|Newsletter - 2007 Archive|
Here's a synopsis of the 2007 Lower Mainland June 1000. It was a modified version of Wayne Harrington's Mountains & Deserts 1000 km route from 2003. Nine riders, two start times:
Gary Baker (6 am start)
Eric Fergusson (8 am start)
Right off the start Gary crashed. He carried on to the Huntington/Sumas border crossing (75 km) before calling it a day.
The 8 am start was less eventful, but... I couldn't believe my eyes a few km into the ride - John, Danelle, and Sharon were at the top of the Sperling hill cheering enthusiastically. They had been there for the 6 am starters also.
Still smiling. Me at 4 km. (Photo John Bates)
It wasn't looking good for Sigi when I saw him at the side of the road just past Sedro (145 km). He had had a couple of flats, and was now looking at two broken spokes - both rear wheel, drive side. Still no word from Sigi. I'm assuming alive but DNF. [This just in... Sigi managed to have a repair done in Burlington, but had already lost a lot of time. He continued through severe conditions to Skykomish, where he abandoned.]
I arrived in Skykomish (284km), the last town before the climb to Stevens Pass, cold and soaked after riding the last 10km in heavy rain. There had been a bit of rain earlier in the day, but this was different. In the Chevron a west bound motorist asked about the cyclists he had seen on the road to the pass. "Pretty rough conditions up top" he observed.
Those crazy maniacs, I thought. It was now past 9:30 and I wasn't sure it would have been smart for me to do this at night. Alex had arrived earlier and was thinking the same thing. We found a motel room to wait out the storm, or at least the darkness. We later wondered if 6 am would have been the wiser start time. Back on the road at 4 am., we were still facing rain, more like drizzle, but lightening skys. The descent was, of course, icy cold, but probably better for me and Alex than for last night's crew. Later I learned from Nigel that heavy rain hit him on this descent, and it was no doubt just as bad for the four other 6 am starters. (Their plan was to meet up with Keith's wife Julie and drop bags in Leavenworth (366 km)).
Alex was clearly not up his usual strength - probably a lingering virus - and after the descent, he called it a day. Nevertheless he pressed on an additional ~125 km to Chelan (453 km) before rendezvousing with Barb and kids.
Manfred - near Wenatchee ~ 395 km (Photo: Jeff Mudrakoff)
The 6.5 hours off the road in Skykomish would mean that I would spend the rest of the ride playing chicken with the time limit. I made it to Chelan before the cut off, but then hit worsening head winds and then terrible loose surface chipseal roads after Pateros/Brewster. Mercifully the winds weakened before sundown, but I was still dancing with the time limit and couldn't risk sleeping in Osoyoos. No choice - I pressed on through the night to Princeton.
This turned out to be the toughest stretch. After Richter (682 m) I faced severe head winds. By Keremeos there were gusts so strong I was barely moving at all. I learned later that the conditions through here were just as bad for everyone else. The wind, she is a fickle creature... the week before on the Kamloops/Okanagan 600 we were going the opposite direction, and also facing headwinds (though not like these).
I arrived at Princeton at 6 am, finally comfortably ahead of the time limit, but slept long enough there to ensure that I would again be chasing the time limit to Hope.
I learned later that Gary was back on the route, now in his car, and watching out for the remaining 6 riders. He found Manfred on the road to Keremeos (Manfred slept in Osoyoos), but was a little concerned when he didn't find me - we must have missed each other when I was recharging in Princeton.
After the usual battle with elevation and head winds through Manning, I arrived in Hope... once in Hope, you're home free. It was a beautiful starry night, with crescent moon, and no wind - an easy ride home to the Knight & Day. When I arrived, Jeff was just leaving (he had stayed for a meal). He got me caught up on the others. Keith, Ross, Manfred and Jeff had all come in together, and not too much earlier. It made me wish I hadn't spent so much time eating in Hope and Mission. We might have all come in together. Except Nigel...
I got a call from Nigel the next morning. He had ridden straight through. Despite the same killer head winds in Keremeos and elsewhere he finished in 47:01, over 20 hours before the rest of us.
June 20, 2007