Newsletter - 2000 Archive

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BC Randonneurs
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Report on the 300K and 400K Brevets in the Peace Region

E.W. [Wim] Kok, Co-ordinator.


300 K Brevet

The 300K Brevet took place on May 20, 2000 with an intended three riders participating. Susan and Doug came up from Vancouver for this event. Canadian Regional Airlines unfortunately let them down, by not taking their tandem up. They had to wait till the next day. That left one rider for the Saturday ride. Doug and Susan were so kind to get up early Saturday to see me off at 5:30 am. The first stretch went north from Fort St. John to Charlie Lake, then onto Highway 29 west to Hudson's Hope. A headwind accompanied me on the "up and down" route through the Peace Valley. Very scenic with numerous deer along the road as a bonus. Just before Hudson's Hope Terry Stone, a member of the Blizzard Cycling Club, met and cycled with me to Moberly Lake. A nice change from cycling alone.

Then the headwind turned tail/side wind, which was great on the long climb out of the valley. The grades of this section were not as tough as expected - only long - and the descent into Chetwynd was certainly a relief. A bowl of soup, some buns and a half hour break re-energized me for the trip toward Dawson Creek. Two long hill climbs were awaiting me: one out of Chetwynd and one out of the Pine valley. Luckily the Gods were smiling from ear to ear, because a vigorous tailwind just "ushered the bike along" at speeds of 30-40 kph. There's justice after all!! A break after the ascent out of the Pine River valley had to be aborted, because a black bear sauntered around the rest stop. No need to add "randonneur-rare" to his diet. The remainder of the trip went smooth. A short break at Ted's Service, then north along the Mason Road to the Alaska Highway with long rolls into Taylor. Just as the finish line came in sight, a headwind provided the last 10 k challenge, however not enough to spoil the satisfaction of completing the 300 K Brevet. Doug and Susan succesfully completed the Brevet on Sunday.

Report 400 K Brevet June 3/4, 2000

This was the ride of the lone rider. The 400 K ride went from Fort St. John south via Ted's Service to Tumbler Ridge, then north via Gwillim Lake to Chetwynd, Hudson's Hope and Charlie Lake, just north of Fort St. John. The two 95 km legs in and out of Tumbler Ridge have virtually no settlement, lots of wilderness and wildlife and little traffic. For that reason the start time was set at 9:30 am, so that a sleep break could coincide with nightfall at the 260 km in Chetwynd. No need for cycling in the dark on long stretches of emptiness. The initial section of the ride consisted of incessant hills and headwinds. A mini whirlwind [dust-devil] picked up lots of debris, which subsequently came down. Its downfall proved that helmets are good for more than than breaking falls and collisions. A half hour break in Tumbler Ridge supplied enough energy for the leg north to Chetwynd. The intial section out of Tumbler Ridge was brutal, long and arduous, only to find out that the summit was named after the guy, who gave us Tumbler Ridge: Phillips Summit. No wonder. A short but good sleep in Chetwynd was certainly enjoyful. Up and riding again at 4:00 am with immediately a long climb, - if that does not wake you up - followed by a long and chilly descent into Moberly Lake - that certainly did it. There was even frost on the grass along the road. Being well dressed was no luxury!!! From Hudson's Hope to the finish line proved to be tough. The hills became hotter and longer - there was one 8 km climb in addition to others, but ultimately the 400 K brevet could be chalked up as another accomplishment in 25.5 hours [including a nice 6 hour break!] While the climbs were long, and at reaching many a crest, often another climb loomed, but the bonus often included snowcapped peaks and stunning views. Cycling here shows that not only is spring o so slowly moving north, it's also slow in creeping up the hills. Many trees above an elevation of 1000 meter did not have leaves on them yet. Was the ride worth it all? You betcha!! On to the next one.