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Hardly a Ramble 2 1/2 (permanent)
I'm working towards my BC 12 again, this time attempting to do it entirely in the Interior. Problem A- I'm bored with most of the routes close to me. Problem B- I'm finding I really don't enjoy riding by myself as much as I used to. Problem C- I want to come up with something interesting for the 2018 Interior Spring 200. To solve all these problems at once, I decided to make my October permanent an improved version of Doug Fox's Hardly a Ramble 2, and invited Doug, as well as Susan DeBolt, and Jacquetta Benard to join me. Doug declined, but (possibly because they haven't known me as long), Susan and Jacquetta opted in.
It was somewhere around 4C, cloudy and windy when we rolled out of the Tims in Penticton at 07:00. There was a nasty cold wind blowing off Skaha, but the whitecaps were impressive. "Tumbleweed!" is not a warning I'd ever shouted on a group ride before, but there's a first time for everything. Most of the climbing on this route is in the first 25 km or so, and we warmed up quickly on the way up to Yellow Lake. We warmed up- the temperature, however, dropped to -2. We got pretty chilled on the descent to the first control in Keremeos. It was obviously snowing on the mountains to the north and west of town, and I'm sure I saw one flake flutter down. There were some sprinkles going, making beautiful? ice sculptures on the plants and fences. What were we thinking?
Fortunately, at that point we turned South and the temperature slowly started to climb. The wind had been gone since the summit, and we warmed up again- those rollers will do that. We crossed the border at Nighthawk without incident, despite my previous history there, and continued down through rangeland with brilliant fall colours - sorry, colors, I forgot we had crossed the border. There was a 15 to 20 minute delay as we had to wait for a cattle drive, another first for this ride. We continued on, down a really shitty road. Actually, the road was great, just covered in cowshit. Still no wind as we rode along Palmer Lake, stopping at Loomis for a snack and bathroom break. One thing that was a little unsettling was the large number of camo-clad hunters on the roads with ATVs, and frequent sounds of gunfire. As we continued to the next control in Ellisford, the temperature soared to 12C, and a strong wind developed- from the south! YAHOO!
Cruising effortlessly north with the tailwind, we crossed back into Canada. Just before we turned off Highway 97 onto Road 22 and Black Sage, Jacquetta flatted, but we were on our way again pretty quickly. Yes, I know that Black Sage adds a bunch of climbing over staying on the highway, but it is sooo worth it. And yes, there WILL be an information control there for the brevet. The tailwind continued to push us along the east side of Skaha, and we rolled into the Tims in Penticton feeling great.
Note- We decided unanimously that , considering scenery, terrain, traffic, and road conditions, this is the BEST 200 route in the Interior. Mark your calendar for April 21. It's a little further to travel, but it's worth it.
Disclaimer- the organizer makes no guarantee of tailwinds for any portion of the ride.
Go to: Bob's Photos (8 Images, Flickr)
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October 16, 2017