Sunday saw us pay homage to what is undoubtedly the most exciting of classic cycling races: Paris-Roubaix. Each year the Rapha team organises this event in honour of ‘The Hell of the North’. We joined a 200+ group of riders around the gravé of North London – the farm tracks, gravelly roads and potholes basically, with a few tracks through the forest for good measure! And what a lot of fun it was too! Without knowing quite what to expect, and having taken a bit of advice and tightened every bolt on my bike I could find and packed a couple of spare tubes, we set out from Highgate at 9 am in small groups. It wasn’t long before we turned off and started winding our way through the farm yards. After hitting the first section of rough stuff as fast as I dared (sort of to see what would happen), I realised a) road bikes are pretty tough b) standing up / leaning back MTB style probably isn’t the correct technique but it seemed to work!
A few other route highlights included the stream crossing, avoiding galloping horses, under and over bridges and motorways, and only a few missed turnings. A lot of off road sections later (and wondering when I would puncture) I managed to make it back to the pub near Borehamwood in one piece with a big grin on my face! No punctures, no mechanicals. A cold beer, frites and live coverage of the race followed – it doesn’t get much better than that.
You can check the route here on our Connect account. And even go ride it, but do take care! Check out the video below for a taster of the action. Our thanks to the Rapha team for organising a very unique and enjoyable ride out!