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That was fun. Hard, but fun. Six riders set off at 05:00 on a cool (8C) sunny morning. Actually, five set off, while the organizer waited half an hour for a rider who had pre registered and didn't show up. A little warm up sprint to catch the others couldn't be a bad thing, right?. Winds were calm, until we reached the top of Columbua Street in Kamloops, at which point we encountered a headwind that would plague us all the way to the first control in Cache Creek at 98.6 km. The shoulders of Highway 1 from Kamloops to Cache Creek are in horrible condition, and still have a winters worth of sand and gravel on them. This left me asking myself "Why did you pick this route?" Once we started up 97, the wind (and sun) was at our backs giving a bit of a push, and the shoulders were good. The effect of the tail wind, the same speed as our progress up the seemingly endless climb to Clinton, was hot, still air, and buckets of sweat.
We controlled at 70 Mile House, had a lengthy snack break, and started through Green Lake and Watch Lake. OH YEAH!!! THIS is why I picked the route. Quiet, smooth roads and outstanding scenery. Any stops had to be brief, as swarms of mosquitoes would instantly appear. We also had a couple of very talented horseflies, who could circle the head of a rider travelling at 30 kmh and on only occasionally bump into him or her. Even after we turned onto Hwy 24 there was little traffic, and we cruised along making good time. We had another food stop at the mosquito hatchery known as Interlakes, and left there looking forward? to the last big climb- the McDonald summit. Our planned stop to put on warm clothes for the 10 km descent to Little Fort was a rushed affair, swatting the nasty little critters, while trying not to inhale too many of them.
ONLINE INFORMATION IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED. We found that the Esso at Little Fort was still open when we went past, well after the posted 8:00 pm closing time, but we didn't need to stop. We got to the next control, the 24 Hr Esso in Barriere and sort of wandered aimlessly, unable to find anything appealing at this stage of the ride. ONLINE INFORMATION IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED! I took a cup of coffee up to the counter and the clerk told me not to worry about paying. He was closing in ten minutes and would be dumping it out anyway. What? You aren't open 24 hrs? GAK! What are Gary, Barry, and Bob (an unknown distance behind us) going to do? This would mean that they would have no services for 193 km! Fortunately, ONLINE INFORMATION IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED and they discovered the Petro Can/ A&W about one km back was open late on weekends.
Everyone finished very tired but in good spirits. It was a decent ride for wildlife viewing. I saw 4 deer, one coyote, and two herons. I suspect there would have been more animals if they had not been carried off by mosquitoes.
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May 27, 2018