Newsletter - 2019 Archive

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December Flatlander
Permanent #18 Report "Fraser Valley Flatlander" 203 km
Ride date: December 9, 2019
by Gary Baker

We had an interesting ride. Bloody dark and cold early in the morning, Zero C with humidity at 97%+, and fog. The first 7km of the ride takes us up Chilliwack Lake Road. As is usual there was a cold headwind flowing from the lake. We have both lived in the north, both near the coast and inland and have experienced -15C inland (that Bob G. spoke of in his recent ride report) and we both were of the opinion that riding at -15C in the dry cold of the interior is not as biting at what we were experiencing. The damp chill goes right through you. Weather wise we didn’t see or feel the sun until we were well out onto the Sumas Prairie. Diving down 264th St. towards the Fraser River we again were in the damp, cold fog. Add the wind chill at 60+kph on the descent and I was questioning my sanity, “Why do we do this?”. The high for the day was about 5C. When the sun went down (it was a beautiful sunset behind us as we approached Rosedale) the temperature was again bouncing of Zero C.

The route (P#18) is one Karen and I have likely done 25 times, we know every bump, pothole, etc. I think my bike knows it to, it seemed everytime we approached one of the short steep climbs my bike ‘self’ geared down.

I tend to be oblivious as to the whereabouts of dogs along this route. Not Karen, I think she has the exact location of every dog ‘pinned’ on her GPS with foot notes…. is it fenced, free ranging, friendly or mean? We were climbing a short steep pitch at about 10kph on 272 St. with high embankments on either side. This, so we thought, is a dog free zone as we had never seen a dog anywhere around this stretch of roadway. Then I saw something, movement in the tall brush at the top of the embankment to the left; followed immediately by a large dog in full flight racing down the embankment directly towards us…holly crap!!!! It was only as my eyes were following the dog’s attack angle that I saw the truck crest the hill towards us. It was obvious what was about happen...THUD! Thankfully the driver didn’t swerve or execute a panic stop. He did the right thing; he held his line. The dog went flying. It wasn’t pretty to watch. The dog landed on the shoulder tumbling and yelping in pain. Amazingly, it managed to get up and head through the bush towards some houses in a gates compound. I followed. When I approached one of the houses the owners were in the yard with the dog lying on the ground at their feet. They had no idea what had happened. I filled them in. They were aghast as the dog was wearing an electric fence collar, in theory he should not have been able to get out of the yard. As I left they were heading to the vet. The dog surely would have sustained serious internal injuries; I doubt that he will survive. Sad.

We took a few minutes to chat with the driver and passenger; share thoughts, feeling and emotions as to what had just happened. We said our good-byes and continued along 272 St. where we encountered major road work near the Aldergrove military installation. . The road was closed. We managed to get around it on an old narrow paved trail necessitating some climbing around and over construction equipment and material.

The ride along River Rd. into Ft. Langley was cold. Hot mac& cheese was in order, um. Between the dog and construction we were well behind schedule and were wolfing the food down when in walk Bob Koen and his riding buddy Kevin. Any thought of a short stay vanished. I learned that Karen and Bob have had these Ft. L. meet ups in the past….The remainder of the ride was thankfully uneventful.

Go to: Permanent Results
Go to: Permanent #18 Route Page (Database)

December 16, 2019