What the heck is the Road Apple Roubaix?
Rewind back to 2013 when Joey and I were preparing for our first gravel road race up in Michigan in March. Living out in the boonies has a few advantages. …plenty of quiet gravel roads to prepare on! We started riding them and inviting friends to join us. Next thing you know, there is a group of 15 or 20 of us rolling down the roads throughout the winter and we decided that we needed to share this with others so the idea of the Road Apple Roubaix was born.
There were lots of fun memories like –
-Our struggles riding a very muddy Maple Highlands trail unpaved section which Cameron mocked us.
– Rolling down the side of 422 in the snow and watching Marie unknowingly (until it was too late) ride over a dead deer carcass.
– The snowy group ride when we attempted to ride out of the north end of Swine Creek Reservation but instead ended up pushing our bikes in the snow while Brent and Joey rode circles around us.
– The Amish looking at us like we were crazy.
Year One of Road Apple Roubaix proved to be epic by every stretch! We woke up at 6AM to dry roads but the snow began to come in with a fury making just getting to the ride, a challenge for some. Some people could barely drive their cars up Swine Creek hill, let alone deal with riding up it on a bicycle!!! Yet, the brave came that cold February day for our inaugural event.
This year we are back for Round 2 and are hoping that it will be even better for everyone. First, we are moving it to Joey and I’s hometown of Garrettsville and it will enjoy a new larger host venue at Slim & Jumbos (can’t run out of beer there;-))! This should make parking easier and make for a very fun post ride atmosphere with some awesome award-winning chili to boot! On top of that, Cellar Rats will be back as our Title Sponsor for 2016! For 2016, it is still considered a ride (not a race even if some folks may treat it as such….we are considering changing that in the future.)
For 2016, we have pushed back the date by over a month to Saturday, March 26th ! We will have three distances this year-
26 Mile Route (SHORT) – This route is a mixture of quiet paved roads, gravel roads and a section of the Headwater’s Trail. Be warned there will be some hills later in the ride and get ready to be heckled on Alpha Road hill!
40 Mile Route (LONG)- This route includes the entire 26 mile route plus picks up several gravel roads out towards Middlefield and will include a section of the Maple Highlands Trail (which could be muddy and a lot of work if like last weekend!!!)
14.5 Mile Route (FUN)-This route is a recent addition and new for 2016. The goal here is to provide a less difficult, fun route that people who may not want (or be ready) to tackle the other two routes could get in on the action! Cyclocross bikes, mountain bike and even hybrid bikes should be fine on this route.
The raffle is back and all proceeds will support the Headwaters Trail! We plan to have a bunch of fun raffle items you will want a chance to win!!! Best part is hopefully our local donation will be matched by grant dollars!!!
So come join us for Round II and dust off the cobwebs and start off 2016 with some riding fun!