July 22nd through 26th, 2012, the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club hosted the 8th Rocky Mountain 1200km brevet. Initiated in 1996 and now held every 4 years, the 2012 edition was in the words of one rider, “an epic journey”.
The 90 hour start group left Kamloops in the midst of a torrential downpour complete with thunder, lightening and a horrendous headwind that continued unabated for most of the next 300 km. In all, it rained for 24 of the first 26 hours the 90 hour group was on the road. The unrelenting rain, wind and cold had a catastrophic effect with 50% of the 90 hour start riders abandoning due to hypothermia or hypothermia aggravated injury or illness, most between Valemount and Jasper.
Conditions for the 84 hour start group were only slightly better and although this group was spared the headwinds out of Kamloops, they cycled the first 2 hours in steady rain, followed by 4 hours of relatively dry weather. Between Blue River and Valemount, the rain started again and continued to Jasper. 30% of the riders in this start also abandoned, most at Jasper or Beauty Creek. Again, hypothermia and hypothermia aggravated injury took a heavy toll.
The Rocky Mountain 1200 is a challenging ride in normal conditions with 5 major mountain passes to climb. In the devastatingly wet, windy and cold weather conditions that occurred over the first 600 km of the 2012 route it became a test of each rider’s ability to endure suffering. There were many who did not finish, but none who quit, only those who were unable to continue.
Congratulations to all who participated in the 2012 Rocky Mountain 1200. Whatever the distance completed, it was an incredible challenge and an unforgettable ride.
Ride Organizers: Roger & Ali Holt, contact us here.
Photo of Rocky Mountain Goat taken by Roger Holt at top of Sunwapta Pass in 2008.
Website designed and maintained by Ali Holt with thanks for technical assistance to:
Ryan Golbeck, Jenny Watson, Eric Fergusson, Ray Parker & Andy Reimer.