Newsletter - 2001 Archive

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Organiser's Report - Canada Birthday Ride - 2001 Or; "Going Bananas"

Harold Bridge


The inaugral Birthday Ride last year attracted 70 riders. I therefore considered 100 to be a possibility and arranged paperwork for 120. The entry finished up being 85, with 10 of those filling in membership applications.

A few changes were made this year, mostly for the good I think. There is an aura about finishing at a pub, which is attractive to most. However, the nature of the event means there are likely to be some under-age people around, if only because Mum has to take a tired Daddy home! To overcome this problem I enquired about using the Fort Langley Community Hall, a little way south on Glover Rd. I learnt from the Business Improvement Society that they have a tent that can be easily erected on the lawn. The side door of the Hall would be open for access to toilets. It seemed to be a functional way to operate. The tent, with no sides, left the paper work vunerable to the wind. But otherwise it was a good 25 dollars worth.

As the Township of Langley requested that we didn't allow a large group to all start at once I decided to implement a 90 minute "Start Window" Those who started at 08:00 would have the comfort of a 12 kph minimum speed. Anyone starting at 09:30 would still only have to contend with 15 kph.

The original route crossed Highway 11 on Harris Road. But there was the chance that Bell Road would be torn up between Harris and Clayburn. I therefore directed the route south on Riverside Road to cross Highway 11 at Clayburn.

One unpopular change was increasing the entry fee from $15 to $20. I must admit I managed last year on $15 and the food worked out okay. This time there were complaints about the Vedder control running out of food. I bought a gross of muffins & scones. I split them equally between Vedder & Huntingdon. Huntingdon was left with 50% of their allocation unused. Lesson: In future 75 % to Vedder & 25% to Huntingdon.

Then there is the "Banana Saga". On the Friday night I looked in on Costco's bananas and was tempted buy then. But decided it was better to wait until Saturday. A new batch were in, very green. Unthinkingly, I ripped the bunches apart to get a better idea of how many I had (256). Later in the evening I realised there was no change in colour. Danelle suggested they should be in plastic so that the humidity would help ripen them. I put them in plastic bags and there they stayed, still green when the event was over!

We were lucky with the weather. It looked like a grand day to be riding. My favourite part of the route, Sumas Mountain and Straiton, was beautiful, (Bruce Mol reported seeing a bear) and we need to make the most of it before the municipal and real estate interests screw it all up.

Two riders succumbed to mechanical trouble. But other than that all 83 of the others finished the ride. Times varied from 4:11 to 10:51.

The route as it stands will suffice for next year. At 135.8 km it may well be, in reality, long enough for 2 more years. Some careful measuring will determine that. Then there are options. By putting a control DOWN at Aldergrove Lake we can add at least a kilometre. Dan McGure suggests using Bates Road from Harris Road to Townshipline Road. That has a dog-leg in it that may serve a purpose. It will also be fun turning riders right at the bottom of Harris Road hill!

"Thank yous" to: Jennifet Nicol, Lois Brodie, Frances Caton, (& her Mother), Danelle Laidlaw, Sharon Street, Bruce Mol, Réal Prefontaine, David Blanche, Ian Stephen,