Newsletter - 2009 Archive

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...and here's Brynne's account of the same pre-ride.

Brynne: Self Portrait

H2H 400 Pre-ride
by Brynne Croy

Mark Ford, Dave MacMurchie and I sent out at a bright and cheery 3 in the morning last Saturday for the standard pre-ride route check. Dave mentioned that he had learned a friend of his recently passed away while riding his bike. He was most likely hit by a car but the details are largely unknown. Although he felt that it would be difficult Dave decided that Charlie would have wanted him to go on with this personal challenge and he soldiered on.

Aside from Dave's flat tire (easily fixed) and a little headwind heading into Nanaimo things moved along quite well to the turnaround point.

But wait! A wrench! The cook was not it at Union Bay!! Now, Mike has been raving about the sandwich he ate on the highway to hell last year so I was really looking forward to this specific stop. (Spouses and partners should be leery of "the best food ever" stories as they are often unduly influenced by the effort exerted prior to consumption) I though I'd have the opportunity for my own empirical research but it was not in the stars this time. There was food available in the display and the desserts seemed especially inviting. On the day of the event the staff at the market assure me that the cook will be in until 2pm. For those who are a little faster than we were on the pre-ride fresh items will be on the menu. For those who move closer to our speed that day there will still be food.

Outside of Union Bay it was my turn for a flat. Mark and Dave both offered to help the damsel in distress and I graciously accepted the offer. Dave moved on ahead while I assisted Mark as he repaired my flat. That held for a little while but the true nature of the rupture was made clear the next time it went, which was not far down the road. I have never seen a sidewall give way but the existence of folding tires and tire boots leads me to believe that this is an issue one should be prepared for. Mark, lucky for me, decided to throw an old folding tire in his kit at the last minute and (for my good fortune once more) it fit on my rim. We picked ourselves up and headed off towards the next control where we finally caught Dave again.

Just outside of Ladysmith the my tire gave way with another flat. The sun was setting and I was out of tubes. Mark and Dave were on hand to offer what they could but I was growing quite concerned about safety. The ride ahead was going to be in the dark and there was both Shawnigan Lake and a malahat descent to contend with. A flat on the malahat is about the worst outcome imaginable and it seemed far more possible at that time and place than it ever has before. I decided to announce my DNF at kilometre 305 and I called my mommy for a ride home.

I spent close to an hour nervously eyeing "motorcycle enthusiasts" enjoying their Saturday evening at the Cassidy Pub before my sag wagon picked me up. I was sure to catch Mark and Dave on the way down the highway to assure them that I was okay and ask them to let me know when they got in.

Dave finished his first 400km event. Mark finished another 400km event. I did more than 300km for only the second time in my life. Aside from the disappointment of missing out on my 5 gram trophy it was a glorious day of riding. I will try again.


May 12, 2009