Salt Spring Surprise 200 Pre-ride
Pre-ride date: June 30, 2018
by Mark Payten
(Ride Scheduled for Saturday July 7, 2018)
The weather forecast for Saturday, June 30th was for spotty showers in the morning. I set out to catch the 7 am ferry from Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island. The ferry was arrived punctually at Fulford at 7:35 am. The drizzle started shortly thereafter as I made my way to Beaver Point Rd. It started with a few drops. It changed to drizzle and occasionally actually poured as I did my crazy figure 8 with two out and backs around the island.
The first stop is the entry to the campground at Ruckle Park. This is the first out and back portion on the island.
The pavement is great until one arrives at the entry to the park. At this point pot holes appear in places on the pavement least expected. The last 50 metres or to the turnaround/information control are extremely rough. Caution is advised!
Returning from Ruckle Park one stays on less travelled roads in good condition until entering the Fulford-Ganges Rd close to Ganges. Thankfully it is a good descent into town and cyclists can usually move over from the rough edges of the road.
It is market day in Ganges. The centre is filled with motorists looking for parking spaces and pedestrians headed to the market.
Walker’s Hook Rd is off the route this year as the slumping has finally taken away whole portions of the road. It is barricaded in some spots and local access in other. This means the steep descent and ascent on Robinson Road is unavailable to us this year. Instead we get to see a little of the centre of the island.
After navigating the north island and doing another out and back to Long Harbour and beyond you pass through Ganges again and climb the hill that was much enjoyed when descending. Again caution is advised. The shoulders where they exist have not been cleared. In some spots the shoulder is non-existent.
I arrived at the ferry terminal at 12:05 for the 12:15 ferry at an average speed of 19km/h including stops to establish information controls. I was informed that the ferry would be arriving at 13:05. As it was a holiday weekend the ferry was filled to capacity on each trip and on and off loading was adding about 10 minutes per trip.
The boat docked at 13:45 and I was on my way. The drizzle had stopped and a good headwind kicked in. It was great for drying my clothing! The next task was to work my way to Lochside, (some good condition hard pack) and weave over to the traditional waterfront route. The route uses the newish Pandora two way cycle track, new “Johnson Street” bridge, new bike path section on the E&N Trail and use the new Galloping Goose bridge over Mackenzie Ave. There are some gravel sections on the “Goose” where they are building the new overpass. I returned up the west side of the Peninsula and around Lands End Rd to finish at the Stone House Pub. I finished the ride at 19:30 maintaining that 19.5 km/hr average overall.
I look forward to seeing some you out there. See you on the ferry prior to 7 am or at Fulford at about 7:35 am.
Check out the routes:
Go to: Salt Spring Surprise Event Page (Database) for more ride details
July 2, 2018