Hell of the North

/, Races/Hell of the North

Hell of the North

Paris Roubaix

Growing up watching this event it has always been one for my bucket list and having cycled to Paris before I was really looking forward to riding through this amazing French capital again however, after a last-minute check of the route it appeared to start nowhere near Paris!

 

Arriving at the venue to sign on in good time, which is unlike me, we queued for the doors to open only to be told that they are delaying getting registered by 1 hour with no reason, this would only happen in France, probably be striking next!

 

Roubaix sounds on paper that is going to be a typical French town where elderly gentleman would sit outside cafes and drink wine whilst eating cheese with garlic round their necks but anybody who has been would know this Is far from the truth and reminded me of something like a cross between Milton Keynes and Bradford!

 

Now the problem with an event that starts in a different location to that of the finish is that you have to make arrangements to transport yourself and the bike to the start line which means getting up at some ridiculous time in the morning. I decided to join the masses and opted for the shuttle service which consisted of rows of lorry’s which luckily were accompanied by coaches for the riders!

 

The journey felt like lambs going to the slaughter as the procession headed out of Roubaix onto the quiet roads with the sun rising over the idyllic French country roads. As we approached the tiny village of Busigny the locals were awakening and watching the convoy roll in with a confused looks on their faces. I am sure they must have had an idea as to what was going on as did not look like they had just moved in!

 

The coach stopped in the middle of the road and it looked like we were going to be queuing to get to the start line but it soon became apparent that this was the drop point as the bikes just got passed out of the lorries to whoever was free to take them whilst others were using the onsite facilities of any tree or drain available!

 

Armed with my trusted Boardman bike kitted out with Hunt wheels and Continental GP5000’s in 28mm I was ready to take on the “Hell of the North”! There are 29 sections of pavement to take on during this 172km ride and after completing the first section you certainly find yourself counting each section down praying for each one to end!

 

It is hard to know what to do for the best when riding them as they are not exactly laid in an orderly sequence and you find yourself getting jealous of the lines that the other riders are taking and find yourself darting from one side to the other just to get on a section that looked flatter only to find no better than what you had! For those who can remember the game show strike it lucky where contestants would pick top, middle or bottom this was me at the start of each section but picking left, middle or right for my line and would then cross my fingers!

 

I was well warned and prepared for how brutal this is on your bike and made sure anything on my bike was the bare essentials and strapped down extra tight but couldn’t help laughing when I went past the “typical” triathlete with clip on aero bars and rear mounted bottle cages which were obviously empty!!

 

Now I thought I had been extra cautious with double taping my bars with gel inserts but saw a novel ideal if using pipe lagging which although looked funny I would have certainly swapped as I began to lose the feeling in my hands! By this point the 5mm was not quite enough to hold 88kg up and I found myself stopping after each cobble section to raise the saddle back up and used the universal hand torque setting of stopping when you hear the creak!

 

Each section of cobbles is graded 1-5star but to be honest I could not tell the difference with most of them but that was until I hit the 5-star section of the Arenburg which certainly deserved its award but not sure I recommend it!

 

Down in to single figures now and the end was in sight and I was certainly looking forward to the smooth tarmac of the outside Veledrome in Roubaix.  I managed to make it to the end with no mechanical issues which I was pleased with.

 

The event is certainly a must do for any keen cyclist and makes you really appreciate how hard it must be for the pros to race this as for me it was just about survival.

 

Would I do it again?  Well watch this space as you never know what is happening at Ride Harder in 2020 😉

 

By |2019-04-28T15:46:44+00:00April 28th, 2019|Events, Races|0 Comments

About the Author:

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

Leave A Comment

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Register to Our Newsletter to Get Our Free E-Book on Power Based Cycling

You have Successfully Subscribed!

