Newsletter - 2000 Archive

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This Weekend's 600 and Commentary

Harold Bridge and his English Corresponent, Alan Kennedy


Harold to Alan:

Neither you or I are surprised that I didn't complete. If you have been able to look at the route profile you will see I survived the major hurdles of Alison Pass through Manning Park & Sunday Summit before dropping down to Princeton @ 219kms.

When the 12 of us set out from Abbotsford @ 06:00 in pouring rain, (the price for a strong tail wind) I went straight out the back, without attempting to hang onto fast back wheels. Got to Hope, 85.8kms, 09:49, according to the control card, with a deadline of 11:43. With almost 2 hours in hand & with the strong west wind I felt it was worth continuing.

The Mariposa has Campag Triple & 8 at the back. The 26 ring came into immediate use leaving Hope, although I tried to stay as close to the 14 as possible to save the 26 until later. Approaching the top of the extra hump created by the 1965 Hope slide I just about made it without falling off. Then I got hit by a squall & was soaked by the time I had my jacket & racing cape on. I kept the Cateye on average & watched it drop steadily. The 22.5 I arrived at Hope with was down to 20.2 by the time I had had 2nd breakfast & at the Hope slide it was already down to about 17.

With gloves on (in June?) I was stopping briefly to eat &/or put jacket on or take it off. Only saw one bear amble across the road about 100 metres ahead & was thankful I had just had a stop that amounted the safety zone between me & it. Crested Alison Pass with a sigh of relief & the critical minimum of 15.0 kph showing on average. Never saw any heroics from the heart rate monitor on the Vetta computer. At over 1300 metres it was dammed cold & instead of stopping to don jacket for the 9 kms down to the MP Lodge I got very cold instead. Card signed at 15:35 for an average of 11.5 kph up that 66.5 kms.

The ride to Princeton is deceptive. Sunday Summit is another tough slog & although there is more up than down the ride is constantly interupted by adverse gradients. Then the one really steep hill is a bit too hairy to really let fly. The result was I got to Princeton with an average of 15.7 kph. Time for dinner but it was unlikely I would get away in time to make Merritt before the 02:39 cut off. Bob Marsh, who had planned to ride, had got him self a cough/cold problem & was out in his truck & was waiting for me. I bought him dinner & spent the rest of the ride in his truck. Got a couple of hours sleep at the motel in Spences Bridge & we monitored the riders in their head wind struggle down & up the Fraser Canyon hills.

So, there goes another weekend.


Alan to Harold:

Ye Gods you are a brave man. I can't think of any good reason to stay out of my bed at nights - hence I never rode a 24, but what you do is simply masochism. They are really long ones aren't they and lots of climbs? Ok if one is training for a 24, but even with that scenery, if it is raining, it is for the birds where I am concerned. At least you had a go!