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Their First Hell Week - A baby randonneur's experience
Ride dates: June 18-24, 2017
by Étienne Hossack

....That's what I'm going to dub myself in the company of that ride.
The first day in FSJ I had, chilling before the event began, I was playing with the Database - skimming through past results, rider totals, lifetime mileage. I was an ikle tyke compared to everyone!

But I digress, despite my inexperience it was an ...interesting week of riding.

Rewind to 2 weeks before the event when Stephen and Carole Hinde are leaving horseshoe bay to drive up north. They kindly agree to take my bicycle. I need to check out one last section of the "Leg Destroyer" brevet so I figure a quick detour to deep cove, ride the hill, jot some notes and I'll make it back home in plenty of time for them to swing by.
... except my shift cable snaps and I'm left with a 39-11 to climb the hills. Not exactly possible if you've seen the route profile.
So my first step in getting my gear to Fort St. John is asking the Hinde's for a ride back to my place because it'll be faster than having them wait for me to get back via bus. *head in hands*
Hopefully not a sign of things to come....

But everything packs okay, they head off and I arrive at the airport in good spirits to see Roy, Dave King, Paul v. W. And Ron Stew. We chat, have an uneventful flight up, and spend the next while playing the, "Who got the best room for the best value?" game.
We conclude the Hinde's 3-day discount wins.

A visit to Erik S's place, the kind host of many a rider and a social dinner later (mmmmm deep fried mars bar) and it's just T-1 day to the ride.
A relaxing day, with an early morning excursion with Ron to "Whole Wheat and Honey" (our kind 3am departure venue) to talk to a local reporter about the event [link] (he snuck our interview in amidst attending the local body building competition. I'm sure they were much more interesting to look at than a bunch of men with bellies jammed into Lycra.
The only other noteworthy event of the day was taking in the view of the Peace River and the beginnings of site C. What a topic. Early bed.

So, an enjoyable 2:30 alarm and 3am arrival at the W.W.&H. café. Having been pleased with the last two days of food there, I was not disappointed with the hot oatmeal, fruits and muffin spread they had presented for us. Far from it! We clapped for them on our way out, Ron said a few words (mostly "wow this is actually happening") and we set out. Myself the youngest and inexperiencededest of the bunch. Not actually sure who was the oldest. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate the callout ;)
Stephen, Ron, Erik and John B. would join us for the first leg.

We set out into.... some winds. Not soul crushing, but more like that rush to the face as you wait for a sky train to blow past. Immediately a train formed and fairly soon it was just Mike Hagen, Dan Simpson and I chugging along. Pretty soon the route veered off the highway and we were on quieter roads (although, since Ron had us start at 4am to maximize daylight riding hours, it was not that bad).
Immediately we saw a deer, had gorgeous valley views and were cruising along. Dan dropped out of site and Mike and I continued on.
We hit the first control, a rather small little gas station, and I stop to apply sunscreen, shed layers and apply preventative Chamois Cream. Dan comes and goes with Mike and Peter pulls in with someone else (memory fuzzy).
I catch up with Mike and Dan and we roll on, myself snapping photos left right and centre, with Mike content to just pull and save the stopping and starting. We cross a bridge with a beautiful dam view and immediately start to climb. On the right is a sign, "Passing lane for next 8kms"
I point this out and immediately brave myself for a longer climb. Dan follows suit. Mike... well Mikefollows for a bit, before charging ahead to race someone. Goodness knows who though. I comment to Dan, "he does know there's a week of riding right?"

But he soon drops off as well. A long climb later and I'm riding along, nobody in sight. Stop for a few photos,check out some historic marker and head towards Chetwynd.
Gary Baker passes by in his truck, jovially informing me that Will has torn his derailleur and is now riding single speed. Well, if anyone would have that happen, at least it was him. I tell him Mike's ahead and he pulls on. The wind was picking up so I could spare the conversation.

I see a nice 7-11 to stop at, but notice the route sheet has us turn before then, so dutifully make the corner and discover only A&W and Subway in sight. Not really wanting a stop, I grab some chips and power aid before heading off. No sign of Mike, he must be really cooking it!

And as any of us randos rounded that corner, I'm sure they'd agree with the affectionately dubbed name, "s**t-wind"
Almost a full-stop sortof wind. Made riding west up the lougheed seem easy!
Of course immediately I get a flat and begin fixing it. Soon Mike rolls up. Surprisingly, he's in no hurry to battle the winds. He waits. Dan then rolls up. We're all pretty happy to have some company with the winds.

