The first group on the railtrail in Paris

Bike shops across the Midwest rush to assure local cyclists that it’s a great time for a new everything ahead of a wet Barry-Roubaix. 

With 90% chance of rain forecasted and conditions already reasonably soggy, now seems like the perfect time and replace nearly everything on your race rig before Saturday’s Barry-Roubaix. The biggest gravel race in North America brings out thousands of racers from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and even other states that may or may not touch the Mitten.

The size, the excitement after a long and cold off-season, and all the money/glory involved in amateur bike racing make Barry-Roubaix a bundle of nerves for some. The best cure? Throw a new drivetrain on, panic about tire selection, even ache over the color of your bar tape. You know, it’s almost always that last minute thing that makes all the difference.

We took a totally real and totally scientific poll, and area bike shops confirmed that the best plan is to bring your bike in Friday morning before the race to get a total tune up and drivetrain. Try not to call ahead, because don’t worry, they have your Campy freehub body in stock for that new wheelset you’ve been eyeing. Also, of course, you can swing back in an hour or so, it’ll be ready by then.

You know what else is a good idea this week? Try something new! Peter Sagan eats gummy bears after races, so you should probably fill up your jersey pockets with some Haribo and find out if it makes you World Champion-fast or gives you a crippling, spandex-ruining stomach problem. Nothing like 36 or 62 miles in your own feces to kick off 2017!

The best of luck with your Barry-Roubaix preparations, and remember, Friday night is the best time to change everything about your bike, diet, and color coordination. Now excuse me while I go change my tires, chain ring, chain, cables and bar tape.