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Upsy-Downsy 1000
by Ken Bonner

Day 1 – Beautiful sunny and warm day

Day 2 – 6 C in the early morning and slight headwind from Victoria to Parksville --- cold and wet in my rain jacket (from inside wetness, not outside). Very, very tempted to go into the Ladysmith motel, but convinced myself to work harder and by Parksville was more or less awake again.

Left Port Alberni at noon (Sunday) and was pleased to find that the bumper to bumper exodus of motor vehicles from Tofino were not on my side of the highway! By the time I left Tofino (about 6:30 pm, there were almost no motor vehicles on the highway so could take the lane to avoid the gravel and rumble strips on the side of the roadway. Saw two bears in the evening … one black, the other brown. Both ways from Sutton Pass to the coast, the pavement was soaking wet, but no rain fell on my head!

Day 3 – Arrived back in Port Alberni just after midnight. Just about crashed when I hit a pothole about 40k west of Port Alberni and ripped off one of my arm-rests. Good night (morning) sleep and left Port Alberni at 8:00 a.m. Not much traffic going up the hump, and most blessedly none on the descent! Stripped down to shorts and jersey at Coombs. Pleasantly warm and sunny. At Nanoose Bay I looked up and saw very, very black clouds over Nanaimo way. Maybe they would blow away? At the Hwy 19 crossing into Nanaimo a steady cold drizzle started, but I thought I could manage the cold drizzle. Amazingly, just after the 7-11 entering Nanaimo, the rain stopped, the roads became dry and the temp went from 12C back to 17C. Wonderful.

Unfortunately, at Cedar more black clouds and great pools of water everywhere … good, looks like I missed a heavy rainstorm. Unfortunately, I caught up to it just before Ladysmith. At this point with rain bouncing off the pavement, I thought it time to put on my rain jacket! Turned on all my lights after observing the police and sundry other emergency vehicles dealing with a vehicle upside down over an embankment. By Chemainus, dry roads and warm, sunny conditions again, which persevered until Victoria.

We’ll see what we have in store for us on the Eureka.


23,000 feet of climbing in the 1st 600k
14,000 feet of climbing for the last 400k
Total climbing = 37,000 feet (about as much as the former Boston-Montreal Boston 1200; and only about 1000 feet less than the Cascade 1240.)

Note: There were two starters. Ken Bonner finished in 61:29. Yutaka Morwaki was not feeling well and abandoned on his way to Duncan, around 407 km.


June 9, 2010