Spring Classics

5 Apr

I always become surprised when I come back to my blog to see how much time has elapsed since I last posted!  Just to bring you up to speed, the 18-20 mph variety, Liz and I had a great time in Tucson.  I rode a little over 100 miles in four days, so I was happy with that.  Also, last week I rode with some D38 mates to the top of Lookout Mountain, and then on to Genesee Peak (about where the weird “spaceship house” is of off I-70).  According to Map My Ride, I climbed about 1,800 feet, which I actually thought might be more.  In any case, we just made it back down to the bottom around sunset, and the descent was plenty cold in the shade of Lookout!  Last Saturday I rode a couple of laps around the Boulder Roubaix course to get a preview of it for this Saturday.

For those that don’t know, this Sunday is the 110th edition of Paris-Roubaix, a race held annually almost every year since 1896 (minus the war years).  The riders travel from the suburbs of Paris to the City of Roubaix, and the race has earned the nickname, “the Hell of the North”.  Many cycling fans consider it the greatest one-day race of the year, due to the bone-jarring roads and unforgiving spring weather.  The course varies from year to year, but numerous sections of cobbles litter the route, providing fireworks through blown tires, shattered frames (and bones), and crushed dreams.  Riders shake and clatter over the cobbles, which is a bit of an understatement.  Here’s one video from some Rapha guys doing the sportive edition, giving a glimpse of what the route is like.  For those with a little extra time, watch the best cycling documentary ever (not too hard since there are only, like 3).  The documentary, A Sunday in Hell, is shot from the 1976 edition, and has some great action in it.  By the way, if you ever see this in DVD anywhere, please buy it for me!  I’m extremely glad someone bothered to post the whole thing on Youtube; watch out, you may watch the whole thing!

So, Boulder Roubaix.  It doesn’t start in Boulder, and it doesn’t finish in Roubaix.  The name sounds cool though, so I’ll ride with it.  What this race has a teeny-tiny bit in common with the Paris version are rough roads, and hence the name*.  And by rough roads, approximately 57% of the route is on dirt roads in rural Boulder county.  Based on the video footage from France, the Colorado version is not nearly as bad, and that’s fine by me.  I would love to ride the Paris-Roubaix fanboy ride someday, but I’ll leave racing on that to the pros.

Hope everyone has a great Easter weekend, and I’ll try to have a race report out by early next week.

*One thing that has bothered me more recently, and this has nothing to do with cycling (other than the name Boulder Roubaix; apparently adding “Roubaix” to a race means it’s harder), is the tacking on of names to other names to get a meaning across.  I understand that this makes for easier understanding, and quickly conveys a message, but can’t we do better?  Specifically, the Watergate reference:  Filegate, Plamegate, Videogate, Slutgate, Billygate, Tigergate, etc., etc., etc. If you want to blow your mind, check out all the references here; not only are there a crapload of them, the usage spans over three decades and multiple continents!  Really, can’t anyone come up with ANY other name to use at all?  I’m calling this whole thing Clichegate.  Why didn’t people say stuff like WaterBonus or WaterCable?  That seems equally valid, doesn’t it?  Ok, so it lacks a certain ring.  Unfortunately I have no good suggestions, only rants.  I’m starting to sound a little like the late Andy Rooney here, so I’ll go to bed now.  I wouldn’t want to have a Fridaygate (bad workday tomorrow) or Roubaixgate (bad race) on my hands, on account of my crotchety ramblings preventing an adequate night’s rest!

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One Response to “Spring Classics”

  1. runningforjesus April 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    That reminds me of a few years ago in a small town in Iowa called Kalona. Some scandle happened with local Amish. The NPR news was calling it “Kalonagate” and “Amishgate”. What was even worse was that the scandle involved the Yoders, so they started called it “Yodergate”.

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