Newsletter - 2001 Archive

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'arold and January
(Editors title)

Harold Bridge


It has been a remarkable month. That it was my first month of retirement undoubtedly had some effect, but the weather in the Vancouver region has been most accomodating.

Not being very conscientious where New Year's Resolutions are concerned I just set myself up to do, as I did last year, more kilometres on the bikes than in the truck. I have got off to a good start: 898 km on the truck and 922 km of road miles mostly on the Centurion with fat Michelin's. The weather has been good enough I have only done 70 km on the turbo trainer. I rode on the road 21 days out of the 31 available.

There have been some wet, very wet, rides. But for the most part cold clear weather has meant it would be ill advised to venture out too early before the ice and frost had thawed. There have been alternate wet'n'warm days mixed with cold'n'bright days. That has created a lot of ice problems.

I made an unfortunate discovery last week. If I averaged 54 km a day for the rest of the month I could claim a 1,000 km for January. I doubt I managed 621.388 miles in January back in the glorious "Madbridge" days of the fifties. The trouble with noting something like that is that one tends to serve the record. The record is supposed to serve the record keeper.

There was a horrendous gale blowing on Monday. By then I only needed 44 km a day. I went out and had an awful slog back from Pitt Lake across the wide open Fen, or Polder. As a consequence I wasn't feeling up to facing the pouring rain on Tuesday and anyway there were family things getting in the way. My age must be telling on me; logic and commonsense won out over ambition! I decided it was good enough to say I COULD have done a 1,000 km in January. I suppose I should be satisfied, especially as I did that with five broken ribs!

I spent several weeks arbitrating between my head and my heart over entering London-Edinburgh-London. Heart said I wanted to attempt it. Head said, "Don't be a blessed fool" (or something like that). In the end the decision was made by outside influences. Bob Bose, 68, has never been to UK and wanted to go. Gerry Nicol, 59, was born in Sloan Square, but grew up in Canada and his daughter lives in London. He also wanted to go, despite his recent induction into the joys & pleasures of randonneuring. They both wanted someone to ride with whom had more local knowledge. So, what else could I do but enter?

We have chosen the southern start/finish at Harlow. Others from BC are starting at Thorne near Doncaster. I hope we can get a flight in and out of Stansted (Editor: a lovely small airport north of London). There's not to many of them from over here. If all goes according to plan we will be leaving Harlow, (Youth Hostel I think), Saturday, 2001-07-21-10:00. The minimum event speed, including all stops, is 12 kph. That's 116hours 40 minutes. All to be finished by Friday, 26th-06:40.