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Event takes place on Saturday 12 April, the day before the pros tackle the real thing

Newcastle bike café The Cycle Hub is launching a new event in April, The Hell of the North East, that takes place the day before Paris-Roubaix – and like the race nicknamed The Hell of the North that inspires it, the route includes plenty of rough roads, ranging from farm tracks to cobbles.

Entry to the 100km ride, scheduled for Saturday 12 April, is free, but places are strictly limited, and can be made by emailing The Cycle Hub – the address, plus details of what you need to include in your email as well as requirements for riders, can be found here.

Organisers stress that the ride isn’t suitable for beginners – “it will be tough and both you and your bike should be ready for it.

They add: “We would encourage you to ride either a cyclocross bike or a road bike (fitted with 25mm, or bigger, tyres), as this fits better with the ethos of the Paris-Roubaix, which is to ride entirely unsuitable bikes along entirely unsuitable routes!

“Mountain Bikers are obviously welcome to attend, but should be aware that this will be considered as cheating!”

Here’s a short promo film for the ride, which organisers promise “won't be quite as hard as the real thing, but will be plenty tough” – for a start, it includes 800 metres of climbing.

Hell of the north-east from Oliver Townsend on Vimeo

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

11 comments

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Initialised [307 posts] 2 years ago
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Should be fun, email sent and fingers crossed!

I hope it includes the Kibblesworth Staircase.

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AWPeleton [3332 posts] 2 years ago
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To much for me but i'll be along to support it  41

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Yorkshie Whippet [530 posts] 2 years ago
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I hope it's a success and run next year as I'll be doing the real thing for the third year.

Good luck and hope it's an enjoyable event.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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Would like to see the route for this, the non P-R bit of video looks like it was shot in the Ouseburn and Stepney bank not far from the Cycle Hub but it'll have to range far from there to fit the mileage. Plenty of scope though, if you include the waggonway network but I'd advise a 28 with good puncture protection for some of the more glittery sections.

Anywa, have popped off an email to try and register.

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MLCCUK [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Great concept / idea  41

Riding with a friend from Herne Hill Velodrome to Roubaix Velodrome to watch the race this year, but hope this becomes an annual thing as would be great to take part in the future

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bikecellar [268 posts] 2 years ago
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Entry in.

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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For those who like this kind of thing - there is also the rather wonderful/evil Enfer du Saddleworth

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STATO [502 posts] 2 years ago
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There are miles are miles of rough tracks, bridleways, and sustrans paths around newcastle, tho as stated on their site you do have to link many with sections of road. Will be great to see what route they have come up with.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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STATO wrote:

There are miles are miles of rough tracks, bridleways, and sustrans paths around newcastle, tho as stated on their site you do have to link many with sections of road. Will be great to see what route they have come up with.

my guess would that they'll try and weave in some of the cobbled bits that lead up from the river - there's a killer one up Hanover street near the Copthorne hotel for example then maybe head west via Newburn towards Wylam along the river then north towards Heddon or south towards Consett way... like you say - lots of potential.

I'm going to have to get some miles in...

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Simon E [2728 posts] 2 years ago
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I believe the 92km Telford Toothpaste ride in Ironbridge on the morning of P-R is a similar event.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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Famous last words, didn't get a place. Boo