Newsletter - 2003 Archive

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Tour of Greater Victoria 200 km Brevet

Mike Poplawski


Nine riders turned out for a warm and sometimes wet Tour of Greater Victoria. Thanks go out to Mike Ball for doing a great job of ride support!

Weather: Warm, mostly overcast, with an afternoon downpour. Winds moderate but ever-present (and not overly troublesome on the twisty route!)

Volunteer: Mike Ball (start/finish, photos and controls)

This was the first time I've ridden this route which I devised a couple of years ago, and I was pretty pleased with it, even if my calves didn't agree with me after they cooled off at Tim Horton's.

The first half of the route is based on the Victoria Populaire 100k route, but run in reverse, so now having seen some of the corners from the opposite direction, I think I can make the route a little safer and fun to ride (i.e., using Cromar or Norris to get down to Madrona instead of Downey, at Don Munro's suggestion. And what's a few more cues on this route?).

The last 100 km were an original creation on my part, which I liked a lot save for Sooke Highway which just seems to keep getting busier and busier. If I get a little creative, I might be able to make a change there.

The highlight of this course has to be the stretch along Charlton Road; two years ago, Stephen doubled back on it to shake my hand for taking me down a Victoria road that he hadn't been on before, and this year Randy said that if there is cycling in heaven, this is what the roads would be like. This little gentle rural descent on an S-curve comes right after a couple of short grinds, one right at the prettier-than-you'd think Hastings & Granville intersection.

Les maillots:

The polka-dot jersey has to go to Randy who not only rode the entire 200 km in his small chainring but was also very patient with me after many climbs, and for keeping me company on Glen Lake Road while I repaired a flat tire.

The green jersey goes to Graeme who caught up to Randy and I on several occasions and finished with us. Thanks to both of you for pulling me along.

The yellow jersey still belongs to Ken, who rode tempo with his teammates from Vancouver and did not see any threat to the overall randonneur pecking order on this day.

Three white jerseys will be made up for the three who surrendered--sorry to hear about the flat tires and the deluge of rain!

To round out everyone's jerseys, Karen sported a sleeveless (for Phil Liggett's "spirited little climber" classification) and Michel wore a wool jersey (for Paul Sherwen's "great bike rider" classification). (Anybody who's tried to play a Tour de France drinking game knows what I'm talking about.) <\hr> PS On the topic of fenders, which was brought up here last week: it got very wet on this ride--I didn't have any fenders (my red rando bike still hangs in the same filthy state from the Cache Creek 600) and Randy didn't have extenders, so riding behind him on this ride made me long for scuba equipment--Randy was riding hard enough and the road was wet enough that it became hard to breath through my mouth. Please, for the sake of all those wheel-suckers like myself, can we all put extenders on our fenders, if only to keep our beautiful white club jerseys clean?