My first event write up can be seen here and the second (much wetter) Roobaix can be see here.
I have to say, this year was my favourite for several reasons:
- There was a single route (last year had 2) so we were able to follow crowds and be entertained the entire day, much more fun.
- There were only 10 manifests instead of 13 (2013) and 12 (2014) and so we were able to stop for chats, coffee and lunch for longer in between.
- The weather was perfect.
Once we got there, we lined up to grab our musettes and waited in line for the coffee for about 10min until we decided to just start the event and hopefully grab a coffee at a cafe along the way.
|His and Hers|
The questions they had at the end of the cobbles were interesting as some were not directly at the end of the laneways which saw a few confused looks and large groups wondering around. The first manifest was a prime example - at the end of the cobblestone laneway was an opened (public) carpark and and not undercover. The first question was how many undercover carparks were there? It was not until we rode a bit further up and saw the small flags and realised that the questions was related to private undercover parking. Sneaky sneaky!
After this, we headed up to Coffee Supreme and stopped for a coffee and picked up our Roobaix drink bottles - one of the highlights of every event, something I can use which reminds me of how fun I always have at these events. They gave you a choice of white, silver or clear. I chose silver whilst the Canadian chose clear.
A latte and a stroopwafel later (we packed stroopwafel as they were on sale from Coles - $1.8 for a packet of 4) for the whole "European" vibe-thing, we headed off to the next manifest stop.
Manifest 5 was in North Melbourne, similar to 2013 where we carried our bikes up the stairs. Similar to 2013, we stopped near Newmart station for lunch. A slow lunch and a coffee later, we set off to complete the remaining 4 sections.
We then bumped into some of our friends from the Bicycle Superstore group and we rode on and off with them for the rest of the day until we got to the velodrome.
I did half a lap around the velodrome and we settled down and waited for Andy to make the announcements for the prizes. I had a tear in my eye when they announced the winner of the major Roobaix prize which is the trip to watch the actual Paris Roubaix - it was an (older) lady and she was so shocked and surprised when they called out her name. She is also the first female winner since forever.
The Melburne Roobaix is the highlight of the year for me. It is just such a fun day as it is no way near competitive. No one cares if you are the fastest although many people race their mates through the cobblestone sections. It's about cyclists supporting other cyclists as I saw a guy come down from his bike at the tram tracks near Ikea and another coming off at the bridge and plenty of people making sure they were both ok. It's about bike riding for fun with a few coffee stops, donuts, chats and plenty of laughter in between.
Best. Day. Ever.
PS - Plenty of compliments for the Fondo kit I wore for the day!