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Report for Crazy 8
I believe this was a record turnout for an Interior 300 km with 17 riders. My decision to use the Plan "B" Crazy 8 route rather than the Spences Bridge route proved the be the right call. The route was beautiful, and so was the weather, although it did catch some of us unaccustomed to the heat. The gravel portion of Chase-Falkland road was better than I've ever seen it, and smoother than some of the pavement. There was an unexpected road closure on Foothill Road in Salmon Arm. Most of us followed the detour signs, but Barry found that it was possible to ride through, and that it was closed for construction, rather than a flood or washout. Similarly, Will found that bicycles could get through the Barnhartvale closure, avoiding the Blackwell Road detour, and another section of gravel. However, Blackwell Road was more than worth the price of admission, with a stunning view of the valley. One rider commented that it should be the official route, and I'm inclined to agree.
There was a bit of a tailwind as we headed east on Hwy. 1 for the first hour and a bit, allowing us to warm up and get some time in the bank before we began the 30+ km of climbing up Chase Falkland Rd. A quick descent to Falkland, and it was mostly tailwinds all the way to Vernon. There was water everywhere, lakes where there shouldn't be, road edges breaking away, and swollen creeks and rivers, but overall better than expected. Despite the tailwinds, most of us were pretty tired when we hit Vernon, and knowing we would be fighting a headwind for the next 100 km didn't help. Neither did the fact that some sadistic organizer (won't mention his name) saw fit to put a 15% hill right after the control.
A huge thank you to everyone for coming out to support this ride, in spite of all the uncertainty of which roads would be open and which route I would be able to use. And, congratulations to Jacquetta, Joe, and Fred on the completion of their first 300 km brevets.
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May 13, 2018