Hell's Gate 400
May 21, 6 a.m.
Start: Vancouver, Boundary at East 4th (behind MacDonald's, Boundary & Lougheed - #7)
Route Sheet - [Excel] - Finalized May 17
Map [bikeroutetoaster] - Finalized May 17
Notes from Keith:
Description: For any Seattle randonneurs interested in coming up to do this ride here is a brief description of what you'll see. The out route is initially a mix of industrial and residential, before it really wakes up. Then you are going through are farmland until you have a good shoulder up the Highway to Hope. there's quite a climb out of Hope and then you're roller coasting up the Fraser Canyon until the turn around at the Elvis Rocks Cafe. There will be support here and hopefully access to the Cafe. We'll be checking for available services on the pre-ride. There isn't much traffic on the Fraser Canyon stretch but it does pick up as you get back into civilisation. With all the rolling hills it's pretty good training for PBP.
Accomodation: Here some details of hotels close to the start which is at 4th Ave and Boundary Road:
Preride - Route Issues: Well the pre-ride wasn't as wet as we thought it would be, but it was eventful. We had one DNF because of a mechanical. Watch out for road side debris, in this case a wood chock that damaged and destroyed several rims. We also had a rider with a bad case of the dreaded bonk that took a break in Mission and finished the next morning, so don't forget to eat and drink regularly.
The traffic lights going through Surrey are always a bit of a pain, but then I think of what it must be like to do an urban brevet in Japan! As I mentioned there is a bit of crud on Highway 1, so watch out. Highway 1 up the Canyon is rain swept, but not too gritty. Just watch out for potholes. I will give the Highway maintenance crew a call again to find out when they are really going to sweep the road. Elvis Rocks Cafe is expecting people to eat, so please support them, their fries were delicious. They are open until six PM. There will also be a manned control at the turnaround with water, Gatorade and some food. Sea Bird Island Gas Station is open until 10 PM and also a manned control with water, Gatorade and some food. The construction West of Mission restricts the road a bit, but the traffic at that time of night is pretty light. Watch out for the edge of the road. There is also construction in Coquitlam, again with a sharp edge to the road, so be careful. They tell you to use the South side walk at one point, but it's not necessary, this section is no worse and it's soon over. Getting on the bike path over the Pitt River bridge is a bit of a mess, but it changes every time we've gone through. Get on to it at the traffic light and keep right to keep on the path and not go back onto the road. There is a short section of gravel, but this could have changed by next week? The short stretch of Highway 7 after the bridge is bollard central, but you're soon off the Highway onto Coast Meridian and relative sanity. Don't forget to answer the information control at the corner of Fell and Francis, you don't want to have to go back up the hill.