Gord Cook found this poem by Jimmy Valance who used to run brevets out of Fernie. Jimmy wrote this poem many years ago about the Castlegar - Salmo climb on Highway 3. Here's what he had to say in a preamble to the poem: "The Bombi is the summit on the road from Castlegar to Salmo and featured in last year's West Kootenay 300. It is not the steepest climb in the province, nor is it the longest; however, for 18 kms of unrelieved bloodymindedness, the Bombi is hard to beat." Note: Jimmy speaks with a Scottish accent...

Address to the Bombi Summit
by Jimmy Valance
(with apologies to Robert Burns)

Amang B.C.'s summits may ye be curst,
Your grade and aspect are the worst,
Ask a randonneur who durst
Toil up your slope.
And even those who would be first -
Abandon hope!

A blinding, unrelenting slog
Where randonneurs their psyches flog
In hazy, pain-induced fog,
(To tell the truth,
Reduced to counting every cog
And every tooth).

An so . . . may men wi' draglines find ye,
Let hard-rock miners undermine ye,
Let graders gouge, serrate and line ye
Wi' metal fangs,
And randonneurs fore'er malign ye
In heartfelt sangs.

So let your shoulders sluff and slide
Right down the mountain's steepy side,
Great chunks, a hunder' meters wide
And forty deep.
And knowing how it was ye died
I thus could sleep.

Alas! Alack! This won't transpire
As each year passes ye'll just get higher,
And to your summit we'll a' perspire
In granny gear,
Returning each - 'spite prospects dire -
Succeeding year.

On arriving in Nelson on May 22, I discovered that Bob Boonstra had, to his everlasting credit reverted to the original Nakusp 300 route, therby excising the dreaded Bombi. The above verses will serve as an epitaph - the following as a eulogy for a man of vision and compassion. (JV)

Man, Bob, in Heav'n ye'll get your Thanks
Where Randonneurs in Serried ranks
'Midst Synchros stems and Campag cranks
Their voices raise,
Exorcising rando Angst
In songs of praise.

Let your name be carried far and wide
(You should, in fact be Sanctified)
Thanks from us all who on't near died
But ne'ermore will -
For ye struck from the Kootenay 300 ride
The Bombi hill.

Poems first published in BCR newsletter June/July Issue, 1993.
Submitted again by Gord: May 20, 2005