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White Rock

Last Chance 200
Chilliwack Crescent Reverse - Permanent #39
by Rick den Braber

I had planned to get a 200 km permanent in much sooner than the last day of the month to keep the consecutive monthly rides going, but other less important things kept interrupting cycling life. There's not much you can do about weather when you only have one day to choose from. The weather was good for my 5 AM start. Just the odd spatter of rain and so dark you can't even see the clouds. Down Old Orchard Hill in the dark is an adventure even with lighting. The thing that makes it more hazardous is the leaf mulch all over the roads. Should one start to slide it could be a quick finish to the ride. Lot's of time to think in the dark too. No odometer/speedometer on this ride so hard to judge how fast or slow I was going except by time and the route sheet mileage. The ride was lonesome until when along the North Parallel Road (0630) a car honked in greeting? This happened a few times on the ride. It was welcome and thanks. There was a strong headwind from the South West so it was nice that a lot of Tandem gravel trucks passed me by and blocked the wind on that stretch of Sumas Prairie. I took a short break in Fort Langley and when I emerged from the coffee shop the sky had opened up and rain was my companion for the next few hours. Trying to balance the wet and heat from the inside of your protective gear and the wet and cold from the outside is a delicate game. I was pretty close on this ride thanks to a new wool under shirt but my feet got wet, and by the end were a misery of cold. I should have worn wool socks as well.

Arriving in Crescent Beach the sun broke out and although it was not much warmer it was good for the mental spirits. I stopped for lunch and was joined by a stranger who wanted company for his coffee. He was of Danish origin and we shared some stories.

Re supplied at a nearby gas bar where I stopped to wash the grit off my bike and oil the chain. White Rock was spectacular in the mixed cloud and sun. Not many people were swimming though. Maybe they were on an extended lunch till July!

The weather held for the rest of the ride and I was rewarded for all my earlier misery with a spectacular sunset and moonrise at the Birchwood Dairy. No ice cream today. Brrrr. At twilight a large heron exploded from a ditch at my passing, and a hawk was beating the long grass at the side of the road looking for smaller game than I. It soon became dark again and I was getting tired with a few unwelcome aches in the knees etc. I pulled in to the final stop after 12 h 29 m.


Ride date: November 30, 2009
Go to:
Route 39 (200 km)

Go to: Permanents results


December 2, 2009