Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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Vancouver Island 1000

Ken Carter


Thanks to Stephen and Carol Hinde for putting on the 1000k on the 21-23 of June. The ride was well organized and everybody seemed pleased with the number and location of controls. I expected to be at Port Hardy by midnight, but we beat that time by an hour. I tried to get people to slow down, but riding as a team we just couldn't hold back (ha ha). The stretch of highway from Sayward Junction to Woss had two climbs that were easier riding northward. I am curious if the second climb has a name? It had a 7% descent on the north side that ended on a long straight with a rest stop 1 or 2 km off the main highway. The Woss stop allowed us to break up the long (170kms) run out to Port Hardy and stop to enjoy the scenery. I must admit I took advantage of it for an hour going each way. The Seattle International Randonneurs group decided to stay longer than I had planned but it worked out fine. We got a chance to see Port Hardy with the morning sunrise and the surprising part was that all the downhill into town was not that hard to climb out. The North Island section of the route is excellent for training with all the rollers that keep a rider pushing up the next hill, just like doing intervals.

At Willow Point I left the control just after Mark and Peter arrived. I didn't ever see Pete Liekio, so after I bumped into you at Parksville my guess is he stopped to eat or sleep someplace while I rode thru to Nanaimo.

The Southern Island part of the route was pleasant going out. Smooth roads and small resorts like Cowichan Bay broke up the monotony of the highway. The Malahat was deceiving with the false summits going south. And the bike trail was again a pleasant opportunity to escape the high-speed traffic of the highway. I do have a preference to go down to the waterfront in Victoria to see the beautiful Motels and buildings. The ride back after the Malahat was exciting due to the pockets of no wind or tailwinds. This allowed the average speed for 2 to 5 mile segments to reach 23 to 25 mph. After showering at Mark’s room, I got to wait a lovely two hours in the ferry line to reach Horseshoe Bay by 9:35pm for the drive home.

For the distance we traveled, this ride had the greatest variety of terrain, traffic, and scenery than any other 1000k I've ridden. It was all pleasant and you couldn't have done any better with the weather. This was a surprise window of weather compared to other weekends I had heard about for doing this brevet in June.