|Newsletter - 2006 Archive|
He Did It !
Before leaving town for Christmas I just had to know if Ken managed to fight his way through the December storms to reach his incredible distance goal. Note that the UMCA Year Rounder season runs from winter solstice to winter solstice, so their year has just ended. In the past Ken hasn't minded when I've forwarded his messages on to everyone else. (I hope he doesn't mind this time also.) So here is what he had to say earlier today [Eric F]:
Eric: Well... it's Dec 22. Did you make it?
Ken: Hi, Eric!!
* Slightly over 2000 hours of 'butt in the saddle' at an overall average of 24.6 kph (the slowest was 17.5 kph for the century in the big storm last week)
* Three worn out drive-trains (just replacing the last one, which lasted about 3000 km during the recent mucky conditions)
* One small bucket of sand/mud residue after washing my bike after each ride since the beginning of November
* Three sets of wheels (fortunately, one rim blew apart in the basement and not in the 'wilds' of the Saanich Peninsula)
* 10 rear tires (the longest lasted 9,500 km during a 'no rain' period of riding)
* About 10 rear BLT Ultra Wazoo lights (they seem to have a faulty and non-waterproof switch, unfortunate, since they are probably the most visible rear light in day-light or night-time I have ever seen)
* Three rear fenders ripped off by the storms last Jan-Feb.
* Flat tyres -- I lost count in the last couple of months ... often two flat tyres per ride ... good tires though Continental 4 seasons ... one tire developed just a slow leak ... I stopped to repair it in 5 degrees C, wind blowing, rain horizontal and large freight trucks whizzing by ... two pieces of sharp rock (flints as the Brits call them), one sharp broken piece of glass and one paper staple were projecting through the inside casing when I pulled out the tube. In the Jan-Feb storms I had a 4 cm. nail puncture the rear tire (in pouring rain of course). In the process of repairing the flat, I discovered that the tyre seemed to be jammed on the rim. Upon closer examination, I discovered that the nail had pierced the tire, the tube and the rim, before bending and clamped the rim, the tube and tyre tightly together. And ... my cell phone battery was dead. Fortunately I found a piece of metal in the ditch and managed to pry the mess apart with frozen fingers and a rapidly cooling body. I rode home by the shortest route I could find.
* Near misses! Three different time, I just about rode into the back of parked motor vehicles (pulled over to talk on cell phones) while riding into the wind and rain. One minute one looks up and coast is clear, and the next, in one case, the rear-end of flat-bed truck was virtually in my face! In one of the storms in November, I did not look up in time and crashed into a traffic island with a directional warning sign on it .... fortunately no ferry traffic at the time and the sign was on a flexible post (also discovered another use for the clip-on aero bars, they can act as bumper when you hit things!! :-)
* Motor Vehicles to watch out for (the
same ones you have to watch out for as a motor vehicle driver):
* Best vehicles to be around --- long haul freight trucks
* Most dangerous roads -- Mount Douglas Park Drive; Royal Oak Avenue (Saanich) -- good bike lanes on both sides of the road ... except they were never cleaned after the end of October and quickly filled with debris, forcing cyclists onto the main travel lane. About 50% of the drivers passed slowly and cautiously ... the rest passed at their usual speed (well in excess of the speed limit) and left no room for error -- day or night!!)
Cheers .... Ken
Eric: Congratulations ! Magnifique !
December 22, 2006