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Updates for the 2014 VanIsle 1200
July 9 - Pre-ride report
We were lucky to have three PBP veterans as pre-riders for the VanIsle 1200. They suffered serious rain storms, yet few flats, to verify the route sheet was clear and the roads were passable. The route sheet has been corrected where necessary, still it is always better to watch your distances from control to control (provided). The roads are passable, in spite of hazardous railway crossings, rough patches of pavement, and lack of shoulders in places. Noteworthy North of Campbell River due to the drop at the edge of the pavement that continues for kilometers. There is roadwork in places.
driving support for these three gentlemen, I highly recommend:
is PBP veteran Jim Runkel's summary of his ride and PBP veteran Philip Lennox's comments:
PBP veteran Jim
When people ask what we are doing and we tell them that we are riding a 1200 km ride in less than 90 hours...the usual response is that we are crazy...and although there is some truth to that I can tell you that no crazy person would have the mental fortitude to complete an event like this. When the rain poured down in the dark of night and Gold River seemed to far away...it was through sheer mental determination that I continued to endure....
Victoria at 3am the ride begins. In the dark you leave and make your
way toward the Malahat. This climb is steady and certainly not
the hardest you will face on this route. Look at the elevation
profile to see what is in store. I recorded just over 35 000 ft
of vertical climbing (6000 ft higher than Mnt Everest! @29 000ft).
Starting early has the benefit of avoiding too much traffic on this first climb.
Road conditions are good and services many on the first section up to Campbell River. Look forward to the first control and a great breakfast. Graham (pre rider) and his wife Edie are your hosts. On through Nanaimo the route continues. The busy highway riding gives way to seaside beauty once you exit into Parksville. In Qualicum is the next control. On the beach strip is a great eating place called the Beach Hut if you are looking for a more complete meal. Remember that with so many riders, the food at the Shell Gas station may run low. After a few rolling hills the road flattens out in Fanny Bay and the run up to Courtney is quite fast. Hope for a favourable wind. In Courtney fuel up again as the next control in Comox is an info control with no services. Once back on the 19, and past the turn to Miracle Beach, the road again flattens out and the cruise into Campbell River is fast and pleasant. Campbell River is an important junction. Make sure you are prepared for the run to Gold River as this ~ 100 km has no services, no cell phone coverage...nothing...The only sign of life is the Strathcona Lodge...We experienced miserable, heavy rain for this entire section. And leaving Campbell River, make sure you have you climbing legs ready...because there is lots of it.
Gold River and the Chalet is very inviting . Enjoy the awesome accommodations and food from the Deli. Leave early making sure to have enough time for the hilly ride back to Campbell River (although this direction some how seems a bit easier).
Campbell River to Port Hardy and back is your next major section. Sayward Junction provides a nice quick fuel spot followed by Woss (you are now half way done!) then Port Hardy. It seemed to take a long time to arrive but finally our second sleep stop came. If you arrive late there are no services so plan for food ahead. In the morning we headed to Port McNeil. Again this gas station does have coffee and other gas station food. Head back to Woss and go to the Woss Vegas Cafe for a nice breakfast. Sayward Junction is again an info control and then back to Campbell River.
section is characterized by some serious climbing. In fact your
highest point of the ride at approximately 440 m is reached (twice) on
this section. The section between Sayward Junction and Campbell
River also has some shoulder work being done. Be very careful and
do not loose concentration this section.
Much has been said about wildlife. And on other rides in early June I have ridden by 7 plus bears eating on the side of the highway near Port Hardy...but on this ride, and at this time of the year...we saw only a handful of deer....nothing else.
Once back in Campbell River services are plenty on your ride back to Victoria.
last few kms of the ride take you on one of Victoria's best bike
paths...the Galloping Goose. Named after the old train that used
to ride the rails, this path is a nice way to enter the city.
Just pay attention to the cross streets and you will be fine.
Also, you get back onto the same road you left on. You will see
the familiar starting point (Tim Hortons) on your left as you head down
to the finish.
Three of us pre-road this event for you to ensure the route sheet was accurate and the roads safe. The best part of our pre ride was the pleasant company of my companion riders, Graham Fishlock and Philip Lennox as well as the always positive and smiling face of Steve Mahovlic....the organizer. Steve has taken his time to create an event which is fantastic. While supporting us as we rode, he was your ambassador to all the communities you will ride through, paving the way for positive receptions. He has assembled a great team of volunteers to help make this event a success. WE are a unique and tough bunch....Randonneurs...Bon Courage and Bon Route....
PBP veteran Philip
was a great challenge and honour to pre-ride the upcoming Vanisle 1200
(1208 to be honest).
I would like to add that this is not an easy ride. But then if it was an easy ride it would not be worth doing. A challenge has it own rewards.
Comparing it to my romanticized memories of the Paris-Breast-Paris I found it tougher for several reasons.
1. More overall climbing and some really long climbs.
2. Beyond Campbell River, in both the direction of Gold River and Port Hardy, there is little available services for food/water/bike repair and safe roadside sleeping (large cats).
