3 for 1.

This past weekend there was a little gravel goodness that happened just south of Grand Rapids, the Barry Roubaix: The Killer Gravel Road Race. This is the 3rd year of this event and it has been growing each installment, and we have been extremely thrilled to be part of it. Each year, some of the Velocity crew has taken part in the event and this year Jacobi, Ryan and Matt decided to take the plunge. All took part in the 35 mile Men's single speed category.

I was able to get all three to do a little write up of their experience. Hopefully you enjoy, for more result check this link or see more photos from Ten Mile Media, Jack Kunnen Photography, and Andrea Tucker Photography.

First I'll give you Jacobi's write up on the race [photo on the left comes from Ten Mile Media, Jeff is the rider on the right of the photo]:

'Pure unadulterated ego stroking!!!'
That, is the definition my older and wiser friend Mike Roon once gave me on why we racers do such crazy things in this world. It is not for the children or to feed the needy or for a better cause. It is for the simple joy of proving to yourself you can do something. That is why I chose to race the Barry Roubaix.

This was my third installment of the race riding my 1920’s Iver Johnson. This is the bike that has captured my imagination of history, and what things were like in a time, when there was no spandex or high performance materials. The bike is simple, one gear, steel and heavy! This is my throw back to history much like a car guy that takes an old Ford Coupe and throws a flat head engine in it then takes it to the local drag strip. Yes, there are more modern ways to go fast. But, the fact that you have something unique and different is much greater than being the overall faster guy. (In my opinion). Now don’t get me wrong I love modern bikes and all the technology that comes with them. But in the case of the Barry Roubaix I will always try to go faster ever year on a bike that I gave a second chance.

Is there a Coaster brake class? NO.
Is there a Vintage class? NO.
Is there a bunch of classes of racers that want to kick everyone else’s butts? Yes!!!

So there you go, I’m just like every other racer that lines up. I want to kick ass! It just happens to be on a bike that is older that most of the racers grandparents. Now that’s fun!!! But, as for the race itself. I couldn’t have asked for a better day and the fact that I finished on two wheels. That is my victory.

First year, shorter start. 2:04:33
Second year, longer start. 2:06:42
Third year, long start, faster wheels. 2:01:32

The moral of this story is: Never, stop kicking another racers ass! Because, if given the chance they would do the same to you.

Classic Jacobi... now we'll transition over to Ryan's thoughts:

It was a cold start to the day but the sun was out in full force. The road conditions could not have been better. They were frozen solid and as fast as I've seen them in a long time. The start went off in waves depending on class and was a vast improvement over last years mass roll out. I was lucky enough to get with a group that was working very well together and made good time all the way to the dreaded Yeckley hill.

At that point the group broke apart leaving myself and a lady by the name of Kathy Everts who ended up winning the female overall. Nice job Kathy and thanks for all the long pulls! At the finish line I was greeted with many friends and FREE FOUNDERS BEER!!!! This event is not to be missed so if you haven't been to the Barry Roubaix I highly recommend you give it a shot. Go out and kick ass or just take it as a tour of beautiful Barry County Michigan.

Wheel choice for the race = Blunt SL single speed pro build. 36/15
gearing with 35c Ritchey Speed Max cross tires set up tubeless at around
50PSI. They were perfect!!

Time 1:58.12 with a 17.8 MPH ave... I'll take it

Finally, Matt's 2011 Barry Roubaix Race Report:

It's officially springtime in Michigan; the Barry Roubaix has been run. This was my first time racing the revered "Barry Roubaix Killer Gravel Road Race". After pre-riding the course several times and taking sagely advice from Ryan and Jeff, I created a personal goal of not having to walk any hills and to finish in less than 2.5 hours.

Well, I failed at the first part. The second hill section on Yeckley road got me. The surface was a bit looser than other portions of the course, and standing up on my 44x18 singlespeed All City Nature Boy was proving fruitless. My back wheel was slipping so I hopped off and hoofed it. Outside of Yeckley and a small bottleneck on Sager road, I was clipped in the whole time.

I learned a valuable lesson...don't transport your water bottles on the back of your car when it's only 18 degrees outside. Of the 1500ml of fluid I brought, I only got to consume about 500ml.


By the time I hit the final section of pavement, my right calf was cramping pretty hard every time I got out of the saddle. I was able to hook up with a couple of shaved leg roadies and pick off four single speeders in the final section of the race. I finished 19th in my class with a total time of just under 2 hours nine minutes.

Here are the final standings of the 35 mile: Men Single Speed class, with an edit from Matt that was passed around Velocity Headquarters on Monday.

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