8 things to do instead of watching Paris-Roubaix

All the fun you can have while the Hell of the North isn't happening

After more on and offs than Ross and Rachel, it’s been official for a while: Paris-Roubaix has been postponed. That means no men’s race and no debut edition for the women this Sunday, so what to do instead? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:

Do your own local cobbles ride

I made my own up in London a few years ago on Paris-Roubaix morning and felt very hardcore, even if it ended up virtually being 15 laps of Wapping. 

Live in the past

Grab drinks and snacks then hunker down to watch a full replay of the 2019 Paris-Roubaix edition. Take in a race from another era: the dust, the drama, the fancy dress, crowds drinking, shouting and hugging, back in a time when corona was only uttered in the supermarket beverage aisle. (A Sunday in Hell is also recommended).


Wear head-to-toe black and spend the day sulking. When questioned by family or friends about your foul mood, break silence by exclaiming “You wouldn’t understand!” like an exasperated teenager.

Read our full preview of the postponed 2021 Paris-Roubaix


Read Emile Zola’s classic Germinal and realise that Paris-Roubaix is still a walk in the park compared to how life used to be in the northern French mining communities through which the race passes. 


Roll around in the garden, then take a freezing cold shower while your mates crowd in and take photos of you looking depressed. Post on Instagram and wait for the likes to roll in #Roubaixready

Watch a better race

Watch the opening stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey. (Only joking, the lawn needs mowing.)

Buy Rouleur

Buy issue 102 of Rouleur. Our True Grit issue, celebrating rough riders and the routes less travelled, is a surefire antidote to the Roubaix blues.

Photo credit: Alex Whitehead/SWPix

Socially Distance

Lastly, be sensible – wear a mask and socially distance when required. Doing that, wherever you are in the world, will help to ensure people stay safe and healthy, which is the most important thing.

And ultimately, that will ensure that this marvellous Monument takes place in its rearranged date - October 2 for the women’s race and October 3 for the men. That’s right, a whole Roubaix weekend. It will be worth the wait.

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