaix,  I highly encourage you do a little a searching on Al Gore’s internet and find some time to watch a few minutes of this cycling frenzy.  Have your bike close by while you watch, hopefully these videos will stir your cycling heart and make you want to ride some of the fine gravel roads we have in our surrounding counties, just like it did for me 15 plus  years ago when we dreamed up the Harris-Roubaix. For years, a few of us would gravitate to the gravel roads while out on our afternoon road rides, but it was often hard to convince the thin tire lovers that gravel roads are an option for road bikes.  There is no better way to get folks out of their comfort zone than hold an event, that is why a few us started the Harris-Roubaix almost two decades ago. The venue has changed from its original meeting point at the Greenmount Church and the group has increased in size from the 10 or 20 so folks who would join in the first few years but, the great gravel roads of the North remain.

The Roubaix is a fun family day on the bike.
Our great local events have few key ingredients; options for many level of riders, smiling faces and food, all these are at the heart of the Harris-Roubaix event.  After dropping off their potluck donation at support vehicle the riders will enjoy the a slow group pace ride from Court Square to the “Chambers Farm” just east of Singers Glen. After regrouping at the farm the official Roubaix route will start consisting of paved and gravel roads with a loop distance ranging from  12 to 17 miles. The “racers” of the group will set a fast pace while they battle to lead the peloton into the first “Roubaix” (gravel road) section of the ride. For the majority of the group the riders cruise the north hilly valley roads with their heads held up high while the soak in the beauty of the fresh green fields. The lead riders will cruise by the fire ring and  pot luck tables then head out for another lap, hoping they will be crown the king/queen of that years edition of the Harris-Roubaix, given to the male and female rider who finishes 3 laps first. Most of the peloton will be enticed by the food spread, lawn chairs and friendly conversations and get off their bikes after a lap and enjoy the afternoon among new and old friends. This year’s Roubaix is right around the corner, Sunday April 8th.  Grab your road bike, or any bike, air up your tires, bake some food and join our local bike community in what has become our spring “Classic”.

-Thomas Jenkins...a lover of 28c tires and great gravel roads!