So who is doing the Barry Roubaix gravel race?

If you are interested in doing Barry Roubaix, check out my post and video below, which includes overview, tips, and “lessons learned”. I’ve done the race in 2015 and 2016. The weather was terrible in 2017/18 and I ended up not going. I am coming back in 2020.

Here is my 2016 footage. I think sub 3:00 hrs is possible this year if the conditions are right. And I don’t break anything!!!


BTW - I did not get an official result for the race in 2016 because I modified my number plate. DO NOT DO THAT. I either got DQ’d or the system did not read my time. Not sure. But the rules are clear. Don’t mess with your number plate. Don’t cut it down. Don’t wrap it around your frame… Just tie it to your handlebars and keep it secure and visible.

According to GCN, Barry Roubaix is one of the Top 5 gravel races in the world!


sighh. I would love to get to this…but it’s far: 6 hour drive. Still. Tempting.


this really is a great race. It’s well run and the racers are fast! Lots of people come from Chicago. Theia and I have an AirBNB. Housing fulls up quickly, so you are going decide now.

Here is the “complete guide” for Barry-Roubaix!!

The Barry Roubaix looks like a lot of fun. The race even has different distances for all levels. Maybe something to add to my bucket list after I get some practice with gravel rides/races closer to home.


I’m lucky enough to live 30 minutes from the race site, and I did it in 2017 and 2018. Last year, I broke my bike on Sager road and DNF’ed, very sad. It’s a hoot, and the level of competition is awesome. On the other hand it’s a VERY CROWDED race with a lot of inexperienced riders, so high likelihood of crashes unless you’re in one of the first men’s divisions. For women it can be especially hairy because they start all the women behind the slowest men, so you have to ride through big packs on the first hard uphills where a lot of people are getting off to walk (without getting to the side of the road). I’m on the fence this year because I don’t know if it’s worth the risk …

Ah this is interesting information- thanks for sharing @sfbessette! I am not excited about starting behind the slowest men - ugh!

Yeah, I think some ladies tried to get them to change the start corral order last year but it didn’t happen… maybe this year it will? Also, I did the 36 mile last year, so maybe it was better in the 62? There was a pretty big crash among the top 10-20 women last year on the 3 sisters (that first group of hills) in the 36 mile race, due to those slower riders blocking the road.

they use to start the women with the men on the 62 miler. I guess they changed that. One lesson learned for me on the 3 sisters is STAY LEFT to avoid the walkers, be ready to go full gas and his the hills in the front. For some reason I ended up on the right an had to tangle with the walkers.

Here is the answer I received from the race organizer about staging:

"Hi Theia, we will publish official race distance/age groups/ start waves in April, but here’s a general rule we follow;
Q: How are waves determined / created?
A: There is no seeding within age category waves.
the 100 miler will have one start wave
the 62 mile has two waves; 1st =Men open, 2nd= Masters, Women, SS, tandem ( subject to change based on numbers)
the 36 and 22 mile waves are created looking at previous years average times by age group. Fastest groups go off in earlier waves. Wave age categories are combined using avg. speed and category size. We try to keep waves around 125

62 waves go off at 10 AM followed by all 36 mile age group waves 10:08 - 10:30 and 22 mile age waves 10:32 - 10:44"

Thanks Theia, I just saw your post here about the wave order for the 62 mile race… now (like an idiot) I’m thinking about doing the 62 instead of the 36! My body is not prepared to race it fast, but I might do it just for the experience and hope to finish.

Yes, do it Suzanne! I know several women who are doing the 62 for the experience. I am sure you can finish it!

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All it takes is a little peer pressure and I cave! I just signed up and so I hold you, Theia, entirely responsible for whatever happens to me out there! Bwahahahahaha. :slight_smile: I live in Grand Rapids part-time (split my time between there and Traverse City), so let me know if you need any recommendations, insider information, directions, etc…

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YEAH!!! Awesome! Maybe we can see each other! Thanks for the offer- I might have questions, in which case I’ll make sure to reach out!

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@drclark70 this thread might interest you as you are planning to do Barry Roubaix :point_up_2:

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If RR100 is something I end up enjoying, I might be interested in this for 2021. Seeing that it sells out, when do you have to register?