We roll out and have a steady, pretty ride. Mike is soon paying for his earlier efforts but we slow and tow him along. After all, what's the gain in a few extra seconds?

After what seems like endless chugging, we roll into the Whaley/Wilson control. WOW. Probably the best spread I've ever seen at a control:
Boiled eggs, potatoes, tarts, candy bars, bagels, drinks, Gatorade, the list goes on... all out of a camper!
We stop for a bathroom break, some delicious potatoes and a drink. While refilling our bottles, Peter, John O. Dave and Paul roll in.
"Fancy joining us?" "Naw. Look at this spread!" And some false assumption we were going fast.
So we carry on into the winds. We see some bears! Dan gets tired. As one does in a group, I slow down. Mike... attacks. :-P

We carry on and fairly soon (after passing another bear) see Mike, who has run out of energy. He gets a third wind but decides to stick with us and we plod along to the finish. With 5ks to go, behind us is an oddly motivated Dave King just hammering along with a trail of riders in his wake. It was then a glorious run-in to the finish at Mackenzie junction down a slight decline blazing in a large group to the kind volunteers, ready to take us into Mackenzie.

So we load our bikes and off we go, the 30kms into town (thank god we weren't riding the full dull, windy kms).
A bizarre dinner in the attached strip mall's Chinese restaurant (ask me about it some time) and it's rest hour early before the 400 the next day.

Another early start and shove-stuff-into-bags morning. A quiet breakfast with Mike, Dierdre and Bob K. in the local joint before we hop into cars to the start. Rain just beginning to come. Amazingly, we all fit in one go. So no staggered start times needed!

What followed was a mostly miserable day for me. The day starts with a huge group of us together. I feel low energy and barely hang on. Dan is getting complaints about his fender and thevanishes suddenly. I drop off the back to wait. Not seeing him, I panic, thinking I'll never catch the fast flying group and attempt to catch up. I barely succeed. I'm really not feeling great!
Thankfully, the group stops soon at the next control and I start shovelling food into my face.
It seems the plans for all of us from yesterday to "ride together" are soon shelved when Peter and a few other riders take off. I shrug, but knowing my shape, set off as well, not wanting to miss any drafts.

Soon I'm riding with a small group, head down as the rain begins to let up, and we see the others stopped for a flat. Peter, Mike, John and Bob. It was them who would be followed for most of the day.
We carry on and eventually split into them and Dave, Paul and I. Dan has reappeared with a trendy fender flap fashioned from a logging truck flag. Looks heavy, but it works! And is visible.

What followed was a day of me realizing that I had a cold and struggling constantly. Dave and Dan kindly waiting for me lots. Paul chugging along on the recumbent in an amazing fashion.

We saw the "front group" at Prince George, all of us content to guzzle down Tim Hortons chow (albeit miserable for vegetarians and no options for Dan, who went next door to Superstore). Everyone save me appears to have forgotten chain lube, but Stephen is passing by and has some, so we soak up.
Onwards we ride on what seems like an endless day.
Pulling into Quesnel was truly a glorious experience.

The control was at Christine K.'s house, and had another amazing spread. Three soups, vegan and vegetarians and gluten free options. Chocolates, veggies, you name it! Even shortbread from the girl down the road (who really wanted to know how it tasted!). But most importantly, a break and some warmth.
Alas, we had to end, and climbed out of Quesnel just as the sun set.

The last night section had originally intended to have some water cached at the top of a climb, about halfway along the last 75kms to the finish, but John and Danelle had somehow agreed to stand there in the night and man a control. Holy cow was it welcome!
The night was cold and spooky. Some highways. A back road. Some dozing off by myself. Mostly a struggle with energy and an endless stream of snot.
When we reached the pop-up control, a quick cookie and water bottle refill were all that was needed to cheer the spirits before a climb up to what we figured was the last summit before the finish. Hah.

A foggy descent and moonlit mist awaited us on the other side, and some more endless-feeling riding came before a "surprise" (probably could've just looked at the profile) last kicker up to the finish.
But yay! We climbed up and over and rolled down into Williams lake. Myself utterly exhausted. The others not so bad.
We checked into the hotel with a very memorably unpleasant concierge before stumbling into the Denny's for some food. Of course there was Peter, John and Mike, all chipper and showered. Special guest appearance by Dan's dad.
After a slow and unpleasant meal (only due to sickness) I collapsed into bed. Worried for the rest of the ride.