3. It is next to impossible to get a fresh pain au chocolate.
4. between Campbell River and Port Hardy it's hard to find an on route boulangarie that has a decent croissant aux amandes (almond croissant).
I've gone vegan anyhow.
out the BC
Randonneurs Facebook page for more photos. Also
Jim has photos
on his Google page.
Four days until registration, see you soon.
Happy Independence day to all the US randonneurs gearing up for the VanIsle
1200. It is the spririt of indepenence that rules this ride, so
please ensure you are prepared for the adventure.
The pre-riders are out checking the course this morning
and I am out driving it in support. Looking forward to seeing you
all on the 13th at the registration and bike check on Sunday July 13.
How does the drop bag system work?
We will transport a drop bag for each rider to the staffed Campbell River control, (accessible the three times each rider passes through this control), and a bag to the Gold River control. Bags will be returned to the finish in Victoria by 12:00 hours (noon) on Thursday 17-July.
Drop-bags are to be brought to the bike check-in on Sunday 13-July between 13:00 and 16:00. Drop bags must have a large travel tag with the rider's name and address attached to it. If sending a bag to Gold River, be sure to mark this clearly on the bag, otherwise it will go to Campbell River. Please restrict your drop bags to a reasonable size and weight as we have a limited cargo volume in the vans; and ordinary folks will be lifting the bags into and out of the van several times. Please use a soft covered sports bag if possible. Garbage bags and the like will not be transported.
Recommended maximum size and weight are 10" x 10" x 20" (250 mm x 250 mm x 500 mm) and 15lb (7 kg).
Registration is Sunday afternoon, July 13. Be prepared to pay for
lunches, T-shirts, and any outstanding entry fees.
confirmed riders, 51 qualified, 8 spaces open for last minute
52 confirmed riders, 51 qualified, 8 spaces open for last minute registrants.
The map has been updated. Please note:
You may use it to create GPS data, however the final map revision will take place the week prior to the ride. As always the route sheet you receive at the start of the ride is the official one.
after a long ride? $16
The West Coast College of Massage Therapy students will be offering VanIsle 1200 riders massage treatments on Thursday, July 18, afternoon between 4:15 and 7:45 and on Friday, July 19, between 11 am and 7 pm.
The college is setting up a specific in-reach space for them so they will have exclusive bookings during those hours.
Saturday, while not an ideal option for the college, will potentially be available if there is demand.
The rate will be $16 per treatment.
All transactions are to be between riders and the college. There
is an intake and assessment time
built into the appointment length so the bookings are for 70 minutes
but the hands on time is about 45 minutes.
They are located at 637 Bay St. Close to the Comfort Hotel and Conference Centre. For more information and to reserve an appointment, please email Fran Blake.
Do not delay! There will be 50 + riders vying for these coveted appointments. Recommend you book by July 1. There is a possibilty that the date can be extended once they know how busy it is going to be.
53 confirmed riders, 50 qualified, 7 spaces open for last minute registrants.
your accommodation? Want to share a room? Check out the accomodation thread at the the BCR forum.
We tried out the Tee shirts. Tee shirt sizing is different than what we are used to. An XL is now an L. I will be applying that to what I have collected from volunteers. Riders who wish to order Tee shirts take note.
We are tweaking the VanIsle 1200 route. Minor adjustments so far. Watching the summer construction take shape and it looks like there will be very little real disruption.
jersey order will be finalized on the 28th of May.
A reminder that riders registering after May 28th will receive quality Tee shirts similar to what the Volunteers will be wearing. If you know of anyone waiting until the last minute to ride the VanIsle 1200 let them know we have 5 spots left.
May 15Bag drop reminder: Drop locations are Campbell River (288/467/941 km controls) and Gold River (378 km).
May 8 - Sugoi VanIsle 1200 Jerseys
The following email went out this morning:
is May 2nd and the first refund deadline has passed.
I would like to welcome you all to the VanIsle 1200. Preparations
are well under way for your July adventure on an Island in Canada's
South Pacific :).
As of today your experienced volunteer team consists of: Norm Bennet, Dave Campbell, Mike Croy, Brynne Croy, Steven Croy, Stephanie Denis, Dewain Emrich, Graham Fishlock (PBP, RM, GA, Cascades), Edie Fishlock, Greg Fishlock, Sarah Gallizan (PBP), Holland Gidney, Susan Goodison, Melissa Haynes, Stephen Hinde (PBP, RM), Carol Hinde (PBP), Mikael Jansson, Marjory Jones, Philip Lennox (PBP), Gordon Litster, John Little (PBP), Dave MacMurchie, Dave Livingstone, Steve Mahovlic, Lorraine Nygaard, Jim Runkel (PBP), and Janette Smith. Club members have links (in the email) to their BCR history (1200's in brackets).
Your basic itinerary is:
We need answers to three questions:
A reminder that aside from Gold River and Woss bagged lunches riders are expected to look after their own food requirements along the route. Any food provided at the manned controls is for rider emergencies. Water, etc. will be available at manned controls. Support crews are expected to be self sustained.
