Saturday Roubaix and surrounding area

Today was a bit strange, but good. We are both in an area we’ve never been so some of our attempts at finding the right thing to do pays off, sometimes not but you just have to roll with it and it eventually will come good.

Up, great traditional breakfast from our host Luci and we are in the car headed to Roubaix, bike shop, cafe and velodrome are calling. The cars GPS gets us there with no problems. We end up parking right next to the outside of the velodrome home straight. Lots of traffic and bikers, today is the amateur versions of Paris Roubaix. Bushy and I enter the open track and walk right across the track into the infield. Not sure we are supposed to be where we are but nobody seems concerned. Pictures of course and we are just standing there amazed that we are in fact standing there. Over to the other side, racer entrance for tomorrow’s race. There are some vendors set up, time to look with very little buying. Just time to stroll around and view the whole area. By the time we want to get back to the car, we can only walk through the grand stand area, the infield is off-limits.

We have our bikes and kit with, the plan is to drive someplace and then ride for a few hours. But where? There look to be lots of canals around with bike paths so we drive off to a country town called Comines and eventually find an acceptable trail to ride. Into town for some lunch at one of the only open cafes and we are off on the trail that others we met says goes for a very long ways, only to find the end after about 20 kilometers, or at least we can’t find the connecting link to the dead-end we find. We decide to split up a bit with me doing a longer ride than Bushy but we meet again along the way back as two canals merge. I head one way, Bushy in the direction of the car. As it turns out we both do about the same distance, just traveling some slightly different paths.

Trying to find a pub like cafe in these smaller French towns is just about impossible, they just don’t seem to exist. Back to Roubaix town center and we find some cafes with cyclists sitting around dining and drinking. OK, this is dinner, not the best but the weather is great for outdoor dining, sunny and warm and the ambience is good.

Call it a day, time to go back to the Fives (I know it looks like 5″s but it is pronounced FeeVes) neighborhood of Lille.