Sometimes we need to be reminded that originality is paramount to leading a good and honest life. It took some home truths from a poster in Frank’s Gavia post to jog our memories that old news is, well, just that; old news. We need to come up with some new material man, that shit is going on two tours old now.
It’s with some embarrassment then that we bring you yet another blog post on yet another ride (we already did this one last year, sheesh) that took place on the same weekend as the greatest one day professional road race of them all: Paris-Roubaix. It’s the original cobbled classic, one whose heritage leaves no doubt as to that fact. As they say in the commercials, beware of cheap imitations (especially if you’re in the market for a Sybian). It makes me wonder, why do riders all around the world think it’s ‘cool’ to mock this grand event by putting on their own rides, rides including as many cobbles, gravel roads, dirt tracks or even made-up names that rhyme with pavé as they can conjure?
It’s a farce.
There’s only one thing for it; Welli-Roubaix will be no more. No more shall we gather and ride our bikes for hours over surfaces we’d never consider going near the other 364 days of our cycling year. We didn’t create this, it’s not ours to use, so we must walk away after we’ve had our way with it. Why should we bother to do reconnaissance rides, into territory unchartered, risking our beloved machines to the chance of flats, breakages and damage, to mark out a course that we think might be befitting of the Queen, to give us some tiny amount of insight, some small perception of what the real riders go through during their own, proper race? It’s a waste of time. Like a Waffle House waitress would say, “why ride when you can just flick on the tube?” She’s got a point.
There go our plans for a full Mock Spring Classics series next year. No Ronde Van Vellington. No Gent-Wellingtem. No Fleche Walloneton. No Export Gold Race. No Bays-Bastogne-Bays. And no Roubaix.
These photos then are a documentary of the very last edition of Welli-Roubaix. I know, I know, a lot of the ideas have been done before. Gavin and myself did our best, but we are not professional photographers, like some. We could’ve shot them a lot more originally. I mean, come on, have you ever tried shooting from the back of a Vespa, or when doing 40kmh on a road bike, on gravel, one-handed, looking backwards? It’s a piece of cake, and frankly I’m ashamed of the results.
Have a look anyway, and I’ll try and describe how the Hell™ we had any fun, and also the original concepts we blatantly ripped off.
Gavin Walker’s Flickr stream here.
A crappy video here…
*On Monday morning a throng gathered at Leuven Belgian Beer Bar in downtown Welly, and we witnessed the Queen on a delayed telecast. No-one was silly enough to yell out the result, although G-Phant knew who’d won he held his tongue and enjoyed the spectacle again with us.
We raised $210 for Papanui and Pegasus cycle clubs in Christchurch, so a big thanks to all who donated and made it a great way to start the week. Thanks to Todd at Leuven also.