|Newsletter - 2014 Archive|
Triple S 200 - What to Expect
At any distance randonneuring is a challenging sport and this route was designed with two particular challenges in mind: climbing and navigation. It is intentional hilly, with a mix of moderately long grinders, shorter steep climbs and endless rollers. They all wear you down, but in very different ways. Navigation in many ways is the forgotten, or perhaps an underrated skill in a randonneur's playbook; particularly with the advent of GPSs (No GPS track will be provided). In the confines of the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland, an area we think we know so well, we often take this critical skill for granted. This route will take you over some familiar roads, but there will also be roads and paths that you most likely are unfamiliar with. There are views that should wow you! The route sheet (on Pony) is the 2013 route that had to detour around several construction zones. The official 2014 routesheet will be distributed at the time of registration.
From a navigation perspective this route required that you pay attention to the information on the route sheet, particularily to distances between turns and to landmarks. Navigation errors along the route paricularily as it criscrosses Sumas Mtn. will pile on the distance and the vertical as riders who did this route in 2013 found out.
We will be pre-riding the route on Wednesday, May 28 with an 8AM start ( 4th and Boundary Rd.). If you would like to assist as a volunteer on this ride, let me know ( firstname.lastname@example.org) and join us on the pre-ride.
May 24, 2014
Triple S 200 Pre-ride
The weather forecast did not look very promising but, surprise, surprise, although the roads were wet for much of the ride we did not get rained on.
Last year’s route required several significant changes due to construction. We decided we would return to the original route for the most part. We did retain one of the detours as in our option it was safer (quieter with a better shoulder). We also have decided to change some of the INFO CONTROL questions and to move or eliminate several controls.
Make no mistake about it this is a challenging route. My GPS Connect logged 2395m of climbing; my Garmin 800 logged 2003m ..… go figure. It is not just the total amount of climbing, but the amount of steep climbing that will really test your legs: 5-7% grades are routine, 8-10% are common, 11-14% are frequent and there are a few 15-18% beasts. Most of the 11% plus climbs are relatively short (200-300m) but three of the steepest are 1- 2.5km long.
This route uses numerous gated roads, roads marked as closed, and paved pedestrian/riding trails. They are all designed for and used by local cyclists. Trust the route sheets, not the local signage which is generally meant for cars, not cyclists.
Some specially notes:
-The railway tracks crossing 96Ave. are particularly dangerous. There have been several bad crashes crossing these tracks. Walk or cross at a right angle.
-The descent from Control # 1 is smooth and steep. There is a traffic light where you will cross Whatcom Rd., be prepared to STOP! The remainder of the descent on Walter St. (a crowded residential street) is smooth, steep and has several sharp corners, exercise care.
- Here is what to expect on the deactivated Lower Sumas Mtn Rd. This is the link to Rick’s Flickr photos showing some of the gates and barriers alone the road. Watch for debris and glass.
-Atkinson Rd. starts with a short steep climb followed by a straight 5-7% descent ending is a SHARP left, turn Caution!
- Atkinson Rd at 101km is the start of a very steep descent (12%+). Heed the warning on the route sheet. This road (actually a designated cycle route) is an industrial road restricted to heavy gravel trucks. If the gate at the bottom of the hill is open watch for trucks climbing or descending. Heed the warning on the route sheet about crossing the bridge at the bottom of this hill.
- The Discovery Trail ( 121.5km): goes through the chain link gates! The trail is smooth, steep and has some sharp corners. Enjoy, but be careful. –Trust the route sheet!
-Remember the rules permit ‘Secret Controls’.
Have a great ride.
June 3, 2014
Note: The ride date is June 14, 2014.