|Newsletter - 2001 Archive|
Well, there we were ..all suited up in our finery, eagerly anticipating the start of the "Second Annual, Triple Mountain Grouse Grind Challenge the annual event benefiting the Lung Association. Jan Westendorp, who is riding across Canada and raising funds for the cause was to be this year's "honorary" recipient of each rider's $15 fee.
Unlike last year's ride, which took place on the hottest day of the year, this year's ride promised to take place on the coldest/wettest day of the year. 8 intrepid riders (Joe Turtle, Rainy Kent, Sarah Galazin, John Little, Jan Westendorp, Roger Holt, Bob Marsh, and Danelle Laidlaw) excitedly started off at the Grouse Mountain parking lot in not exactly pouring rain, but a steady drizzle. Noburo was present to officially send off this hearty lot. He had ridden up with Lai - the "blind woman" he would be leading on the 600 to Cache Creek.
Our route sheets (carefully wrapped in a plastic baggy) had a suggested route. We immediately felt the route could be left up to creative interpretation so when we approached the steep part of 29th, we light heartedly skirted around the edge of it. If you think that was cheating just a bit, it wasn't because we were being creative. This hearty group of riders forged on!
John Little's two flat tires, Bob's flat and Joe's broken chain didn't dampen anyone's spirits (probably because everyone's spirits were already soaked .) so on we climbed, into the rain, the fog and was that snow?? To the top we went on Dancer, on Prancer .woops ..wrong story!
Well, we all know .what goes up ..must come down!!! Here we were wet, wetter and wettest having just completed our climb to the top of Seymour Mountain we are a hearty lot!! We are warm! Too bad that feeling couldn't last. Hypothermia set in on the way down and by the time the group straggled into the Lazy Bay Café at the bottom of the hill, our hands had to be pried from our brake hoods. Rainy's teeth were chattering so hard she thought she might accidentally bite her tongue off! Holding onto our hot drinks, we were shaking so bad the precious liquid was spilling onto our numb hands. We were so visibly in distress that other patrons in the restaurant were offering us their jackets! We offered them our bikes in return for their generosity. There were not takers! We spent an hour trying to warm up and think of a different name for our event that would not only portray our grueling experience but would also allow us to finish the ride right then and there. Can you think of another word for triple?? Despite Rainy's constant plea that it seemed to be brightening and the rain seemed to be "letting up", we all agreed that a taxi back to Grouse Parking Lot ($4 each) would be well worth the money.
The women formed a rescue team and headed back (in a taxi) to collect the cars while the men stayed and had lunch. Back at the café, Joe handed out the "pins" and Jan collected his money. Of course, as luck would have it - the rain had stopped by the time we got back to Grouse Mountain to collect our cars, but by that time, we were all so stiff and sore from shivering that the thought of even doing the Grind was "god damn gross"!
This is not going to alter next year's plans for the TMGGC, but let's hope it lives up to its original name this time, although like everything about this event it's up to creative interpretation.