The next day I awoke feeling absolutely awful. And the room we were put in had rather dry air, so that did not help.
Breakfast was had after an empty-stomach excursion to Save-on-foods. Usually a bad idea, but I regret nothing about buying vegetables and fruit in quantity! (And cold medicine)

Given my state, I went about searching for a ride back to the lower mainland. I figured it apt to pack the bike just in case I would continue, but I definitely did not have the energy to continue that day.
I spent much of the afternoon chilling in Peter and Rick's luxury suite, nibbling on food and chocolate. Guzzling my soda water.

Ron called us in for a "team meeting" in the evening where he handed out control cards and route sheets, and paired us for rooms during the next sleep control. I of course lost my roommate, but somehow regained Ron, should I choose to ride.
Off to bed early anyway, for more sleep and in case I ride.

Alarm rings at 2:30. Nope. Back to bed. 2:44. Well I guess I could try.
Get dressed. Head to breakfast.
I can stomach food! Denny's lets me make the quality food pairings I so desire.
I'm dressed. Somehow I'm rolling out the door. Oh dear I'm doing this.

We roll out as a group and I text Danelle "that I'm an idiot but thanks anyway" as we go south on the highway. Minutes later I leave the fast folk (all who were named on the 400) and stop for water. I'm still exhausted and am drinking like crazy to combat the sore throat.
Soon the next group on the road rolls into view (everyone else, except those from the island). "Okay, these folk I can ride with!"
We set a nice pace for the next kilometres, I take some long pulls, frequently stop to use the bathroom, catch up and pull again (once accidentally splitting the group leaving just myself and a highly enthused Dierdre). We stop for a snack. A nice long stop as many use the rest room. A real change in pace from what I'm used to. "I can finish the 600 like this" I think to myself.

Eventually we enter 100 mile house. I fondly remember the Tim Hortons here on that stupid 1000 I did. Will we stop?
The island group catches up. There's some confusion. People vanish. Then it's just Rick, Eric, Jeff and I rolling along towards Horse Lake and Green Lake.
It's gorgeous terrain. I pop a cold/flu Advil and suck away at some fisherman's friend.

Soon we reach Watch Lake. An odd but peaceful spot. Only chips and chocolate bars for food, but we know there will be food at the next control. Only Jeff and Rick and in no hurry at all...
Eric takes off and I debate the same. The island crew pulls in and I'm really starting to itch to go.
Thankfully, they roll out soon after.

The next section really is quite pretty. A few cattle guards but some splendid views. We catch and pass Eric and the three of us continue to the 70 mile house junction.
There we halt at almost wonderful general store. At first it's all business: grab snacks, get ready to leave.
Then we notice the "make your own sandwich" sign. Three orders go in and we're sitting down, pulling our hats and gloves off for a nice meal. Eric comes in and even he stays for a longer period.
So too, do the island folk stop. And when Ron, Stephen and Carol make their stop, there's a bunch of us jovially chowing down on soup and sandwiches. I'm sure we're quite the bunch.
Eric takes off and the three of us do as well... eventually.

Next was the Chasm viewpoint and control. Really quite spectacular. And a hilariously ramshackle control sign (we later learn that the first group couldn't find a the card clue - it had been taken down in between the route reconnaissance and the ride itself, so they had just taped a sign to the post instead.
I learned that although the Advil does clear my sinuses, it makes the nostrils very dry and sensitive. Not so great for cycling.

What came next, we have dubbed a "Rando-gasm" or, 15+ kms of downhill, with a tailwind, and low amounts of traffic.
We flew into Clinton. And passing through what is clearly a town on the decline, continued on at an astonishing rate with very little effort towards Cache Creek (think 60+km/hr)

Just before entering Cache Creek, I had to stop for yet another bathroom break and lost sight of the pair as we approached the town.
Unsure of where they were I headed towards the usual Chevron, hoping for a veggie burger (apparently it was discovered by Alex. C on the Cache Creek 600 that they now serve those!) but being dismayed that they were out.
I had to fill myself on tarts and chips instead.
And there was Eric, leaving as I arrived, looking speedy.

