|Newsletter - 2010 Archive|
When I first read about permanents I thought "That's nice, but why not just ride the route without a control card." Then I read about the BC12 award and thought "That's nice, but it would be all but impossible for an interior rider." But one day in January 2009 I noticed the road shoulders looked rideable between Salmon Arm and Kamloops. I submitted a dead boring out and back route and waited for a promising day.
On February 21, I did the Salmon Arm-Kamloops-Salmon Arm route. My bottles were frozen solid by the time I hit Sorrento, so I stopped at home and switched to my Camelback. That didn't work either. I drank a bottle in the convenience store, and got through most of a second one before it froze. Cold hands were a problem, but double socks, foot warmers, and neoprene booties kept my toes alive. After a lot of funny looks from people and quite a few "why am I doing this" moments, I finished back in Salmon Arm.
March was a little easier, a little warmer, and I did the Westside Road 300 km. I still had freezing bottles, but only for the first couple of hours. I actually even saw other cyclists.
April through June was no problem. I was kept busy riding the brevet series and the Fleche, so I didn't do any permanents.
In July and August it was time to get adventurous. In July I rode the Squaam Bay loop along Adams Lake, down to Barriere, then back through Kamloops. Beautiful views, and several kms of very rough gravel logging road kept it interesting. In August I did the Douglas Lake Loop, which was about 40% gravel, sometimes deep enough that I had to stop and move over to a clearer part of the road. This one definitely would be better to do on a mountain bike.
A planned 1000 km ride on the Labour Day weekend had to be cancelled due to forest fires near my home, but I was able to avoid a solo ride by accompanying Richard on the Flatlander. It was my first long ride on a single speed, and I learned that it can be hard to keep up with a paceline in a tailwind on flat ground when you spin out at 40 kmh. But I had to keep up, because my computer died at the start, and while having Richard wait and wait at the finish while I wandered lost around the lower mainland was funny the first time, I did not want to repeat my 2005 performance.
Then came October. I opted for the Westside 300 km again, this time in the single speed. It was munus 7 degrees when I started. Two hours and 40 km later, with shaking hands wrapped around a Tim Hortons coffee, it was minus 9. For the first time ever, there was some doubt as to whether I would get to the first control in time. Obviously my bottles were frozen. It eventually warmed up to around zero or a little above, and I finished, deciding that 200 km was more than enough in freezing weather.
My November permanent was much warmer. I rode the same route we had used for the spring 200 km brevet, altered to start and finish at my house and used the Marinoni because I had worked 13 straight days and figured I would appreciate the low gears. On this ride I decided the BC12 was an award I was only going to go for once.
By the end of November we still had no snow, so, with a bunch of banked time at work, I took a day off on December 1 and did the same loop as November on the single speed. It was minus 5 to start, but on Susan's suggestion, I put one of my bottles in my insulated handlebar bag. That was all it took to keep it liquid. I finished within a couple of minutes of the November time.
I still needed to do a January ride to get my 12, so I decided to do it in Victoria when we took my daughter Rose back to UVic after Christmas. On New Years Day at 7:00, Ken Bonner, Mikael Jannsen and I started off from the (closed) Oak Bay Starbucks. For once (for me) it was well above freezing, and it wasn't raining-yet. That lasted about an hour. After about 60 km Mikael told us to go ahead, and we continued through the monsoon. Trying to refold my route sheet (more like a book, really), and slide it into the map-holder with wet hands rendered it totally unusable. I said to Ken "You are now my route sheet." Here I was, totally dependant on my ability to keep Ken in sight- on my single speed! What am I, NUTS! Ken rode at a pace I could match, though, except on the descents, and we slopped into the finish just before dark, as wet as I have ever been in my life. At least it was warm.
Now I have finished my BC12, and I don't have to ride when it's freezing. But, maybe if there is a nice day in February ..
January 5, 2010