What You Need to Know About the Harris-Roubaix

Every year, cyclists flock to Harrisonburg for one of Virginia’s best bicycle races: the Harris-Roubaix. A play on words from the more famous Paris-Roubaix, the race occurs on the same day halfway across the world. If you’re a cyclist, you don’t want to miss this race! Here’s what you need to know about the Harris-Roubaix in Harrisonburg, VA.

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The Harris-Roubaix How-To

When: You can join the Harris-Roubaix race every April, on the same day as the Paris-Roubaix. It always begins at noon, too. So, it’s easy to remember!

Where: The race starts in downtown Harrisonburg at Court Square as a collective group of cyclists riding together toward the actual marked race path. The seven-mile journey from downtown Harrisonburg makes a great warm up!

What: A wordplay from the famous Paris-Roubaix race in France, the Harris-Roubaix is a great opportunity brought to Virginia cyclists by the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC). Every spring, the race group leaves from downtown Harrisonburg to a family farm seven miles north where the race is held. From the farm, a 10-15 miles loop awaits cyclists. The informal race itself follows a 3-lap circuit of this loop, but many other cyclists are welcome for a more leisurely-oriented ride.

Which bike should I bring? The Harris-Roubaix doesn’t have a specific bike type necessary for the race. The soft gravel path is great for any type of bike like road bikes, mountain bikes, tandem bikes, fixed-gears, single-speeds, and even kids’ trailers!

What should I bring? Obviously, you’ll want to bring your bike, the necessaries to change a flat tire, water, a great attitude, and food to share at the farm for the potluck. If you bring food, the SVBC will transport it to the farm for you.

Race/Road conditions: A large portion of the Harris-Roubaix is smooth gravel roads. However, there is a portion near the Great North Mountain with several steep hill climbs.

Group ride or race? The ride from downtown Harrisonburg is a group ride. Then, once everyone has arrived at the farm, cyclists will receive instructions regarding the race, itself. Of course, you’re  welcome to ride at your own pace, as most do. It is a competition, though. So, if you feel you’ve got the stuff to compete. Be sure to separate yourself with the others competing for the Harris-Roubaix crown!

Cost: The race is free thanks to the generosity of the SVBC!

Need a Place to Crash (Not Your Bike)?

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