Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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Lower Mainland Summer 400

Harold Bridge


You think so eh? The no-account 400 I did June 23/24 was a super ride and I finished well enough I was able to sprint up that drag into Haney from Kanaka Creek and get inside 24 hours by 2 minutes. But as I was checking the Make-Up 400 route and I plan to ride the 600 that day it don't count! Did I tell you I chose to start that Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning so I got to do the night bit Sunday night rather than Saturday night. Chuckanut Drive resurfaced, a full moon and hardly any traffic. I shut my headlamp off for a few moments to rode by moonlight. It was worth riding a 400 for!

This one was, by comparison shear murder, all concentrated in the last 100 km. I last saw you across a few acres of grass as I ascended the ramp (about 12:45) from Hwy 7 to Hwy 1 and I waved and shouted at you being honked at by a semi as you did a "BL" toward Hope.

I quite enjoyed the ride from Mission to Everson. Before Mission I had feelings of "Quit", I was feeling sluggish, partly due to recovering from Fell Rd! The heavy atmosphere didn't help and it was much cooler than I expected. In Mission I detoured to Tim Horton's for a coffee and a cookie. Felt much better after that and got into the swing of things. 10:16 at 200 and 16:30 at 300 gave me hopes of inside 24, albeit I knew night-time navigation on unknown roads would create difficulties.

The anticipated headwind along Hwy 1 from Hope was very forgiving, it kept turning a blind eye to us and by gently stirring the 64" gear (39x16) I was maintaining my 20kph average.

I managed to lead Wayne and Benjamin astray out of Everson and that cost us about 4 km and probably 15 minutes. Then again, once on Mount Baker Hwy I assumed we had to get further into Bellingham before turning. While Wayne waited at Britton Road (how could I miss that?) Benjamin chased after me and dragged me back. Another 10 minutes or so wasted. I always forget something and on this event it was my little flashlight, so I was relying on Wayne's route reading. But he was always behind me!

We got to Denney's just before midnight and left at 01:00. It was cold enough for me to feel I should put my rain jacket on over everything else. But from Bellingham navigation was fairly easy to Ferndale and onto Blaine. But opinions about using Peace Portal Way and those who ordained that we should are best left unrecorded! More to get a break from that surface than anything else we popped into the Texaco along there for a coffee and it did help.

Once we had finishing chatting and explaining what we were doing to the bored Canada Customs man who was standing outside waiting us, the rest was just a tedious series of lefts and rights though Surrey to the Pattullo Bridge. Albert Crescent up from the Bridge required a walk; I was too far gone to twiddle my 26" bottom gear. Every little slope created a grovel but Benjamin and Wayne insisted on waiting for me.

John and Danelle were as hospitable as usual and we sat, drank, and nibbled awhile. Ben left to ride back to Vancouver while Wayne accepted my offer of a ride home. He was brave; we should have waited a while to allow me some sleep before driving. Without me Ben and Wayne would have got ‘round possibly inside 24 hours, certainly inside 25.

My 17th completed "400". Despite a "thing" about 400s there are only two I haven’t finished.