by Mike Croy
Here's a message Mike sent to me. It's also a pre-ride report for Sunday's Chili 200. Here's the route and info page. EF
Well, yesterday Brynne and I went out and tackled the chili 200 pre-ride, the ride was nothing short of interesting to say the least. We encountered every kind of weather except rain, which was very puzzling. As we set out the temp was a balmy –2 and roads were slightly frosty to down right icy. We experienced wild fluctuations in weather and temperature as the day progressed, at times it was 10 degrees and sunny then suddenly it was 3 degrees and lightly snowing. Heading back out to Sidney we encountered a full force hail storm like we have never ridden through before. The hail stones were so large they were ringing our bike bell and we thought it was another rider behind us trying to pass, but who would be crazy enough to be out in that kind of weather? As we rode through the accumulating slush and briskly exfoliating ice hunks flying at our faces all we could was laugh at the sheer absurdity of the situation. Hail turned to snow as we made it to Sidney, where we stopped briefly, choosing to head out to chase the sun we had spotted on the other side of the peninsula. We found some sun but it was not strong enough to dry or warm us sufficiently, we limped to the finish line cold, wet and tired. The mercury had dropped below zero once again, back to where it was at the start of the day but we managed to outrun the icing of the roads.
We took our time on the ride, we spent a fair bit of time checking through all the cues. Overall I think it is safe to say we had a true randonneur experience and we finished off in the dark with satisfied smiles (or the agonized wince that passes for a finisher’s smile on occasion) on our faces.
Due to Victoria’s strange street layout in Oak Bay and Gordon Head there are some navigational challenges to be had but the biggest hurdle for riders next week is sure to be the weather. The nature of the route means that a sustained prevailing wind will work sorely against and with you at different times, this can be devastating if you have miscalculated food or energy stores.
We have some work to do later tonight cleaning up the cue sheet, we found many slight errors that will need re-working.
Here are some pictures we took as the day progressed. The random parking lot shot is of snow at the last control in Sidney and it does it very little justice. Brynne wanted to memorialize the hail but was torn between “capturing the moment” and “prolonging our misery”, we soldiered on.
Mike and Brynne
February 28, 2012