I ate my food, and felt pretty good. So with another layer of sunscreen, headed up the road, south down the canyon for a familiar and favourite ride to Boston Bar. (Turns out Jeff and Rick went to Dairy Queen. Good call)

Some steady progress and I passed by Spences Bridge and then entered the hillier section of the route.
I'm riding along an to my surprise I see what looks like Daniel Simpson walking along the road towards a truck. I get closer and it is indeed Dan, walking up to his father's camper.
Turns out his spoke had exploded and torn off his hub somehow so it wasn't really fixable, even with a FiberFix spoke. So he had decided to pull the plug. Unfortunate, but it seemed the logical solution given the number of kilometres ahead. Of course, down the road some after I had thought about it more, I realized that Carol and Stephen both have 11spd hydraulic disc wheels that would likely work. "Let's hope he gets one of those"

Unfortunately now for myself, soon after this, I'm blazing down a windy descent and a truck comes up behind me.
Naturally I have the right of way. But naturally I'm not going to risk my life, so I head over to the shoulder. Unfortunately the shoulder is full of large rocks, I absolutely nail one and *bang*... *pop* and the hissing sounds of a very flat tube ensue. A very rough braking experience and I'm at the side of the road looking at my bicycle wincing.

Dented rim. Will it brake? Yeah, enough. Lots of holes in the sidewall. No problem I have a boot. Nope. Tube flats when I pump it up. Okay try again, another section. Yeah. That worked. Put the wheel back on the bike, *pssssssssssss*. Hmm okay that's not going to work. No more tubes.
So I sit there for a minute or two wondering what to do next. To my surprise Eric comes riding by and stops. No he doesn't carry a spare tire, but he has extra tubes. Apparently the Chevron didn't have sufficient cuisine for him, so he went off elsewhere in Cache Creek in search of local delicacies.
With a wave, he's off.
Knowing that Rick and Jeff are next up the road I hope that one of them is carrying a spare tire. "... and it's even a Schwalbe Durano" finishes Rick, as he pulled the tire off his rear rack. Thank the gods that Randonneurs are so kind. So I put the tire on, and notice my front rack stay is also broken. Joy of joys. At least the three of us know there's the "general" store up the street in Lytton (if you've never been, you'd be surprised by what isn't in that store) where they would undoubtedly have rope.
So we ride on and pull in, for some coke, yellow rope and snacks. While the others chow I jerry-rig some bizarre rack/"decauleur" that would make Jan Heine run screaming, but we're off. The descents are a tad sketchy with the clicking of my brake over the rim dents, but it seems effective enough, so I try not to think about it.
It's a tiring run in, but we make it over Jackass Mtn. and into the Canyon alpine just an hour after sunset.

Now at this point I'm recognizing I should've put on new tires for the ride. And given the remote nature of the riding, should've carried a spare tire. For next time.
But in the immediate moment, despite my cold, I'm feeling okay, a bit behind on time and antsy. So immediately I'm tearing off and returning Rick's tire, putting my spare on from the drop back. Replace used spare tubes. Wolf down food. "Where is our room Ron?" Shower. Fresh coat of chamois butter.
"Okay, so, what services are available during the night?"
"You're going to ride on?"
I mean, I thought about it, it seems logical so why wouldn't I have done so. Dave and Paul had ridden up the road into Hope, and were sleeping there. I wouldn't be the first riding the Canyon that night.
And from experience I know I enjoy it, get a head start on some of the winds in the Valley.
So some chatting back and forth with Stephen and Ron we determined that practically nothing was open, but at the very least in Hope the Timmy's I stopped at on Jeff's 600 last year should've been open. And the timmy's by the Sumas border. So that should do. (This conversation was punctuated by highly amusing dialogue between Peter and Mike, where Mike desperately wanted to update his Strava and Twitter on the wireless - Ron ended up having to hotspot his phone - and Peter firmly informing Mike it was bed time and he didn't want to be woken. Entertainment of the ride!). Alright, ciao I'm off.

Firstly, mere minutes later I'm climbing up to the tunnel shortly after Hells Gate and I have a rear flat. Joy. Luckily it's right at the tram parking lot. So I pull in, fix it - with the last park boot piece I might add - and continue on.
I make steady progress through the Canyon, but find it unpleasantly busy. The last two 600s were on the weekend of course, so little truck traffic, but here we are on a weekday and I'm being passed quite frequently on climbs and descents. Oops. Too late now anyway.
Once again weird looks by the traffic control personnel at the Alexandria Bridge upgrade project, but a smile and a wave are all I have to offer.
Approaching Yale and I'm feeling dozy. But newly acquired caffeine gels and drink mix come out and I feel somewhat able to carry on.

