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How Flat is the Valley...
Permanent #90, 204 km
Ride Date: October 30, 2020
by Gary Baker

This was my third attempt during the month of October to do a 200km. I abandoned the AGM 200 after three flats in the first 30km, then I was heading out the door last week to do this ride when a household emergency became a much higher priority.

The day looked somewhat promising although the wind was whistling through the trees in the park ( I live within the boundaries of the Cultus Lake Park). Leaving the start not far from the new Vedder Bridge in Chilliwack it became apparent in a hurry that the winds were going to become an issue, they were westerlies and the first 65+ km of the route took we across the Sumas Prairie and along Zero Ave. Living in the Upper Fraser Valley I've had some very interesting times riding across the 'Prairie' ( in both directions) being blown along at 40kph ( virtually effortlessly) or grinding along giving it everything I have to sustain 10 kph. This time it was a GRIND.

Leaving Yarrow and getting out onto the 'Prairie' proper it was like slamming into an invisible wall. More than once the Himschoot Principle was contemplated....if you are going to DNF, do it early! My mind was going a mile a minute: keep the cadence up, don't grind, save the legs; there should be some shelter when going up Farmer Rd and along Vye Rd. ( not much but some); and once past 264th Zero Ave is sheltered from the U.S. side by thick forest ( it WAS!!!!).

I knew that once I made the turn , easterly, at my western extrema point I'd have tailwinds for the most part for the next 120km ( and I did ). As much as the tailwind was a help it didn't compensate for the lost time or compensate for early ride induced fatigue. The final approximately 17km of the ride was back into the wind which thankful was much reduced in the dying minutes of daylight.

Anyday spent on one's bicycle is a GOOD day, right?



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