Newsletter - 2009 Archive

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Gary Baker arriving at control #1 "Hockley"
Photo: Pat Boland

Seven of the eight BC riders finished the inaugural Granite Anvil 1200 hosted by Randonneurs Ontario. Ken forwarded this account of the ride by Kathy Brouse, a Randonneurs Ontario rider who was a control volunteer for this event. I hope she doesn't mind that I've posted this in our newsletter. [Eric F]

Reflections on the Granite Anvil
by Kathy Brouse

So, now it’s over and we move into a period of time after the Granite Anvil. Or so it must seem to Isabelle Sheardown, Jim Morris and the team of hardworking, dedicated individuals who devoted countless hours of their time to making the inaugural event the success that it was. Kudos and thank you for organizing the endless administrative details, the planning, the route sheet, the overnights, the controls, the volunteers, the water, the food, the BBQ. For my part, I assisted at two of the earlier controls – Eugenia, 257 kms , Big Chute, 416 kms and was able to watch and assist the amazing group of cyclists who rode the Granite Anvil. I also attended the BBQ and joined in the clapping and hollering as people finished the ride and received their medals. Here are some anecdotes that I can share.


It was hot, damn hot, unless you came from Vancouver Island (Graham) where it has been a particularly hot summer and you were used to the sweltering heat. Despite the heat and the relentless hills, riders were smiling, joking, in high spirits, even thanking us for helping at the controls!.

Kudos to Ken who stays long enough at the control to get the card signed.

Kudos to Jim who supplied water at Conn that first day for thirsty riders. Everyone said they appreciated the water stop.Kudos to the incredible female athletes –Sylvie from Quebec, Carol from Australia and Maile from the States.

Pity about Tracy from BC who was doing so well on the first day until he got stung by a bee in the back of his throat just before the Eugenia control. Pity about the second bee sting in the mouth he experienced after that control.

And then there was Edgar from Quebec who had three flats before the first control and another after the control. He finally found a tire to match the tubes and experienced better days after that.

And Fred who was not happy with himself for riding that extra 20kms on the gravel road because he didn’t make the right turn onto Route 4 to Flesherton.

Dan from Missouri, one of the funniest characters on the ride, flew out of the first control in the pack of flying French men and women and was totally spent at the second control.

The good humoured “odd couple”, Vytas and Guy on the recumbent.

Arriving at Victoria Harbour, the first overnight control, just as the fire alarm was going off. It was pretty noisy for about 20 minutes while firemen and keys got sorted out.

Fending off the raccoons in the night at the Big Chute control who really wanted to sample some of those tasty fruit and nut snacks that Jim and Debby had prepared for the riders.

The American rider who came singing down the hill at Big Chute at 6 in the morning and drank a beer while we signed his control card.


Then there was the BBQ stories…..

Ask Bob Kassel about the bear. He passed the bear in the night. So did John and Maile on a one lane bridge in the middle of the night. The bear was startled and ran alongside John as he cycled over the bridge!

Brian from Massachusetts who broke the spindle on his pedal causing him to spin out of control and fall off the bike. Amazingly, Jim Morris appeared in the van and was able to find someone with a pedal to fit Brian’s bike.

Then there was the other recumbent rider who apparently fell asleep in the porta-potty at, was it Bancroft ? and did not finish the ride.

The Australians who slept for awhile beside the road and heard the animals rustling around them as they snoozed.

Super Kudos to Ken Knutson the last rider to finish who arrived with his sense of humour still intact. When we were all clapping and Ken Bonner was congratulating him and shaking his hand, he said, “Anyone can come first!”


These are only a few of the stories. There are many more and I look forward to reading about them in the next while. As I said before, it was a great experience. I salute you all, riders, organizers and volunteers.


Bob Koen at Hockley
Photo: Pat Boland

There's also an account of the ride by a rider, David Thompson. It's on his blog.
Thanks to Juliana for bringing it to my attention.

David Thompson's Granite Anvil

Ride dates: August 13-17, 2009
Go to:
Go to: Photos (Link to Picasa: photos from the first control "Hockley" by control volunteer Pat Boland)


August 19, 2009