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Interior 400 Report
by Richard Blair

The Interior 400k attracted 10 riders on Saturday May 31, but only six completed the brevet. Ian Fillinger finished in a remarkable 14:35; Ryan Kurz in 15:50; Bob Goodison in 16:55; Randy Benz and Doug Fox in 18:43 and Mike Eder in 24:45. Bud Macrae and Roger and Ali Holt stopped riding at Merritt at 2142 hours after covering a distance of 290.4km. Your scribe, Richard Blair, arrived at Merritt at 2025 hours and stopped riding along Highway 5A after covering 311km.

The ride started uneventfully shortly after day break from the Gateway Shell station east of Kamloops, with the ride taking us west to Cache Creek, north up the 40km grind to Clinton before turning south back through Cache Creek and onto Spences Bridge. A headwind -- what else -- arose as the riders headed south and persisted for some even after they turned east from Spences Bridge to Merritt. Some of the riders but not all apparently got through that section and back to Kamloops with a tail wind. The heat developed during the day and when Randy Benz checked his thermometer at Spences Bridge it showed 32 Celsius, but the temperature on the road seemed greater as the heat radiated off the rock faces beside the road. The heat sapped the energy of some including the writer and others who ended their ride in the Merritt vicinity. However, Mike Eder who cycled steadily through the winds, up the hills, and under the sun and the moon and the stars got a second wind at Merritt and finished tired but successful after 24 hours and 45 minutes in the saddle. The Spences Bridge section also provided entertainment in the form of two dogs, one a lab who appeared relatively benign, but his buddy was a big, mouthy rottweiler who appeared anything but benign. Fortunately we heard his bark, but did not see him bite. Another difficulty on the 54 km of Hy 8 east of Spences Bridge was the lack of any facilities in which to buy food or obtain water. Randy Benz reported there was 3,493 metres of climbing over the 404km route.

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June 3, 2008