Thursday, 30 June 2016

Melburn Roobaix 2016 - The Cold One #MelburnRoobaix

On Sunday 26th June, I joined in for my 4th Melburn Roobaix (hosted by Fyxo). If you want some more reports on previous years, you can find them here:

2013 - The First One
2014 - The Wet One
2015 - The (not) Wet One

A Roobaix is not a Roobaix unless a donut (or two) is involved

I had a (sick) cold starting from Monday last week and was off work for about 3 days after that. I didn't end up doing the EllaxMaap ride due to being sick but thought Roobaix ride was not too intense so I should be ok to do this...

What I couldn't account for was that Sunday was soooooooo (temperature) cold...we are talking 2 degrees (with tops of 11) and being outside, riding a bike = my (sick) cold intensified!

So the day started like the previous years where the Canadian and I would park the car in Abbotsford (kinda in between Hawthorn and Brunswick). If I was doing a normal ride, I would have on my long sleeve base layer and maybe a short sleeved jersey with arm warmers. This day required extra layers and the most I had ever worn in my life (of cycling). I had on my Macpac long sleeved base layer, my extra thick long sleeved cycling jersey I bought from Japan, never worn as it is stupidly thick and over that, my new Rapha wind jacket. I wore knee warmers with my knicks, two pairs of socks, wool gloves, my BIKE LOVE cap with ear warmers and my buff.

At Three Bags Full

We arrived around 9am and instead of riding to Hawthorn, we decided to have a coffee at Three Bags Full to warm ourselves up first before the quick ride down to the velodrome.

We arrived just after 9:30am and the line to pick up the musettes were already stretched out alongside the field. As the registration was far more straight forward this year (exchange ticket with musette), the line moved very quickly.

The Canadian and I sussed out the first stop and we ended up riding with large groups to the first stop. It was packed as usual and we answered the first question and then moved on.

What I had noticed with this year's Roobaix route is that it was shorter compared to previous years - less stops and shorter distances. We didn't end up venturing much around North Melbourne/Flemington way and the furthest was Ascot Vale. The route this year did include the trails along the Eastern Freeway which was fun (read: muddy) on the CX bike. I can't imagine how I would have handled it on the roadie.

There were some steep sections after the Eastern Freeway trails - I walked up "the walkway" of Marshall Street which had a gradient of 30-40%. It was impossible for me to ride up that road especially with so many people around...The Canadian rode up the climb and luckily he had a good path in front and around him that he was able to do it.

We stopped for lunch after "The Brewery" stop (Temple Brewery) and had lunch at The B*East. I had a vego slider and the Canadian had a burger and we shared a Poutine together.

Still freezing...
After lunch, it was an adventure towards Ascot Vale, ride along the "drains" (?!) and then the donut stop at Brunswick West where we once again caught up with friends (who work at the bike shop), we then rode together to the last stop before heading towards the Brunswick Velodrome for the finish.

We spent the rest of the time at the finished area chatting with friends, collecting free stuff and handing in our finished manifests. Personally, I felt that due to the finish line not being at the Velodrome (due to repair works), the finished line atmosphere wasn't as good as previous years. The crowds were more spread out amongst the field. I wasn't as engaged in the "voting" process for the costumes, maybe because my sinuses were blocked and I didn't even realize that the draw for the final prize happened.... but I still had a great time and loved the whole day.

My cold has gotten significantly worse after Sunday but it was worth it!!! Can't wait for next year and hopefully the finish line will be back in the Velodrome.

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