ABC Rapha "A Day in Hell" 2021 84 mile/5888' climb

  • 04/10/2021
  • 8:00 AM
  • Carderock Springs Elementary School, 7401 Persimmon Tree Lane, Bethesda, MD


Registration is closed

View of the peloton on Arenberg Forest pavé at Paris Roubaix 2019 - Paris Roubaix 2019 - Lineupping |


"The Hell of the North" is the nickname for the famed Paris-Roubaix one-day classic world tour race.  The course includes many centuries-old cobbled roads through NE France farm country.  The Specialized Roubaix was developed for, and named after, this race, known for rough roads and weather.  There's a cool movie of the race from 1976 with Eddy Mercxx  (, and this short film about the 2019 race  COVID conditions in France caused the men's and inaugural women's races to be cancelled in 2020, and has now caused postponement from April 10 & 11 to October 2021.

Rapha is organizing a series of self-supported rides around the world to commemorate Paris-Roubaix, 'A Day in Hell,' for completion on one's own schedule on April 10 or 11. Registration for the event with Rapha is free In DC & Montgomery County, they have two routes, one intermediate and one advanced, each including some gravel and one short, cobbled street, in the sprit of Paris-Roubaix.  Rapha is a cycling apparel company that sponsors pro teams, makes cycling films, and organizes other events such as this.  ABC has no affiliation with Rapha - this is just a challenging, cool, free event they've organized, in which we can take part with cyclists around the world. The Rapha site ( provides ADIH ride locations in the US and abroad, and spots for this ride in the UK, for instance, have filled up.

The Rapha site states these routes are 60% gravel, and recommends 28-30 mm tires, but we've contacted the organizers for clarity.  The shorter, 45 mile route is about half-gravel on the C&O canal trail. The longer, hillier 84 mile route is, however, 97% pavement, with one County-maintained gravel road 2 miles long. There's a paved detour around if necessary, which adds a mile or two, so this route can be done on thinner tires.  Register here for the 84 mile route, and in the other calendar entry for the 45 mile one. --> 84 mile route (4757 to 5888 feet. Climbs Sugarloaf!)


Both routes accomplish Montgomery County in ABC's Tour of MD

The RidewithGPS route starts and ends on a cobbled street at the Blue Bottles Coffee Shop in Georgetown @ 1046 Potomac St., NW., but Rapha advertises one can start wherever and whenever you would like. 

For easier, free parking, we're starting at mile 75.7 at Carderock Springs Elementary School at the address noted, and will head into Georgetown from there.  There are refueling opportunities at what will be for us miles 28 (strip mall on Travilah Rd), 49 (Comus Inn), 65.5 (Poolesville), and 81 (Potomac Village). 

Register with Rapha at the link above to qualify for the free Rapha ADIH pin to those who complete either route (pick up at Emissary Coffee shop (, 2032 P St NW, near Dupont Circle). If you've got any Rapha kit, this is a good day to wear it.  Register here so we know who's coming from ABC.


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