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BC Randonneurs Cycling Club


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Cyclist Beats His Own Clock
Peace River Block News. August 18, 1971. p. 22.

        A Vancouver cyclist arrived in Vancouver, Sunday seven hours ahead of his schedule after pedalling more than 760 miles from Dawson Creek. John Hathaway, 46, set out from here Thursday at 5 p.m. and two days, 21 hours and 15 minutes later he arrived there. He said there was little problem travelling on the highway and the main hazard came at night when approaching drivers wouldn't dim their headlights, either because they were curious to see what was heading down the road or because they did not see him. Mostly though, "you are your own hazard, unless you ride properly."

        Hathaway said he stayed well to the side of the road and avoided making any sudden swerves when cars were approaching him from behind. He said drivers passing while coming from the other direction would often misjudge the space needed for a cyclist and he added that women drivers were the worst on the road. "They're too scared to pass you."

        Hathaway, bleary-eyed and limping from stiff knees on Sunday, set out from Dawson Creek on a near-new bike. Surprisingly, he said, he had no aches or pains from it, although he did take a well-worn seat and old padded handlebars off his old bike. The last long trip he made was in 1957 when he cycled across Canada in 24 and one-half days. "I did not know whether I had the physical and mental ability to do this." The hardest part was coming through the Fraser Canyon, where "you are climbing mountains which you can't ever see."

        When he reached Cache Creek, he ran into a headwind and decided that rather than rest, he'd continue and not lose time. The wind died down and he picked up the unexpected seven hours ending at Vancouver's main post office Sunday at 2:15 p.m. "The adverse conditions were not as tough as I thought they would be," although he said it was a problem finding open cafes late at night. Hathaway said that most drivers seemed "used to seeing bike riders on the road now. When I first came across Canada in 1957 it was a different kettle of fish." He said the trip does prove to people that riding bikes on public highways is no danger.