The second fun section comes at the Hope River store. It's getting quite cold this night, so all my (very few) layers are on - after all, it's a summer night and I'm moving at a reasonable pace, so why carry more than necessary?
Flat. Okay no problem. Second rear flat I can fix this. Sidewall hole. Taken my $5 bill boot, cut it in half. Pump it up, flat again. Take the remaining half, cut it in two again. Pump it up with my last tube. Will it hold? Seems to be. I'm shivering quite a lot at this point. Next up is the beauty creek climb. It better hold!
I warm up on the climb. The tube holds. Much to my amazement I'm in Hope. I wonder where Dave and Paul are.
Ghost town. Everything is closed. Over to that Timmy's. F***!! It's closed too. "Okay, now this is going to be a problem". Ride around town a bit. Nothing. McDonalds has lights on. Ride up to the door. Lady cleaning informs me they're not open for another 40 minutes.
Okay, I'm going to try the drive through. I don't care. I need water.
Follow a truck through. It pulls away, I pull up. Knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock knock at the window. A lady finally comes up, "Uh, can I help you?"
"Yeah, literally nothing is open and I'm desperate for water; think you could fill up my bottles?"
"I guess I can! Where are you off to?"
"Tsawwa- Vancouver"
"Wow you're nuts"
[although this is typical rando conversation, I'm happy to keep it going if it makes this lady happy and she'll fill up all three bottles of mine]
To my surprise, she happily fills all three!
I thank her and set off for Seabird Island. It's an uneventful ride there with the sun just rising as I pull in. No flat! Rear 4 boots are holding!!
Of course the gas station is closed and there are no taps anywhere around the building. But luckily Ron has an info control on the card, so I answer that and pull away.

Pressing on, I find myself over the Agassiz Bridge just before rush hour starts. Yay! Which also means I can pull into the Popkum Tim's and eat a delicious breakfast muffin and coffee. Hot food!!!
I'm also at this point texting Ron informing him I'm not certain about this tire problem, but mostly to let him know I survived the night.
The next section ahead goes okay until Vedder mountain road when I have another flat. Oops. Is this it?
There's a bike shop open in 3 hours. I could hitch into town. That could work. Let's just patch a tube and see if I can get it to work.
... my rubber cement is dried up. Cool story Étienne. Way to be prepared.
Sitting there thinking, it's been about 30 minutes when guess who rolls along but Dave and Paul. For a second time on this ride, I find myself asking, "do you have a spare tire?"
This, folks, is why I'm the baby Rando. Paul indeed has one. So he drops it off. And extra rubber cement. Off they ride and I furiously patch, hoping to catch up.

Once I have it fixed, I'm riding as hard as I can muster through Abbotsford Aldergrove and Surrey in an attempt to catch them. At the second to last "services" marking on the route sheet I see them, but then make a wrong turn. At the end of the road I'm on it turns to dirt farm road. But the Garmin says it goes through?
Well, another adventure. Rolling on tractor tracks through someone's field, then hopping a ditch into a clearly private construction site and following a huge dump truck out the exit I emerge 5 minutes later one block ahead. Still behind the turn. Let's not do that again.

Along 0 ave I start constantly imagining every post is Dave in his white jersey and the black shadow is Paul. Behind me, the small highlighter -yellow "slow down" signs with orange caps are clearly Daniel Simpson, eternally chasing me. Maybe I need some sleep? :-P

At the last set of services I finally see them across the intersection. It's reasonably windy so a draft would be nice. But there is a gas station with Coke and ice cream calling my name. Sorry drafting-rider, but a cold float wins on a hot day like this, anytime. And a chance to layer on some more sunscreen.

Off I go, towards Tsawwassen and the home of my mother, a guaranteed excellent sleep. It was a hard ride though, windy, difficult navigation (constant double checking of the route sheet) and finally, slow on the dyke. But I round the last hill before Ron's, one I know well, and sprint up it, round the corner and reach the control just a few minutes behind Dave and Paul! Yes. Done. Wow.
So dehydrated. So dry feeling. So gross.
Delicious pasta from a lovely Kathleen and sister. A beer even, then off to shower and nap at home before Dan comes in (who had restarted and was being hosted chez mother). Just before sleeping i spent a good while texting my mother, arranging for her to collect my other bicycle from the shop, in order for me to steal the wheels off of it so I would have some something to ride for the last 200. What a journey. And then a bit of logistics with Jeff about catching the ferry the next day. And finally shuteye.
When my mother arrived home I had made a trip out to direct Dan back there, and ended up getting a lift back as I was so tired. But that had to vanish as the next step was removing parts from the rando bike and harvesting parts from the race bike. In the meanwhile, my mother selflessly cooked what ended up being a quite delicious meal for myself and gluten-free vegan Dan.
Finally packed for the next three days, I collapsed into bed.

