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Road to Gold River - Taken on 2007 Eau de Hell 600, April 12, 2007

Eau de Hell Week info page
A message from series organizer Ken Bonner


We are promising you another one helluva week! The following is an edited version of the 2007 Eau de Hell Week information. The brevet routes are all the same as last year. Any questions, please contact me directly. Thanks

… Ken
(March 28, 2008)

What The Hell !!

(VanIsle "Eau de Hell Week") Go Directly to The Routes
[Note that this link is to last year's - the 2007 - routes. The 2008 routes will be the same.]
[Additional... *Important Details*... Notes from Ken's Pre-rides (message: April 9, 2008)]

Opportunity knocks!

Based on the old randonneur saying, “In for a 200, in for 1500”, the Vancouver Island contingent of the BC Randonneurs has established a ‘compact’ super randonneur brevet series (200k; 300k; 400k and 600k) starting with the Tour de Cowichan 200 on April 12th. Originally, the concept was to ride each brevet, back to back. 1500k in 100.5 hours! After considerable whining, complaining and then negative publicity initiated by an unnamed webmaster J [Link], the concept was revised.

Randonneurs now have a whole week to complete the compact super randonneur series, which includes considerable rest time to explore the scenic wonders of Vancouver Island not already examined while riding the compact brevets. ‘Normal’ randonneurs can choose to ride any one, or several, of the individual brevets which comprise the Eau de Hell Week and earn the
respective distance medal(s).

Other randonneurs will earn the new, coveted and prestigious BC Randonneur 1500 k Hell Week pin should they manage to complete the full compact brevet series*:

Saturday, April 12th – The traditional Tour de Cowichan 200k
Sunday, April 13th –
The reverse direction version of The Hills Are Alive 300k (Alive Are the Hills)
Monday, April 14th --
Tuesday, April 15th –
The Lost (But Not Forgotten) 400k (includes the Tour de Cowichan route in reverse and some Back Country Roads territory)
Wednesday, April 16th –
Thursday, April 17th –
Ride for Gold 600k (Chemainus to Gold River and return)

--> All rides start and finish in Chemainus, B.C. (Dancing Bean Café , 9752 Willow
[Nope... See box below for the 300-600 start location]) Start time for each brevet is 7:00 a.m.
--> It is recommended that only experienced randonneurs attempt to complete the full compact brevet series
--> No organized support provided. (Upon completion of required paperwork and payment of Club membership and ride fees, each rider will be provided with a route sheet and control card before the start of each brevet in the compact series – in traditional randonneur fashion each rider is then on her/his own).
--> No manned controls – where controls do not have convenience stores that are open, each rider will answer a question on their control card and insert the time/date of arrival and rider’s signature.
--> $20 BC Randonneurs Club 2008 membership; plus $15 for each brevet – No discounts for signing up for all of the compact super randonneur brevets.

Additional information about the start location from Ken from April 7, 2008:

Good news! The registration for the 300, 400 & 600k Eau de Hell brevets will be at the Chemainus Subway (opposite the train station). Although registration will open at 6:00 am, the Subway will be open at 6:30 am. Also, the train station restrooms have been open by 6:30 am when I have been doing the pre-rides.

The bad news is that the Subway closes at 9:00 pm, in fact, everything in Chemainus is closed by then. So, if you are finishing a brevet after 9:00 pm and are hungry, then stop for food at Duncan or Ladysmith before finishing the brevet (or drive to either place after finishing).

Eau de Hell =
Perfume of spring blossoms
Pitter-patter of spring showers
Phrase oft-repeated by Eau de Hell Week riders


* No front and rear light attached to the bike (B.C. Traffic Law) equals brevet disqualification
* No approved cycling helmet on the rider’s head while cycling equals brevet disqualification
* Use as much reflective material on your bike and clothing as practical!! Don’t let motor vehicle drivers use the excuse “I didn’t see the cyclist!”

