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Two Dam Far 1000 km Brevet
by Bob Koen

Ride dates: June 18-21, 2011
Go to: Two Dam Far 1000 - Route & Info Page

This will be an awesome adventure style 1000 km brevet through some of the most incredibly varied terrain that the west has to offer. The ride is unsupported so riders must be prepared to carry everything that they need for three days, and to rescue themselves if necessary. There will be some long stretches of uninhabited terrain where no services are available. There will also likely be some very warm temperatures and some quite cool temperatures encountered during the ride. A little bit of everything! What could be better?

The ride starts on Saturday morning June 18 from Leona and Sigi's B&B in White Rock, BC. See below for details. Ride start is at 5 am with an alternate start time of 10 am available for riders who are much faster than me. The first morning is spent riding through the farmlands of the Fraser Valley out to Hope. From there a big climb leads through Manning Park to another notable climb up to Sunday Summit. From there the ride drops down to Princeton and through the Similkameen Valley to Osoyoos. The restaurants in Princeton all close at 9 pm and there is a convenience store open here till midnight. Further on at Keremeos there is a convenience store at Hilltop Esso open until 11 pm. The Husky in Osoyoos has an all night convenience store. The Tim Hortons in Osoyoos is open till 11 pm, the MacDonalds there is open until 10 pm. From Osoyoos the route leads south through the US border (don't forget your passport!) along the Okanagon River to Tonasket. The recommended first overnight stop is here at the Red Apple Inn at km 409 (509)486-2119. Please arrange your own rooms. Use Rando Pony or the discussion list to find others who might want to share. Other possible overnight stops are at Osoyoos at km 370 or Omak at km 446. There is an all night convenience store in Tonasket.

From Omak the route follows very low traffic roads to Grand Coulee Dam (Dam #1). There is an 80 km stretch after Omak with no services. Plan accordingly. This stretch has some of the best road for bicycling that I have ever seen.

Grand Coulee Dam is the largest electric power producing facility in the United States and is one of the largest concrete structures in the world. Look left when in Coulee City, the dam is hard to miss. This dam is hugely important to the economy of Washington state not only for it's power but also because it provides the water that makes possible the irrigation of 2700 square kilometers of agricultural land on the Columbia Plateau.

From Grand Coulee the route traverses another 70 km stretch with no services to Bridgeport. This is the site of the chief Joseph Dam (dam #2) on the Columbia River. This dam is merely 236 feet high, or about 63 feet higher than Niagara Falls, but is somewhat underwhelming after Grand Coulee Dam.

From Bridgeport the route follows the Columbia River to Pateros (restaurants) and then goes up the Methow River. There is something near 6000 feet of climbing in your near future at this point. There is a mini market open in Winthrop until midnight. From Winthrop (motels) the route proceeds to Mazama and the recommended second overnight sleep stop at the Mazama Country Inn. (800)843-7951. They know we are coming and they know how to take care of Randonneurs. They will make a breakfast available of cold cereal etc. by pre-arrangement for folks who want to leave early in the morning (or late at night). They will also make sandwiches available by pre-arrangement so that you can have food with you for the next stretch. It's about 100 km to the next services, so you might want to take advantage of the sandwiches.

From Mazama the route goes UP to Washington Pass. Pray for clear weather for this. The views are unbelievable. There is another short climb after this to Rainy Pass. Then it's payback time! 66 kms of downhill leads you through North Cascades National Park and back out into the green country west of the Cascades. From there roads familiar to most of us will lead over the Chuckanut Drive to Bellingham and then on quiet back roads across the border to White Rock.

The ride starts at Leona and Sigi's B&B at 833 Parker St. in White Rock. (604)535-4121 or (604)318-0043 Sigi's cel. They have rooms available for $80/night without breakfast. They have also graciously offered to provide a room with floor space and a shower for $15/night. Bring your own sleeping bag, therma rest, and towel for this. Sigi may also be willing to provide a hearty breakfast for those interested for an additional $8. Given that his background is as a Austrian Chef, the man knows how to flip an omelet. Trust me on this.

Call me at (604)730-0794 for more information if necessary. Please sign up on Rando Pony on the BC Randonneurs website ahead of time so that I have an idea how many people are coming.

This will be a beautiful, scenic, and challenging ride. Don't miss it!


May 27, 2011