|Newsletter - 2000 Archive|
Three weeks ago, when these rides were originally scheduled, a freak (?) snow storm dumped close to 10 cm on the Peace Region, caused white-out conditions, road closures and flattened most of the grain crops. Cyclists are brainy people, and therefore none of them ventured out on the day after in rainy and near freezing conditions. However cyclists, and specifically randonneurs are a dour bunch. We rescheduled the events for Saturday September 23. The 75 km Quiche Populaire would go from Fort St. John to Dawson Creek's Alaska Cafe, where indeed Quiche is served. The Quiche Century would cover the same route with a Quiche break and then return to Fort St. John via a 10 km detour to make up the 160 km distance. The re-scheduled event was whispered among the membership in order not to spook the weather gods. Saturday morning however, they smiled on us. A gentle westerly breeze, not a cloud in the sky and 10 C temperature greeted us. Temperatures would rise to about 17 C later in the afternoon. Five of us were off at 9:20 for the haul. Two riders: Roger St. Jean and Stephen Ferris reached the Alaska Cafe in 2 hrs and 40 minutes. Brad Taylor who started a bit later completed the first leg in 3 hours and 10 minuets, while Ed Fornelli and I took 2 hrs and 50 minutes. The Quiche break was extensive, after which Ed and I decided to complete the century by riding back at a more leisurely pace. The other three were ferried back to Fort St. John to meet work commitments. We arrived back in Fort St. John at 17:35, which meant a total time of 8 hours and 15 minutes, including the break. It was Ed's first long distance, never having raced/cycled more than about 80 km. Tired, but very satisfied. Well done!
Note: The Quiche Ride is a Blizzard Bicycling Club tradition going back at least 16 years or so. As many as 14 and as few as two riders have participated in this event over the years. The Blizzard Bicycle club historian. Pat Ferris, tells me that the idea for the ride originated in Vancouver, where at one time a group of Randonneurs (?) held the "Champagne and Quiche Ride." [does anyone have any recollection of this event in Vancouver?] Anyway, being a humorous kind of guy, Jim Peltier, who borrowed the idea introduced it here as the "Baby Duck and Quiche Ride" Baby Duck was dropped later, and the ride became known as the Annual Quiche Ride. This year was the first in its history that the ride had to be canceled and rescheduled. It also marked the first time that two riders completed the return trip. In 1987 the situation was so grim that only two riders started. They made it about half way, and felt very relieved when the driver of a support vehicle suggested to the riders, who by then looked like snowmen, that they could stop. They needed no persuasion to do so.