The next day, a "rest"/travel day to Duncan proved very challenging for my tired body. Although Jeff and I took a relaxed pace over the ferry and then over to the Brentwood bay crossing, (with lots of food on the ferry and ice cream at Mill Bay), I struggled greatly getting along the last section.

We did, however, meet Dan, Ron and Roy just before the ferry and a new Randonneur there also. So pleasant chatting company (although she and her riding partner soon left us behind) but the rolling hills were quite the opponent for me - watching Ron pull away from me and vanish over the next rise was a little amusing.

Eventually I took some Advil and started feeling better. It's clear that Advil and Kin tape are the keys to rando success for me.
Pulling into Duncan we headed directly to the group dinner at White Spot and proceeded to wait 20 Minutes for water. Awful service. I left as soon as I could and headed straight for bed (but not before begging a kind Susan Goodison for a strip or two of kin tape and Advil).

The next morning, a rapid breakfast at the Doghouse and a start for the final leg. A huge amount of folks turned out for the ride, and Roxanne the organizer of this leg would ride along with us.
But this was the final 200 of the ride. I wanted it done. So off we went and I just decided to suffer the entire way. 1 bottle full only, as there was a bottle full planned just outside of lake Cowichan, and head down hammering.
I actually finished the bottle by there, so just to be certain I pulled into the co-op and refilled it.

Leaving the town, I was pushing a decent pace along the road, climbing a long hill. But no water station. Down the other side and up the next hill. But no water station. At this point I figured the volunteer had forgotten or was late, and really had to start rationing the remaining half bottle for the next section to Port Renfew. Really should've had that second bottle...
It was a gorgeous ride though, and somehow I was feeling good enough to maintain a quick pace. Judging everything correctly, I should only have to stop once for sunscreen and Advil a little outside Port Renfrew.

Pulling into town I was glad for water, but couldn't see the control. So I walked into the restaurant, spied a GIANT cookie (think 8inches diameter) and oat bar, and happily took those to go along with a signature. Out the door I noticed an outdoor patio section and lo and behold Sandy, Roxanne's partner was setting up a control out back. So I briefly stopped to say hi and told him I couldn't see the sign. Chug a coke and on the road as Bob Goodison had pulled in (also missing the control).

A brief stint of riding left further down the hill before the violent complaints of my Garmin had me turning around and following the correct route out of Port Renfrew and up an exceedingly friendly climb! (read: steep, but not as bad as expected).
Then it was hammer, hammer, hammer into the winds until it was time for sunscreen and Advil, at which point Bob shows up, and we ride for a section together. "Don't wait for me if I drop off," he says. Skeptical, as I like company, I shrug it off and continue on.
Eventually we climb out of Jordan River and Bob just vanishes. I wait for a minute or two, coasting, but he's gone. Figuring this is the eventuality he referred to, I turn up the pace again. (Turns out he was choking on a snack, thus couldn't really call out).

The views on the ride were truly spectacular. Gorgeous flora, trees, and although upsetting, the clear cut sections offered outstanding views of the water and the Olympic mountains south.
Sadly, I was so keen on finishing I took no photos (but regret nothing).
There was but one stop before the end, a nice quick rest in a cafe/bar with some snack bars and coke along with a Gatorade bottle fill before a push to the finish.

Sooke road was quite busy, so exiting off on Kangaroo road was very welcome, and a new-to-me run in to the finish on the Interurban bike path was exceedingly pleasant. A sprint to the finish down past parliament and I could collapse at the finish.
Snacks, shade and a peace rose offered by Mark Ford and Buddy marked an excellent conclusion to what was likely the most beautiful of the Peace to Parliament series.

We completed the day with dinner and a photo by parliament, bringing to a close the exciting hell week.
And of course, doubly happy to be the youngest Hell Week finisher for BC at 25.

Of course the next day was a ride back to Tsawwassen, but Jeff and I rode exceedingly casually, and stopped for two breakfasts before the ferry, so who can complain? :D

Go to: Étienne's Photos 98 Images - flickr)
Go to: Peace to Parliament Results
Go to: Peace to Parliament Home


March 31, 2018