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Permanent #90 Report
How Flat is This Valley
Ride date: January 24, 2020
by Gary Baker

Due to weather and other circumstances I saw the monthly window closing rapidly to get my January Permanent done. Fortunately my riding partner ( Karen Smith) was able to get her January Permanent completed much earlier in the month. The 24th was literally the last open date I had available in January without breaking some long term commitments to get this month's ride in. As an side we both now have one of the longest current permanent streaks on the books.

The weather was looking really 'iffy' but it appeared to be the best day , which wasn't saying much. I planned for a long wet day. I had three complete changes of clothing on the bike; and if you recall any of my previous permanent reports, I ride cold!

The planned start time was 8AM. At 7AM the rain was pounding off our skylights. Things were looking ominous, pouring rain and a Temp of 4C....what fun.

To my delight when I headed out the door, it had stopping raining, and that would be the case for the next 3 hours. And to make thing even better I had a strong tailwind from the Vedder River Bridge through Yarrow. What a great start. But as is so often the case when there is a strong SW wind there is an interesting wind pattern around Vedder Mountain. Winds that go up the Columbia Valley, over Cultus Lake mix with the cold out-flow winds coming down the Chilliwack River Valley and produce the strong westerly tailwinds I just enjoyed. But once past Yarrow winds that deflect off Vedder Mtn. northward produce STRONG head and cross winds. My speed went from 25+kph down to about 15kph until I actually got out onto the open Sumas Prairie. There was still a solid headwind, but I was able to get my speed up into a more desirable range.

The ride across the Prairie up onto Vye Rd., along Zero Ave. and around Campbell Prairie Regional Park went well. Light overcast skies, even some sunny breaks. But then things CHANGED rapidly. I could see it coming, Oh crap. At the intersection of 200 St/8th Ave. I stopped, and hurriedly throw on my heavy raingear. Literally as I got back on the bike the skies opened up. It was a 5km ride to my extremity control and shelter. When I got there I was soaked. I went inside to buy a chocolate milk and get my card signed, it took only a few minutes, back outside the rain had stop. OK, do I change out of my wet clothes here or at my lunch stop in Ft. Langley only 25km away. I elected to ride 'wet' fearing another down pour along the way. Amazingly it didn't rain, and now that I was heading East I had a pleasant tailwind, that with any luck I'm enjoy for the next 100km back to Rosedale.

After a hearty helping of M&C and a change into dry cloths out I went fearing the worst, hoping for the best. The portion of this route from Ft. L. to the Yellow Barn is the hilliest part of the route and us 'valley folks' know that if it's going to rain anywhere in the valley it will be somewhere around 264th St. ( the highest area between Surrey and the Sumas Prairie). No rain, well some Irish type mist, and that tailwind persisted....:-)

Usually Karen and I stop for a short sit down food break at the Yellow Barn. I guess I was looking a little haggard, the checkout clerk was going off shift and offered to drive me home; it was a tempting offer particular when she said, " It's pouring outside!". I looked out the window and it was. Out I went, but almost before I climbed back on the bike the rain stopped. When existing the Y.B. one is facing West. The clouds had parted and the sun was low in the sky, a beautiful sunset was in the making . Leaving the Y.B. I immediately turned to the East, the cloud in that direction were BLACK and low to the ground. ..on sh.....! It was pouring somewhere out Rosedale way. With only 50km to go and another complete change of dry clothes on the bike I wasn't going to stop now...EFI and RFM to the end!

As I rode through Chilliwack towards Rosedale the roads were soaked, water everywhere, but NO rain. The reflection of car headlights on all that water as they approached me made my lights virtually useless, and there were frost induced potholes everywhere. Chilliwack has the worst maintained streets of any city in the valley.

One last control ( The Rosedale Store) and it was a 17km flat, dry ride back to the Sardis McD. The skies lighted up, broken clouds and I even saw a few stars. What a nice way to end a ride that actually, but for approximately 5 miserable kms, was a very decent day on a bike.


Go to: Permanent Results
Go to: Permanent #90 Route Page (Database)

January 26, 2020