Vary Roubaix Loop
34.2 mile loop
This is a wonder of rolling hills, mostly, though not entirely, on dirt roads. It passes through sections of the Barry State Game area and through farmland and conservation areas. This is beautiful country.
What’s This Roubaix Stuff All About?
It also follows parts of the renowned Barry Roubaix dirt road bicycle race held at the end of March each year. Rick Plite and whole crew of dedicated cyclists put on one of the Midwest’s finest races, both in terrain and in organization. I’ve raced it a number of times and there are moments when the beauty of the course almost makes you forget you’re racing. Almost. The hills, when attacked from the start, do take a toll on the legs. But when the race is over there’s a sense of accomplishment that only the best races elicit.
This isn’t the route (there are actually a few courses of varying lengths in Barry Roubaix), but it does cover some of the same roads and the feel is very similar. So, you can ride this hard or you can take it easy and enjoy all the beauty that unfolds from beginning to end.
This also passes by a segment of the North Country Trail, a route that passes through many northern states in the US. I don’t think this segment of the North Country Trail is open to bikes (correct me if I’m wrong), but the excellent Yankee Springs mountain bike trail is nearby to fulfill your single-track desires.
There are times when you’re in amongst low marshland or you’re riding alongside small picturesque lakes, and times when you’re high on a hill with panoramic views that go for miles. It also rides along a majestic conservation area that’s part of the Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary, coordinated by the Audubon Society.
Or Hastings Perhaps?
This route begins and ends off of Norris Road, but notice that there’s a relatively close connection to the town of Hastings. The ride can just as easily begin and end there, with the option of beginning with a cup of coffee from a local café, or ending at a restaurant downtown. You’ll add about four miles round-trip to your ride on paved roads if you start and end in Hastings.