Newsletter - 2001 Archive

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Sunday, 2001-03-11-09:15. Wendell's, Fort Langley.

Harold Bridge


"Ryder Lake!" said someone. Innocently, Gerry asks; "Where's that"? He was told he would find out and to just sit back and enjoy getting there!

We, John Bates and Madam Prez ont' tandem, David Blanche, Bob Marsh, Gerry Nicol and your scribe set out into damp conditions for points east. At that moment it was unclear whether or not we would get to Ryder Lake. We didn't. But we did get to the Frosty Mug (Again!?) for lunch.

By the time we had dealt with my errant front changer and the tandem's flat tyre as well as quaffing abundant food and liquid we gave up on tackling the best (worst?) climb in, or out of, the Fraser Valley. Sumas Prairie was it's usual attractive self when draped in dour, wet grey and we soon stopped at the dairy for it's famous ice cream before heading for the Yellow Barn.

Some sadistic character with a sick sense of humour suggested we should tackle Sumas Mountain from the south side. Of course, the tandem and Blanche were off into the distance before the more staid members of the group got within reach of Kilgard. Thus it was unknown if in fact they had taken the right turn onto Indian Road in the direction of Sumas Mountain Road. Gerry decided, despite his shoes being suitable for walking up hill, to brave the Abbotsford traffic rather than tackle the climb. That left Marsh and yours truly to clamber up that kilometer or more of 12%. By about the halfway point the oldun was on the 26" gear and wondered what had happened to the sounds that accompany a climbing Marsh. He had stopped to relieve himself.

In retrospect the climb is worse in anticipation than in the execution. Nonetheless, your scribe chickened out earlier in the week when on the "fast bike" which only had a 37" bottom gear, using the fact he already had a 150 km in his legs at that point as an excuse.

We had arranged to meet up with Gerry at Clayburn. We assumed he would get there before us but we waited at the traffic light for 15 minutes in vain. We should have waited 20 minutes. He was at the Clayburn Store just as we left for points west.

A grunt over the usual hills and we were back at Wendells about 17:15 to find the slackers, who had, like Gerry, circumnavigated Sumas Mountain, relaxing as if they had earned the right.

A drab, damp day, enlivened by the company we keep. Their good humour and patience is particularly appreciated by the elderly.