|Newsletter - 2001 Archive|
Back in Pioneer Days the advice given to the up and coming was: "Go West Young Man". But I don't consider myself young anymore and when it comes to going for a club ride from Fort Langley I prefer: "Go East Old Man!"
However, dedicated Club members that we are we went along with Madam Prez (what else is new?) when she stated we were to reconnoiter Dan McGuire's proposed 50 km route for April 22 "Short Rides". It was to head southwest. I had a camera with me and I suggested a photo of us in front of Wendell's. I was about to click when a lady wound down the window of her car and suggested she take the pic so we could all be in it. What a nice gesture! I have done that sort of thing for people but I've never got out my car to do so.
Allard Crescent et al to the new Surrey Sports and Recreation Facility on Fraser Hwy at 165 St wasn't too bad. Everyone congregated there in the relatively warm sunshine that counteracted the chilly wind and we set off west more or less altogether, for a while. That time of day (11:00) is not good cycling time on Fraser Hwy & 88th Ave and I wondered if we should have discussed the potential casualty rate before setting out into Darkest Surrey. Even having the ex-mayor of Surrey with us was little consolation, with the disguise he was wearing no one recognized him! However, as it transpired, all eight of us, John Bates and Danelle Laidlaw on't tandem, Lyle Beaulac, David Blanche, Bobs Bose & Marsh, Gerry Nicol & your scribe all crossed Scott Road into the relative safety of Delta.
With good timing the elderly member of the group was able to jump onto the wheel of the tandem as it rocketed by and steal a few kilometers of brisk, 30ish, riding toward Ladner. Some quiet lanes through a flat pastoral landscape brought forth a comment from Gerry about how flat it was. He hasn't been exposed to such leniency on previous club rides!
We nearly settled for Ladner's Rickeys for lunch when Lyle apprised us the existence of a pub not a block away. A quick turn around and the use of several padlocks to secure about $30,000 of hardware and we enjoyed a lunch in the Ladner Landing. Madam Prez stated there was still some of the route to detail. A slightly rebellious elder faction decided that was an opportunity to get a few kilometers in the bank.
Once we had found Gerry we headed east on #10 and it's hill up to Scott Road. By that time the idea of being a moving side show to a constant stream of traffic was becoming a bit stale and it was suggested a bit of "Rose Sniffing" time was required off to the side along Panorama Ridge. Here we admired the view down over the flats to Boundary Bay in the light of a lowering sun. In the meantime Gerry was adding some air pressure to his rear tyre. Once over King George Highway Bob suggested we avoid that dreadful stretch of Hwy 10 into Cloverdale and we turned onto 148th St and by a series of zig-zags got onto Hwy 15 north of Cloverdale.
Saw one time randonneur George Siudut going the other way and when we stopped on Harvie Road to deal with Gerry's ailing rear tube George joined us. It just remained for us to get to 96th Av. where George turned west and we turned east to Fort Langley. Got a toot from the Bates van as it took Madam Prez to the Sky Train (the penalty for living in an out of the way place like Vancouver). The others were still at Wendall's enjoying a beautiful late afternoon and it was at least half an hour before we made a move for home at something past 17:00.
A good day out; 103kms with less than 5 hours riding time. Left at about 09:30 and got back about 16:30, a 7 hour day. Not bad.