Newsletter - 2014 Archive

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Cape Disappointment 1000 Rick's View From Behind the Front of the Pack
Ride dates: June 21-23, 2014
by Rick den Braber

It was my goal this year to get all my rides (a series and a 1000K) done before July. Family events were happening later and I did not want to miss out on distances because I was too lazy to do them early. I rode the Lower Mainland Series and a number of 200 and 300 km events in the US and added the interior 600 for a back to back 600 km experience. I was tired afterwards but by the Wednesday I was rested and feeling energy. I prepared and was at the start with time to spare on Saturday morning.

A 1000 km ride is no small task. I had started 6 previous 1000s before this ride. Two ended up as DNF rides. One due to a broken rear drive train and the other due to a poorly prepared rider battling heat and exhaustion and gaining respect and experience. My times were in the 67 to 73 hour range with a best time of 67 hrs 13 min. For those who don’t know me I have a large frame. I am a Clydesdale at 6’ 2” and 3/4 and before this ride weighing in at about 211 lb. I once talked to a cycle store owner and he basically stated that “you had to be small and light with lots of power to be fast on the hills and make no mistake it was about the hills.”

My plan was to ride in about 67 hours and as such knowing the riders I was happy that there were enough riders that I could keep up with to have some good company and great fun on this ride while remaining within my comfort zone. I also looked forward to another Bob Koen planned ride. An adventure in Randonneuring. Bob’s ride’s always have a sense of exploration a reason to go somewhere. Something to keep your mind busy while you pedal endlessly. The name of the ride starts you thinking where is that? and what is it?

We started promptly and followed the easiest roads to get to the Aldergrove border crossing. My plan was to ride the recommended 367 km the first day and get a decent sleep and do 374 km on the second day to only have a shorter 260 km left for the last day. I had booked a room in Montesano and a second room in Bremerton. There was a ferry to catch and I started thinking that 3 P.M. would be a reasonable goal. Shortly after the start Peter dropped back and asked if he could share my rooms with me I was glad to download half my expenses and let him know where the accommodations were and all the details as he would very likely get there ahead of me.

Peter, Will and I arrived in Fairhaven at about 10A.M. which put me in real good shape for the 3 o’clock ferry. I was ready to go and started the climb onto the Chuckanut drive alone. Peter soon glided up beside me and mentioned that if we would keep up the 25kph pace we might catch the ferry at 2. It was a challenge and I started riding with pace. We made good time on the flats but once on Camano island I started to struggle on the hills. I kept it up and was able to catch a glimpse of the scenery slipping by. Time became an issue and I was unable to stop to fill my water bottles. I would eat on the ferry. They had food? I rolled in off a downhill run to the ferry at 1:50 P.M. and was the last person to board with shaking limbs. I staggered up to the food deck and bought water and Gatorade and some soup and a sandwich. My ferry cost $3.75 for bike and rider. The food on the ferry over $25.00.The trip across was far to short. I was barely rested when we were off again. We stopped for sunscreen at the top of the hill leaving Port Townsend. A ways down the road I knew I was going to have to take a quick break. I would lose Peter? but I was so tired and could not keep it up. I heard a rattle on the rough roads something was loose. It sounded like my front fender was about to fall off. I stopped and Peter disappeared. I let the air out of my front tire to see what I could. The wheel came off. I found the source of an annoying tire rub and it was corrected when I refilled the tire with a little less air. I continued on refreshed. The rattle was still there. I pulled out a Multi Tool and started checking bolts. I got to a water bottle cage and found it. Ah! Problem solved more rest and no noise from wheezing lungs, loose bolts and that whistle in your ears prior to ?

On my own I arrived at Quilcene and took a break to have an ice-cream and fill up on fluids. The next part involved a good climb and I paced myself and took advantage of the downhill to make up for the slower climb. Later a relaxing food stop at an IGA that was still open put me in good shape to ride the remaining distance to the first overnight. I arrived just after 11P.M. with 7 hours in the bank and connected with Peter who had bonked a bit because he did not stop for food but had finished in Montesano about an hour earlier. We controlled and went to sleep for a luxurious 4 + hours.

I was well rested in the morning but the legs felt a little sore. We headed for Raymond 40 km away and breakfast at McDonald's. The pace was easier and the winds were fair. There were hills but they were not to bad. The thought that we would have to ride some on the return was pushed back. Hills are always easier the other way. We arrived at the turn around point at 10:40 A.M. Peter took some time to look at the scenery and I headed back to the nearest water stop to re-supply for the return trip. We made a stop at a small Cafe and had some lunch before our push on to the Dismal Nitch. We were just climbing out of town when a group of riders passed. Deirdre, Bob, Will, Jacques and Eric were about 10 km behind us. We rolled on with a tail wind past the Astoria bridge and the next control. Than it was back up the highway to Montesano with winds changing directions as the road meandered through the hills. Later in the hills after Raymond I started to fade on the hills and Peter rolled in to Montesano ahead of me. I controlled and filled up at a shell station and than pulled on but heard a voice yell at me. It was Peter at the Subway. I went over and sat. I was not hungry but tired and the rest was welcome. We pushed on to Shelton I was felling better and felt comfortable with my choice to go as far as Bremerton. As we left Shelton the hills started again and I was glad that it was dark and I could not see them. It was after midnight when we tucked into a Bremerton hotel for a great sleep and a large breakfast at 5AM. We slogged the 40 km to the Kinston ferry arriving in time to catch the 8 A.M. ship.

I was not happy with the hills after the ferry and I struggled to keep up until the control in Stanwood. We ate and headed out and I seemed to gain energy and was able to keep pace over the Chuckanut. The Peace Portal signage added about 6 km to our distance. Fortunately Peter knew it was not right. We asked for directions and were put right by some helpful locals. Once back in Canada the route was easy to navigate. My legs protested when I carried my bike down the stairs to Columbia St. and I struggled up North Road but once back on the Lougheed, Peter picked up the pace and I responded with energy that I did not know I had. I was very happy to finish almost 5 hours faster than any previous 1000 but I never got any pictures and I paid dearly for the exertion.

It was a pleasure to ride with Peter. I think he slowed down for me and it was appreciated. I know it takes time to recover from a 1000km ride but this recovery was lengthened by the faster than usual pace for me. It was a learning experience. The enjoyment of the ride for me still lies in the social interaction with the other riders and the scenery and nature around me. My only regret was not having a camera handy when an eagle with crows in pursuit took off and flew over Peter’s head with only about 10 feet separating them. You could see the individual feathers and colours very clearly. It would have made a great picture but it like the ride was over too soon.

Go to: Ultra Results
Go to: Will's Photos (13 images - flickr)


June 29, 2014