This website uses cookies and third party services. Settings Ok

GDPR Privacy Notice

GDPR Privacy Notice General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Article 13 of Regulation EU 2016/679 1. Purpose of this notice This Privacy Notice provides mandatory information as required under Articles 13 and 14 of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regarding the transparency of personal data processing. Definitions of certain terms within this notice are explained in the appendix. 2. The Data Controller for personal data The Data Controller for the personal data processed by us is the Client Company of RIDE HARDER (the employer of the natural person whose data is collected, hereafter referred to as the Data Subject). The Data Controller will pass personal data of their employees to RIDE HARDER to manage training on behalf of those employees in connection with their business. RIDE HARDER, as Data Processor acting on the instructions of the Data Controller under a written contract with them, will subsequently use that personal data to facilitate training programs for the Data Subject. It is this contract which forms the ‘Legal Basis’ for the processing of personal data carried out by RIDE HARDER in these circumstances. RIDE HARDER will also become a Data Controller if it collects additional personal data directly from a Data Subject. In these circumstances RIDE HARDER will be acting under a ‘Legitimate Interest’ to legally process the data for the management of training for the Data Subject and to fulfil the contractual requirements for its Client. RIDE HARDER also acts as a Data Controller for any personal data held regarding its own employees, and legally processes this data under its Contract of Employment with those Data Subjects. 3. Your Rights As a Data Subject you have rights under the GDPR. These rights can be seen below. RIDE HARDER will always fully respect your rights regarding the processing of your personal data, and has provided below the details of the person to contact if you have any concerns or questions regarding how we process your data, or if you wish to exercise any rights you have under the GDPR. 4. Contact Details The identity and contact detail for the Data Protection Officer within RIDE HARDER is: THE OLD FORGE FORGE ROAD LANGLEY NORFOLK NR14 6BD 01508 521000 5. Data Protection Principles RIDE HARDER has adopted the following principles to govern its collection and processing of Personal Data: Personal Data shall be processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner. The Personal Data collected will only be those specifically required to fulfilltrainingprograms or other training-related requirements. Such data may be collected directly from the Data Subject or provided to RIDE HARDER via his /her employer. Such data will only be processed for that purpose. Personal Data shall only be retained for as long as it is required to fulfill contractual requirements, or to provide statistics to our Client Company. Personal Data shall be adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and/or processed. Personal Data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. The Data Subject has the right to request from RIDE HARDER access to and rectification or erasure of their personal data, to object to or request restriction of processing concerning the data, or to the right to data portability. In each case, such a request must be put in writing as in Section 3 above. Personal Data shall only be processed based on the legal basis explained in section 2 above, except where such interests are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Data Subject which will always take precedent. If the Data Subject has provided specific additional Consent to the processing, then such consent may be withdrawn at any time (but may then result in an inability to fulfill training requirements). RIDE HARDER will not use personal data for any monitoring or profiling activity or process, and will not adopt any automated decision-making processes. 6. Transfers to Third Parties To fulfill the training programs for a Data Subject it will in most cases be necessary to process personal data via a third party. Personal Data shall only be transferred to, or processed by, third party companies where such companies are necessary for the fulfillment of the training programs. Personal Data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area (EEA) unless the transfer is made to a country or territory recognized by the EU as having an adequate level of Data Security, or is made with the consent of the Data Subject, or is made to satisfy the Legitimate Interest of RIDE HARDER in regard to its contractual arrangements with its clients. All internal group transfers of Personal Data shall be subject to written agreements under the Company’s Intra Group Data Transfer Agreement (IGDTA) for internal Data transfers which are based on Standard Contractual Clauses recognized by the European Data Protection Authority. Appendix – Definitions of certain terms referred to above: Personal Data: (Article 4 of the GDPR): ‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person. Processing: (Article 4 of the GDPR): means any operation or set of operations which is performed upon personal data or sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, erasure or destruction. Legal Basis for Processing: (Article 6 of the GDPR): At least one of these must apply whenever personal data is processed: Consent: the individual has given clear consent for the processing of their personal data for a specific purpose. Contract: the processing is necessary for compliance with a contract. Legal obligation: the processing is necessary to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations). Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life. Public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest, and the task or function has a clear basis in law. Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests of the Data Controller unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. Data Controller: (Article 4 of the GDPR): this means the person or company that determines the purposes and the means of processing personal data. Data Processor: (Article 4 of the GDPR): means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or any other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller. Data Subject Rights: (Chapter 3 of the GDPR) each Data Subject has eight rights. These are: The right to be informed; This means anyone processing your personal data must make clear what they are processing, why, and who else the data may be passed to. The right of access; this is your right to see what data is held about you by a Data Controller. The right to rectification; the right to have your data corrected or amended if what is held is incorrect in some way. The right to erasure; under certain circumstances you can ask for your personal data to be deleted. This is also called ‘the Right to be Forgotten’. This would apply if the personal data is no longer required for the purposes it was collected for, or your consent for the processing of that data has been withdrawn, or the personal data has been unlawfully processed. The right to restrict processing; this gives the Data Subject the right to ask for a temporary halt to processing of personal data, such as in the case where a dispute or legal case has to be concluded, or the data is being corrected. The right to data portability; a Data Subject has the right to ask for any data supplied directly to the Data Controller by him or her, to be provided in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format. The right to object; the Data Subject has the right to object to further processing of their data which is inconsistent with the primary purpose for which it was collected, including profiling, automation, and direct marketing. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling; Data Subjects have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing.