Newsletter - 2005 Archive

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Ken sent this e mail message to Cheryl and to me after his return from BMB. In addition to his account of the ride, he includes a more general update - personal stats and plans for the coming weeks. It's the sort of "what's the latest on Ken" info people frequently ask for, so I asked Ken if it would be OK if I included his message on a newsletter page... he said "sure, go ahead". So here it is. [Eric F]

3 down - 1 to go
by Ken Bonner


Just got back from the 1200k Boston-Montreal-Boston (BMB) randonnee which started August 18. 32 year old Ted Lapinski and I finished with the 6th fastest finishing time, in 59h 38m. Although the temperatures were moderate this year (27C daytime; 10C at night), we experienced lots of headwinds. In the middle of the second night, just as Ted and I had finished commenting that it looked like we would not have any rain this year, a drizzle started as we began an 8k - 12% climb. By the time we reached the top, it was a steady downpour (seven hours later it finally quit, which is better than the 20 hours of downpour we experienced last year). I usually complain that there are too many up-hills in this stretch of the ride, but not this time! We looked forward to the uphills just to keep warm. Couldn't see the cracks in the road too well on the downhills, as a 1 metre fog was created when the cold rain hit the warm pavement. Fortunately, our wheels held up to the shock of hitting potholes in the dark, heavy rain and fog.

In my opinion, the BMB is toughest of all the 1200k randonnees. 38,500 feet of cumulative climbing (that's 11,700 metres in metric). Most of the 1200k randonnees are in the 30,000 feet (9100 metres) range. For comparison, the Malahat on Vancouver Island is about 1100 feet (335 metres). Many of the roads show evidence of the harsh eastern winters --- potholes, wheel-swallowing cracks and miles of broken pavement. There are very few sections of flat road .... there are continuous steep and long climbs with treacherous fast descents (especially at night), where crashes and broken wheels are a very real possibility.

This was my 10th BMB (including one dnf with 30 miles to go!) and my 22nd 1200k randonnee since I started rando-riding. So, 3 - 1200s completed out of the four to be completed in 2005. Although my 1200k times are getting faster during the year, my finishing positions are going in the opposite direction (1st; 5th; 6th)! Hope to do better on the next one. The 1st 5 finishers were:

Saunders Whittlesey (36 years old) ------ 46h 03m (new BMB record)
Bill O'Mara (46 years old) ------------------- 49h 51m
John McCellan (43 years old) ----------------- 57h 58m
Eric Jensen (36 years old) --------------------- 58h 36m
Kevin Kaiser (37 years old --------------------- 59h 21m
Ken Bonner (62 years old)* & Ted Lapinski (32 years old) ------ 59h 38m
Complete results are at
* Fastest Canadian --- because Keith Fraser did not participate!

Off to Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday to get ready for the Colorado Last Chance 1200k randonnee, which starts September 13th in Boulder and goes 600k east to Phillipsburg, Kansas and return. This area used to be known as the Great American Desert and is the land of the Yellow Brick Road and Toto. Temperatures range from daytime highs of 105 F (41 C) to night time lows of 40 F (4.5 C). Last year we experienced an incredible sound & light show at night, in the form of a formidable thunder & lightning storm which included some tornadoes. Hope not to have a similar experience again!

Riders' stories of the 2004 version of the Colorado Last Chance are at

Running my 26th Royal Victoria Marathon October 9th-- also my 155th lifetime marathon. My longest run since the Vancouver Marathon was this week, 18 miles .... I've got some work to do if I expect to complete the 26.2 miles!!! .... but, not until after Colorado.

Then, off to Britain for 4 weeks-- we fly out the day after the marathon ... hope my damaged legs will fit in the tight cheap seats!! .... Margot won't let me take my bike, so I will have to find one or two marathons to run over there!!
:-) ....

Cheers ..... Ken

September 5, 2005

...and don't forget to check on Ken's current UMCA "Year-Rounder" Century Challenge stats & standing.