Paris - Roubaix; a race steeped in history.
Tarras - Roubaix; a ride steeped in filth and a little cow shit.
So a wet and windy day greeted the Gentlemen this morning at the Tarras Coffee Shop. We supped coffee while waiting for one late entrant to arrive.
Scotty Rainsford - local Outside Sports bike shop guy and carbon cop out.
Myself - informal Club Captain for the day.
Matt Corbett - a visitor from Dunedin with most unsuitable bike of the day rolling tubular tires and no spare, until I lent him a couple.
David Drake - obviously riding with me last weekend didn't scare him off for today.
Marty Rowan - the smiling assassin. Turned up with a Titanium bike and 23mm tires and rode strong all day.
Gavin Mason - Didn't need knee warmers. Everyone else did. Certainly had a spring in his step.
Sarah Goodwin - another visitor from Dunedin, actually a 28 year old dentist with excellent oral habits; no doubt.
Seat height difference - you do the math...............
Dan Van Asch - the elder statesman and our late arrival sporting a fancy new bike to ease his old bones.
A 10am departure led us north towards the Lindis Pass, about 10km on the road.
A real mixed bag of cross winds through the trees, getting blown up Cluden Hill and hanging on for dear life on the way down: I mean really hanging on not knowing which way the wind would try and whip your bars.
Down on the flat Scotty had obviously forgotten the gentle part of the ride and bought his heart rate up to cruising speed, of course Marty and David couldn't leave him alone.
I felt like the little that engine that couldn't.
A couple of times I felt helpless in a 39 x 24 headwind haze.
A quick regroup and photo, then off up the gravel hill to home.
Yes, I was last up the hill - I was in no hurry.
Actually I was trying as hard as I could and still went backwards compared to the others.
That's ok, I didn't have to wait at the top in the rain.
The descent was long and fast - remember this is gravel and had turned into an impromptu Enduro, as is the go these days.
Taking a few right handers mighty fast the wind catches you like bringing a boat into the wind and slows things down sufficiently.
Some of that poo on the road might not have come from cows ya know ?
Some tailwind action brings the speed right round till you're all out of gears - holy shit, I'm spinning out the dog - yee ha.
16km of gravel bought us back around to the cars and another coffee.
The ladies thought we were nuts before we went riding and cussed us in the kitchen for dripping all over the floors afterwards.
Scotty is hatching his own version in a few weeks, but it shouldn't clash with any CX action.
A good couple of hours in atrocious weather.