|Newsletter - 2009 Archive|
Jenny & Patrick on the organizers' pre-ride
Photo: Lee Ringham
Tour of the Cowichan
Valley - Pre Ride Report
The Tour of the Cowichan Valley took place
on April 4, 2009. Six intrepid riders - Patrick Wright and Jenny
Watson, aboard their randonneuring tandem, Dave McMurchie, Lee
Ringham, Ken Bonner and Keith Nichol on singles met on a cool,
clear morning in Chemanius BC. Unfortunately two groups of three
- Jenny, Patrick and me and Ken, Keith and Dave were standing
around at opposite ends of the street, each group wondering where
exactly the other was, which slightly delayed things!
By the time we arrived at the Glenora control the temperature had risen considerably and we were able to shed layers in anticipation of the climbing up to 'the Lake'. Due to navigational issues in Duncan, Jenny, Patrick and I separated from Dave and decided to ride a few extra kilometres, before sorting ourselves out. Curses on local knowledge! Having lived in Duncan for several years, I knew the way to 'the Lake', unfortunately my direct route did not match the official one. Once the bitter recriminations stopped, our group of three backtracked to the point at which we deviated and we resumed the ride.
We rolled up the Old Lake Cowichan Highway aided by a slight tailwind and proceeded onto Gordon Bay, where we rejoined Dave. The entrance the campsite was torn up and full of potholes, the only bathroom was a long drop and the wind blowing off the lake was chilly. Not pleasant! Accordingly, our stop was brief and the four of us headed back towards Lake Cowichan, where Jenny sensibly suggested a cup of coffee and a snack would be a good idea.
Once refuelled, the last 40 km past relatively quickly and uneventfully and the four of us rolled up to the Dancing Bean Cafe in Chemanius some 10.5 hours after starting. Dave and I were happy to have finished our second ever 200 km brevet and both started planning our first 300!
My wife Cathy and I will once again be at the Gordon Bay control and we will hopefully provide a slightly more hospitable setting that we encountered. I am not sure about the weather, the road and out-house will likely be unchanged, but at the least we will have food, drink and smiling faces! We hope to see you there!
April 9, 2009