Newsletter - 2001 Archive

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BC Randonneurs
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Gerry Nicol, David Hope and Harold Bridge


Gerry writes:
I drove out to the Albion Ferry area late this morning and took the turn at the Esso gas station just over the Pitt River bridge and followed the ride I know you take. I expected to see you some where along the route on this glorious warm and sunny day.

Regarding the message below I guess we should all be putting lots of patches on our new tubes so we will look the part for the LEL. :)

Message from David Hope, Springfield Missouri USA:
While staying in England for three weeks later this month, I have scheduled a brevet ride in South Wales and another in the Dorset area of southern England (Dr. Foster's 200 and The Hard Boiled 300 respectively). Any ideas about whether the awful outbreak of foot and mouth is likely to restrict rural cycling and hence lead to cancellation of brevets?

I've ordered my mudguards from Rivendell and I've been diligently patching my new tubes so that I can look the part of an English randonneur.

I'll leave my racing jersey and matching shorts at home.

Harold writes:
I did indeed go round the Ford Road detour on my way east. But I left home at 08:35. I set out to have lunch at Harrison and return. However, I added a further detour at Harrison Mills by going to Kilby's Store. I think it could be a useful control for a re-jigged route of some sort. Realised, as I clambered up th easy side of Woodside Mtn that I was getting hungry and so stopped for brunch at what was the Kent Hotel but now called the Odessey Inn.

Got there about 13:30 with 97ks on the clock and left at about 14:15. The wind starched flags were pointing the way home and I was tempted to head west back along Hwy 7. But traffic has increased since I used to do the Harrison thing on a regular basis and it gets a bit tedious, especially mid-week. The other thing was, I was wearing my cleated shoes and I wasn't confident I could manage the ugley side of Woodside on my 37" bottom gear. Getting off on that steep camber on the bend in cleats is dodgy. So, I continued into the face of the NE wind into Agassiz, south across the Rosedale Bridge and under it to come back thru the Camp River Rd, Hope River Rd and back streets of Chilliwack to Lickman Road and the Sumas Prairie Bike Route to North Parallel. Wasn't keen to tackle Abbotsford in 17:00 traffic and turned up Indian Road into Kilgard with the ambition to do Sumas Mtn from the south side. But the first slope out of the village convinced me that with 157 km in my legs that wasn't on and I returned to North Parallel.

In fact Abbotsford wasn't too bad, except for that nasty grunt up Marshall Rd Hill. The evening light was beautiful as I went up Mt Lehman and I had to stop to put my windcheater back on before descending Graham Cres. Once down there I turned my generator on and got to the ferry just about 18:30. As I got off the ferry met Larry Voth on his way home to Langley from a 140 km ride. Got in the door just on 20:05.

214 km in 11:30 = to about 10:45 200. Didn't feel too bad, even cooked a late dinner rather than spend money at the White Spot!

There's nothing wrong with riding patched tubes, Except: The number of patches indicates how much use the tube has had and how many times it's been taken off the rim. This leads to the valve problems you have experienced. Either the stem breaks or, more likely, the metal pulls away from the molding. For event such as LEL, PBP etc I would always put on brand new tyres and tubes. With brand new spares as well. Going to such events costs a bomb anyway and a little more on the reassurance that comes from new tyres makes the ride more enjoyable. You are going to need the tyres and tubes eventually anyway. I guess riders in the home country see things differently, they are not spending huge amounts to get there.

More from Harold about the same ride:
I stopped at Wenting's Bike Shop in Mission. I asked about the item I had on order. I also asked about the mid-week time trials and when they were starting. Bruce got all bitter & twisted at the mention. Bill, Peggy and their son Bruce have been organising these events on Zero Av since about 1980. They have been asking for someone to take over for a few years now, to no avail. The outcome is that the Wentings have stepped back and so the Central Fraser Valley Cycling Club is no more.

Bruce commented on the fact that the BC Randonneurs are fortuneate in the strength we have with regard to the membership's acceptance for responsibility for organising and helping with the Club's affairs. He put it down to the fact we are somewhat more mature than your average racing club.

As I rode past Harrison Bay I noted it was a long way to the water's edge and there was grass growing where there should be water. On top of Woodside there was still that magnificent view to the south over Chilliwack and Sumas Prairies with the mountains beyond. But directly below there were more sandbanks than Fraser River.

When I finished lunch at the Odyessy Inn another patron asked me how long I had been cycling, whether that day or life time I wasn't sure. He meant life time and I answered since sometime in 1926 although I wasn't born until the following July. He went on to tell me that in 1937 he left Saskatchewan with all his worldly goods on his CCM planning to ride to Vancouver. He had had enough of the dreadful conditions that helped generate the CCF and it's child the NDP.

When he entered BC at the Crowsnest Pass the BC Provincial police turned him back. He went back to the RCMP office and told the Federal police what had happened. The mountie put the lad's bike in the back of the car and drove him to the border. The mountie put the provincial police straight, telling them this kid is a Canadian Citizen and they had no authority to stop him.

I suggested he must have been 18 or 20 at the time. No, he was 14!