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Photo: Nigel Press

Interior Make-up 600 Pre-ride
by Bob Goodison

In a word, wow. Along with Nigel Press,who should have taken a book or crossword puzzles to have something to do while waiting for me on the climbs (digestion issues from the 1000 still not resolved) I rode the make up 600 route. The weather was perfect and winds were light to non existent, Several sections of the route have new pavement, and with the exception of a section of frost cracks on 5A near Stump Lake and a shoulder that comes and goes on the descent from Twin Lakes above OK Falls the roads are in good shape. The Twin Lakes descent was no problem as there was no traffic and we could just take the land. The gravel section of Campbell Creek Road is quite smooth. There is some loose gravel but as there is no traffic it's easy to go around it. The route is of medium difficulty, the hardest climbs being the 97C/5A climb out of Merritt and the Salmon River Road climb near Armstrong that was used on the RM 1200. The first 40 or so km of Westside Road is challenging with short steep hills, the steepest of which is right after Bear Creek Park. The difficult portions of the route are separated by long easy sections. LOTS of thrilling descents. For riders who stop to sleep the longest section with no services is about 90 km from Merritt to Princeton. Anyone riding straight through should be prepared for no open stores for the last 150 km. The wildflowers between Merritt and Princeton must be seen to be believed, and we saw lots of wildlife- coyotes, bighorn sheep, many, many deer, marmots, ground squirrels (Nigel almost ground one himself), and every kind of bird imaginable, from a nearsighted hummingbird that had to get within two inches from me before deciding that my brightly coloured jersey was not a flower, to a bald eagle, and turkey vultures that were circling me in a most menacing way. The Esso convenience store in OK falls is open until 11:00 pm, not 10:00 as their website says. There is an information question to answer if you miss it. After that you will have to wait another 15 km to Penticton for supplies. On the route through Penticton you will pass a 7/11, a couple of gas station convenience stores and two Tim Hortons. We did find one mistake on the route sheet, which will be fixed on the one handed out at the start. If you have already printed it out, simply white out the 164.1 km at Control # 1 and the line below and write in 173.5 for both. Both Nigel's an my computer registered the expected distances (we both read a little high, but it was consistent with what we get following any route sheet). Nigel took a bunch of pictures to be posted shortly. If you want to do a beautiful 600 this is it.

Go to: Route & Info Page
Go to: Nigel's Pre-ride Photos (flickr)


July 15, 2013