My First Barry Roubaix Experience | Amber Underwood

Age group: women’s 19-29
Course: 36 mile
Goal: 3 hours
Actual race time: 2 hours 30 minutes.
Place: 4th
Feelings: satisfaction& adrenaline

We all challenge ourselves in different ways, mine was with Barry Roubaix.
I also challenged Beth Dewaal to sign up with me; I wanted accountability and a teammate to do it with me.

The temperamental weather was a disheartening; just getting out to train was hard. But all in all I pushed in a few training rides on the 22 mile course and bought the salsa journeyman bike a few weeks before the race and threw on some amazing gravel tires (Terrene Elwood’s 40 mm) and off I went.

New bike, new challenge and new 36 mile course I haven’t ridden before. Granted some parts combine with the 22 mile route but there were still areas unknown…sager rd…

Everyone kept saying “the 36 is much easier”
I doubted this as the 22 route was HARD. Hill after hill; it was never ending.
Turns out, they were right.

I started out with Beth Dewaal in my wave. I was so happy to have her there as this was going to be her first race. Let alone the 36 Barry. Kudos to you girl, you rocked it.
5,4,3,2,1. And they’re OFF.

3 sisters ✔️ no biggie. Keep pedaling.
Random gravel hills ✔️ get moving, don’t stop
Pavement to sager ✔️

My goal was not to walk sager road. I was given advice to get in a good position, stay to the sides and get off when needed. Well, for those of you who know me I LOVE pushing myself and being on the two tracks. I was actually most excited for Sager. I saw teammate Mike Miller right before Sager and was pumped to take that left turn onto the beloved two track.

I loved it. Was is hard? Meh, at certain points. I think the challenge was the bottleneck of people. I unclipped only once and kept a steady pace. At this point I got my second wind. The adrenaline was going strong at this point.

The rest was a blur quite honestly. I rode, pedaled, pushed, drank some “magic juice” (infinite) and had fun. Being out there was a blast, I met many people from all over. I was chatting with people around me and even made a friend who rode with me for a few miles.

When I saw the 5 mile sign I was PUMPED. What? Only 5 more. I was feeling great and keeping good pace. I knew I had this race in the bag and this is when I started wondering if I could place in my age group… I thought I had a chance.

I saw the blue house at the top of the hill on top pavement and booked it. Another rider and I jumped on with a group of speedy Gonzales’ that came from behind and wow was it awesome. I thought “I can fly” and from there on out I knew it was going to feel like a sprint to the finish.

Legs were starting to feel it but I wouldn’t let them win, I pushed and turned that corner into the finish tunnel and WAHLA. Done.

Got on the podium, won a free beer and I was satisfied.

Amber Underwood


  1. Kelly on April 30, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Can see the determination on your face in that photo! Nice write-up – thanks for sharing your story 🙂

  2. Amy Deering on May 1, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Great job Amber!! I’m so proud of you!! Loved your write up! Maybe I’ll getout on that course with you someday. ?

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