|Newsletter - 2011 Archive|
This permanent got off to an auspicious start with a flurry of invitations for one and all to join in. Numerous riders expressed an interest in doing so, but seasonal illnesses ( i.e. caused by viruses and lifestyle pursuits...<;) saw all but three, Karen, Michel and Gary B. still proclaiming a willingness to give it a go. The evening before the ride saw a burst of e-mails and telephone calls to confirm that the ride was on. The conversations went something like, “The weather looks iffy, but if you are still prepared to go so am I”. The vocal tone of the conversations was not particularly convincing. To further complicate things Michel was sick and was not likely to do the ride. Karen and Gary were it. It was agreed we'd meet and start the ride at 7:30AM.
I ( Gary) was up at 6AM and out the door at 6:45AM. The streets at Cultus Lake were sheets of ice and the car , parked across the street, was also covered in a layer of thick ice. This didn't look good. Getting to the car was life threatening ( my ice crampons would have been helpful to say the least). De-icing the car took what seemed for ever, and I arrived at Karen and Michel's later than planned. The good news was as I distanced myself from the lake the amount of ice and frost on the roads decreased significantly, although not completely, and Michel had decided to give the ride a try. The bad news was that I forgot my helmet ( duh), so back to the lake I went to get it. The 7:30AM start was now to be an 8AM start.
The first leg of the route was to the Pointa Vista control. As we were following the Chilliwack River, guess what, lots of ice and frost on the road. The sun had not crested the local mountains, and we were in the shade..... translate it was COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it would be nearly 20 km later that we'd break into the blazing sunlight out on the Sumas Prairie. Psychologically the sun felt great, but it did nothing to boost the temperature. When we got to Birchwood Dairy there were 6 very cold feet.
Some hot drinks and food stoked us up for what was to come, which turned out to be a delightful ride along O Ave., up 272nd. St., down 264th. to the Riverside Rd along the Fraser River. The descents down 264th were a bit scary ( ground frost and ice) although this didn't seem to slow Michel down.
At Ft. Langley Michel and Karen headed for their new find, the deli at the IGA.
The food was wonderful. We were likely some of the last diners to enjoy this local secret ( all the yuppy/boomer weekend tourists go to the coffee shop/bookstore across the street) as sadly the IGA building burnt to the ground later that night. NOTE: The owners say they will rebuild.
The next stop was the Yellow Barn. Fortunately there was no wind, so we made good time across the Prairie. This was to be our last food stop so we enjoyed a hearty cinnamon bun and the indoor warmth.
65km to go and the temperature was beginning to drop as the sun sank beneath the horizon. It was going to get colder. With a temperature of -2C with a bike speed of 20-25kph the windchill factor makes it feel like -10C...burrr!!!!!!
Camp River and Ferry Rds. are dark and lonely places on a cold winter night so the Popkum Market was a welcome sight. With only 25km to the finish we were somewhat oblivious ( although not completely) to the fact that our feet were freezing again. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep one's toes toasty?
The finish called for a different kind of toast. It proved to be a great day on a bike. Who'd have figured it would be so on a cold Jan.3rd .?
On reading my report of this ride my riding companions commented that I hadn't mention the glasses. It was kind of funny, so here is the story.
About 35km from finish, somewhere along Camp River Rd. I mentioned to Michel that my left eye had stated to tear profusely. Strange I thought, but in true rando spirit when one experiences some bodily irritant I just brushed it off and rode on. The tearing stopped but the eye slowly became more irritated and sore.
Laughs were shared by all, as not only did I not notice the missing lens neither did Karen, Michel, nor Sheryl. If you have a close look at the photo of Karen, Michel and I at the end of the ride ( see previous write up) you'll see the broken glasses. I didn't bother to ask the optometrist, how much it would be to to replace the lens, I just said, “Make it so, please!”.
Ride date: January 3, 2011
January 5, 2011