|Newsletter - 2005 Archive|
I read Peter's and Ken's reports of the Interior 600 and decided that they weren't long-winded and whiney enough. Here is my version. The Monday before the 600, at work, I had a lower back/hip muscle spasm. By Tuesday, it was a major operation to tie my own shoes. This didn't seem like a good way to start what I remembered as an extremely challenging ride. Lots of ice-packs and heating pad sessions, combined with a visit to my doctor on Thursday to confirm that I wouldn't do permanent damage , then a short ride that evening, (no additional pain, just a little stiffness) made me decide to give it a try. After all, I had already got my first dnf out of the way two weeks before at the 4oo km.
Before the start, I pointed out that the organizer, Richard Blair, who had insisted we do this particular route, had elected not to ride. Hmmmm. Six of us started out into intermittant rain through Kamloops. On the first climb, still in town, we already started to spread out. Ken Bonner, Keith Nichol, Peter Mair, and Bob Boonstra took off at a pace I was not prepared to match. Randy Benz dropped back, conserving energy in preparation for finishing without a sleep break. As we left town, the rain stopped, and I watched the lead group getting smaller in the distance. Nearing the Kamloops Lake lookout, I saw we were heading into heavy rain and stopped to put on my shoe covers.
After a pee break at the lookout, and a slow ride down the hill into Savona, I figured I was so far back that I'd never catch them again.The rain stopped again. Then leaving Savona, there they were- about a minute ahead. On the next few climbs, I caught Bob, who said he had blown a tire in Savona. The lead group were once again specks in the distance.At about this point I noticed my hip had loosened up and felt pretty good. We rode together for a bit, then Bob said Looks like a flat up ahead. Sure enough, there they were, this time Keith with the flat. We continued on. Peter, Bob and I regrouped in Cache Creek at the 1st control. As we were preparing to leave, Peter noticed he had a flat. This was not good. By the first control, half the riders already had flat tires!
We left with Peter and I riding together. Not long after, Ken and Keith caught us. They must have stopped longer in Cache Creek. On early season rides, I tend to be as strong as Peter, but once he has a few long rides under his belt, he is definitely the stronger rider. Thus, I didn't try too hard to stay on the pace line that formed. Peter had just been telling us how cold he had been on this ride last year, coming down the Hwy 24 hill in the rain after he lost his jacket. Therefore, I found it very amusing to see his jacket fly off his rack pack and flutter in the breeze on the shoulder of the road. I picked it up and stuffed it in my bar bag, and gave it to him when we regrouped at a roadside rest area. We continued North, with me dropping behind again. I stopped at the 94 Mile Motel, where I planned on sleeping on the return trip to register, saving time later. Then, down the hill into 100 Mile, where I met up with them again at Tim Hortons.
They left before me, and I had an uneventful solo ride to the Williams Lake turnaround point, except for an ugly bit of road construction (destruction?) at Lac La Hache. Six km of potholes, gravel, and soft mud. Peter had checked in and was ready to leave when I arrived. I needed a little more food, so rode further into town. I would have liked to have had hot food, but settled for a pizza pretzel and chocolate milk as I really wanted to get back through the construction zone before dark. Then it started to rain heavily. A few km out of town, I met Bob going the other way, about an hour behind me, and Randy just a few minutes behind him.
By the time I had slogged through the mud, I was drenched and frozen. In Lac La Hache, I saw the two most beautiful signs I've ever seen. One said Cafe, the other said Open. I sat there with both hands wrapped around my coffee cup trying to stop shaking enough to drink it. I must have looked pretty pathetic. I asked the nice ladies if they had a garbage bag they could sell me, and they gave me one but wouldn't charge me. Fortified with three cups of coffee, I left, still cold and wet, but no longer shivering, in my poor man's Gore-Tex. Amazingly, within a couple of km, I was warm, even my hands. Lesson- Always pack a garbage bag! It was now dark, and I felt sorry for Bob and Randy, having to ride the construction zone in the dark.
I pulled into Tim Hortons in 100 Mile just as Ken was heading to his motel. I had chili and hot chocolate, grabbed a sandwich for breakfast, and pedaled up the hill to my motel. A hot shower and 4 hrs sleep helped a lot, but I woke to more rain. Also, I was using a firmer saddle than usual, and had major bruising in the sit-bone area. I was NOT looking forward to the next 200 km.
Hwy. 24 was more fun than I expected, even in the rain, until I hit Bridge Lake. From there to Lac Des Roches, was a section of frost heaves about 3 feet apart. My butt was not happy. As I climbed the Macdonald summit, the clouds got thinner and it stopped raining. Great, I thought. I didn't realize I had climbed up through the clouds until I dropped back into them on the white-knuckle descent into Little Fort. A stop for breakfast, and more coffee stopped the shivering, and I set out on the last 100 km towards Kamloops. At least the rain had stopped.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This was the 3rd 600 I had ridden that ended with this section. Every time, including this one, I think Only 100km, no more big hills, I should go fast. Stupid. The hills are bigger than remembered, there is always a head wind, and I bonk at Barriere. I stopped, rested and snacked from my feed bag, and slogged on at a more sensible pace into the wind towards Kamloops.
Turning off Hwy 5 onto Hwy 1, the headwind became a slight tailwind for the last few km. About 3km before the finish, I was caught by Ken and Keith, and we rode to the finish together. A tough ride, but no mechanicals unless you count the flat tire I got in the parking lot at the FINISH CONTROL. How often does that happen?
Congratulations to Randy, the Energizer Rando, for finishing this ride without a sleep break. I couldn't have done it. Also, a note to Ken- I saw a fox and several thousand ground squirrels near 150 Mile, and a total of 5 deer on Hwy 24. (but no mastodons).
June 21, 2005