Things I won’t be doing this weekend

bicycle race in Aldergrove
Photo: Gordon Ross

Sick at home for four straight days, I’m mostly feeling sorry for myself. But that’s boring.

What I was planning to do this weekend was to be in a bike race in Langley. Most of you probably don’t know about it, but there’s a pretty active road racing culture in Vancouver. The Spring Series Classic, put on (ahem) by my bike club’s youth division. You have to like a young-riders squad called dEVo, don’t you? Anyway, this race is the culmination of the local bike-racing pre-season, and there’s some other bike events (both races and non-races) coming up in the next week that are worth knowing about.

If you’re not a racer, and don’t want to go watch some very serious athletes make each others suffer, you can start off the season with the best-catered ride around, the BC Randonneurs’ Pacific Populaire. Rando-riding is basically organized group rides over long distances. These are not races, so people of a wide range of abilities participate. Hardcore randonneurs will ride distances up to 1200 km, but the Populaire is meant as a ride for the rest of us. It comes in three convenient sizes: 25, 50, and 100 km, and it’s on Sunday morning this weekend.

I meant it about being well-catered: there was spice cake and bananas in abundance at the rest stops and the finish last time I rode this event. Plus, you get a neat finisher’s pin.

But the really fun race comes up next weekend: the Harris-Roubaix in Pitt Meadows. What distinguishes this race from virtually all other road bike races is gravel. Yep, about a third of the course runs along a gravel path beside the Fraser River. And this isn’t some wimpy packed-down gravel, but loose, crazy rocks that are downright weird to ride a racing bike on. Trust me, I’ve done it. And I love it.

The name, by the way, is a play on the Paris-Roubaix, a French race infamous for its several sections of extremely rough cobblestones. It may be the most famous one-day bicycle race in the world.

2 Comments so far

  1. MGal (unregistered) on April 1st, 2006 @ 5:30 am

    Gee, that does look like a lot more fun than being home sick. I can sympathize as I have been sick since Sunday. Hope you get better soon.

  2. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on April 1st, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

    It’s getting better. You get well soon, too, eh?

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