Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Our Own Paris-Roubaix... With Slightly Fewer Cobblestones
Created in 1896, Paris-Roubaix is a spring classic road race over the muddy cobbled roads of France. Known as the "Hell of The North" this is the most rugged of the spring classics as the racers make their way over 21 sections of "pave"--cobblestones--in typically horrible early spring weather. If the road conditions and teeth-rattling pave don't take you out, then one of the frequent crashes will. As we set out on this Saturday morning, our intent wasn't to duplicate the Paris-Roubaix experience, but to merely have a taste of it.
Leaving Eastside Foursquare Church's parking lot, Kristin, Jay, David, and I headed toward Woodinville and soon climbed over 124th to Avondale. At the corner on the other side, we encountered a training team of Group Health women riders in a pack of nearly 20 riding two across. While they were headed in the same direction as our group, we never caught them. Shortly after turning north toward W. Snoqualmie Valley Rd., I passed a new home and noticed a grandmotherly lady looking out her window toward the road. I gave a friendly wave and she waved back. Just checking out the morning cyclists, I guess.
The weather in the Snoqualmie valley was grey skies but dry. In the far distance to the east, I could still see snow on the Cascade foothills. I was glad it wasn't snowing today... or raining. The sun was even beginning to peek out as we began our climb over Ames Lake-Carnation Road and headed to Redmond.
Our ride on Rt. 202 brought us to the Red Brick Road, our Paris-Roubaix equivalent for the day. This historical road contains the longest stretch of exposed historic red brick highway in King County. Kristin said it best when we began to bounce over the bricks, "Thank the Lord for sports bras!"
After completing our red brick stretch, Kristin learned that our friend Brenda was in Redmond shopping for a new road bike at Gerk's Alpine Hut. We decided to try and meet up with her. We found her in the back parking lot about to take a test ride on... none other than a Specialized Roubaix! Nice work, Brenda. Glad you could keep your bike shopping consistent with the day's theme!
Max Elev: 554 ft.
Total Ascent: 2339 ft.
Riders: Kristin, Jay, David, Bob