2007 Eau de Hell 600 Start Group in Chemainus

The Ride for Gold 600k (Chemainus to Gold River & return)
1. I will be manning the Gold River control (Gold River Chalet - km. 316 – Open 4:26 pm Thursday, April 17; Closes 3:00 am, Friday, April 18)
2. For those who cannot manage this brevet on their own, I am prepared to transport one small drop bag (pre-tagged with rider’s names) up to the Gold River control for up to 10 riders – bring bags to the start of the Ride for Gold 600k.
3. The Gold River control room will be available to riders on a ‘1st come-1st served-short nap and move on-basis’ to nap/clean up. Pack your own towel. It is highly recommended that riders make and pay for their own reservations if they want a substantial rest period. The website for the Gold River Chalet is Telephone toll free 1-866-450-2688. No special rates. In order to avoid disturbing other guests, attempt to reserve rooms close to the control room, which is booked under ‘Ken Bonner’
4. Riders planning to sleep in Campbell River might want to consider making and paying for a reservation at the Campbell River Lodge which is next to the Campbell River control at km. 226 and km. 406. The Campbell River Lodge website is: or, telephone toll free 1-800-663-7212. No special rates.

Lodging at Start/Finish

Please use the BC Government’s Hello BC tourism website to locate appropriate accommodation: The moderately priced Fuller Lake Motel is about 3 km from the start/finish at the intersection of Hwy 1 and Henry Road. A café is nearby. The more costly Best Western is about ½ km south of the start/finish. There are many B&Bs in Chemainus. Ladysmith is about 10 km north of Chemainus and has a couple of m/hotels and a 24 hour Tim Horton’s. Duncan is about 15 km south of Chemainus and has many motels and fast food establishments. In addition to fast food and convenience dining, all areas have some very ‘fine dining’ opportunities and fine wineries to visit. The professional Chemainus Live
Theatre is very good. SAINT JOAN is beginning during Eau de Hell Week.

It is very, very helpful if you are planning to ride any/all of the Eau de Hell Week brevets, if you advise us in advance of your plans (Patrick/Jenny – Tour de Cowichan 200; and Ken – for the other 3 brevets). Although we can accept your 2008 BC Randonneur memberships and related general waivers at the start of the 200k, it would make the start process smoother if you processed your membership per the information on the BC Rando website forms page as soon as possible.

As we all know, a positive attitude is important when riding brevets. Those who are contemplating riding the Eau de Hell Week brevets should consider practicing the enunciation of the phrase “Eau de Hell!” with positive enthusiasm. In order to achieve a full cathartic release, try putting a short breathing space between each word …. For example, EAU (breath in, breath out pushing down with the right foot); DE (breath in, breath out pushing down with the left foot); HELL!! Repeat as necessary or tears blur your vision. :-)

Happy Riding!

Michel Richard pauses in Nanaimo

More on: The Eau de Hell Week 600k (Ride for Gold 600)
Thursday, April 17 - Strathcona Park Lodge has a range of accommodation options and room prices. Strathcona Park Lodge is located at 268 km on the way up to Gold River; and 388 km on the way back. This is NOT a control.

Strathcona Lodge Tel: 1-250-286-3122

There will be no café open before the start of the 300k, 400 or 600k. Consider eating in advance elsewhere. There is a McDonald’s and Tim Hortons – not a control – at about 55k on the 300; a Tim Horton’s and 7-11 at Ladysmith at about the 10k point on the 400k and the 600k. I am hoping the Subway in Chemainus (opposite the train station) will start its early opening hours of 6:30 am by then.

Thank-you to everyone who has informed us in advance that you are planning to ride one or more of the Eau de Hell Week brevets!!

* Road to Hell
* Best of Purgatory
* One Hell of a Week
* Going to Hell in a Hand-basket
* Decrepit Man Going to Hell
* The Route to Hell
* Eau/Neige/Soleil/Grêle/éclairs de Hell

Happy riding!! ... Ken

For more information contact: Ken Bonner ,Tel: 1-250-598-4135

Jeff Mudrakoff finishes the 600 and receives the 2007 Eau de Hell Week pin:
200 - 300 - 400 - 600 km !


March 28, 2008