domingo, 7 de abril de 2024

Paris Roubaix 2024

First time in my life riding cobbles.

Like many things in life there is nothing that can be explained to you that prepares you for what you are going to feel the moment you experience them. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the ride. I massively missed T-Y and JFW. They were supposed to ride with us today. But I also missed the rest of the Saturday gang. This is a fantastic event to ride as a group and have fun. The route is flat and we ride easy on the tarmac. Every now and then a sector of cobbles comes and the fun starts. We regrouped after each sector and that is the time to chat, smile and ride easy. The anecdotes and experiences accumulate as the ride goes on. 

The second half of the ride was a bit of a different history. It was pain management. Not leg or bum pain as it usually is on big riding days. I have never been on a ride where my hands, wrists and forearms have hurt that much. Testimony of a privileged life, I’m sure my grandfather, who was a miner, wouldn’t have this problem. Each cobble sector was now a matter of deciding how to grab the handlebar to feel less pain. Inevitably there is a point where you ask yourself what the hell are you doing here. 

Each cobble sector has a number of stars. One star the easiest, five stars the longer and harder sectors. 

On the approach to the finish we were treated with two 3 star sectors, followed by a 4 star sector and one 5 star sector. At that point I have had enough. It was at that point where I asked Adam to take a picture of my hands.

But the organizers are clever. Following the theory that says that no matter how painful a experience is if you finish it with a pleasant feeling you have great memories of the whole thing, last 15kms of the ride are two 2 star sectors, a final 1 start sector and a finish with half a lap at the iconic Roubaix velodrome. 

By the time I received my finisher medal I was already thinking of doing this ride again. 

The ride in Strava:

Take care of yourself

Javier Arias González

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