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Stupidity and Wet Wool

Harold Bridge


In my account of the West Kooteney 300 I mention that I'm not very well known for thinking ahead. Take yesterday & today (May 25th 26th) for instance.

The Mariposa took a bashing from the weather on Sunday. Gear changing was hapharzard & the chain looked like it had been soaked in solvent & dried. Tuesday, as if I hadn't spent enough time in motor vehicles the day before, I decided to drive the Canada Birthday 133km route. Got 134 kms, jusr about right. Decided I would ride it Thursday. But Wednesday evening I felt the Mariposa needed some attention & decided to deal with that first. Besides, I would miss "Thirstday" at the Gilnetter (glad I went, Tim Pollock, his brother Pat, &, at another table, Stuart Wood were all there, as well as my colleagues from ISE). It was nice out on the patio overlooking the confluence of the Pitt & Fraser Rivers.

When I got home I finished putting the sparkling Mariposa, complete with new chain, back together. It looked good. Unfortunatly, the weather was due to change for the worse & I was reluctant to take a brand new chain into doubtful weather. Decided instead I would take the CBS with it's mature transmission. Glad I did, it was very wet the whole way. Descending the south side of Sumas Mountain with it's 12% grade & in pouring rain was accomplished with the brakes on. Likewise 264th St hill down to River Rd. Got back to Fort Langley with 134.7 kms on both computers. (I lie, the Vetta is running off the back wheel which is shod with a 700Cx23 tyre. The Cateye Micro is running on the front wheel with a 700Cx20 tyre & is calibrated for a 23mm tyre. It gave 135.63 kms. Divide by 2095 & multiply by 2080 & that gives 134.659 or 134.7 as near as dammit).

The stupidity is that with a bit of thought I could have ridden the CBS in Thursday's sunshine & spent today indoors working on the Mariposa. It would have meant missing Thirstday, but what the hell?

I have had some uncomfortable rides this year; too cold down hill & too warm uphill. I think improper dressing have something to do with me not finishing 2 x 300 randonnees. But 2 wet rides were quite comfortable. They were the trip with Francis Caton to Harrison for the Fléche & today's soaker. The big difference was that I was wearing an old woollen racing jersey rather than any of this fancy high tech fabric. Hi-Tech looks pretty in pictures but in our climate tends to be useless except in the height of summer. Let that be a lesson to you!