As July is high tourist season we recommend you plan your route and book accommodation now. Check the updates page of the website for points of interest and approximate distances to controls.
Your post ride brunch is part of the entry fee you paid. Please remember you will be paying for guests that you bring to the brunch.
We still have a few openings on the ride if you have a friend who wishes to participate. I plan to have another email out within the week with more information
Haida Way is offering: Here's the rates for you for the riders
coming up to Port McNeill on July 15th, 2014
Rates with breakfast,
Single occupancy 85.50+taxes
Double occupancies 98.10+taxes
Rates without breakfast,
Single occupancy 80.00+taxes
Double occupancies 90.00+taxes
Please let the guest know these rates will be only offer to direct booking to the hotel and it's not valid for online booking.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
March 12, 2014
|Approximate Distance||Point of Interest|
|12||Shell Gas station on right|
|24.6||Petro-Canada gas Station|
|28.7||Rest Area/Viewpoint (washrooms) on right|
|39.6||Tim Hortons (24hr)/Gas Station on left at lights|
|47||Coffee Shop off Cowichan Bay Road on right (opening time?)|
|56||Whippletree (Coffee/Food) on right (opening hours?)|
|58-61||Duncan - many services including bike shops, grocery store (Safeway on Left), fast food.|
|74.2||Co-op Gas Station on left at Chemainus turn-off|
|85.4||Ladysmith @ Chemainus Road (grocery store/fast food on left)|
|86-88||Ladysmith - amenities including 7-11 (24hr)|
|91.3||A&W Fast Food on right|
|99||Control - Fishlock's|
|113.3||Amenities (Tim Hortons 24hr, Subway)|
|119-133||Nanaimo - Amenities including bike shop. Tim Hortons/Groceries at 122, pass near Woodgrove Mall at 132.5)|
|134.5||Lantzville - limited amenities (gas station)|
|144.2||Nanoose Petrocan Gas Station (suprisingly good donuts and baked goods) -24hr?|
|151.5||limited food at Heritage Mall|
|153.5-156||Parksville - amenities including bike shops, food, groceries|
|166.4||Qualicum Beach - convienience store, limited food. Detour for bike shop|
|188||Bowser - limited services|
|206||Bukley Bay - convenience store (Petrocan)|
|212.7||Union Bay - limited services (convienience store)|
|221.5||Royston - limited services (pub/convienience store)|
|225-227||Courtenay - services incl food, bike shops|
|231-231||Comox - services|
|239.8||Esso convienience store|
|262||Black Creek - limited services (convienience store, food)|
|280-281||Campbell River South - some services incl 711 (24hr)|
|286-288||Campbell River - many services. Control|
|289-290||Campbell River - 24hr gas station, bike stores. Very limited services next xx km.|
|330.5||Strathcona Park Lodge - lodging, limited amenities (prepared meals)|
|336.2||Elk Portal - Stratchona Park entrance (rest area/washrooms)|
|364||Crest Lake Rest Area (washrooms/picnic area)|
|377||Gold River - Control/Amenities (food, groceries, accomodation). Limited service hours|
|390.8||Crest Lake Rest Area (washrooms/picnic area)|
|424||Strathcona Park Lodge - lodging, limited amenities (prepared meals)|
|465-470||Campbell River - 24hr gas station, bike stores, Control, Tim Hortons 24hr. Limited services to Sayward Junction|
|493||Coffee Shop (Limited Hours) - some food|
|534.4||Sayward Junction - convienience store (not 24 hour), pub/restaurant (Cypress Tree Inn) one block down on right,Fisherboy Inn ~200m down Sayward Road, Cable House Café (logger special - big portions) - ~400m down road|
|543.5||Keta Lake Rest Area (washrooms)|
|600||Woss - limited services (accomodation, pub w/kitchen, convienience store - not 24hr)|
|663.5||Turn off to Port McNeil. Services about 2-3 km off highway (restaurants, groceries, convenience stores, bike store)|
|703.5||Port Hardy - control and services (accomodation, restaurants, groceries, restaurants)|
|745||Port McNeil. Additional services further (1-2 km) down hill|
|809||Woss - limited services(accomodation, pub w/kitchen, convienience store - not 24hr)|
|866||Keta Lake Rest Area (washrooms)|
|875||Sayward Junction - convienience store (not 24 hour), pub/restaurant (Cypress Tree Inn) one block down on right,Fisherboy Inn ~200m down Sayward Road, Cable House Café (logger special - big portions) - ~400m down road|
|916||Coffee Shop (Limited Hours) - some food|
|948-949||Campbell River South - some services incl 711 (24hr)|
|967||Black Creek - limited services (convienience store, food)|
|986-989||Courtenay - multiple services (incl bike shop, groceries, food)|
|993.5||Royston - limited services (pub/convienience store)|
|1002.5||Union Bay - limited services (convienience store)|
|1009.4||Bukley Bay - convenience store (Petrocan)|
|1027||Bowser - limited services|
|1049||Qualicum Beach - convienience store, limited food. Detour for bike shop|
|1059-1062||Parksville - amenities including bike shops, food, groceries|
|1063.8||limited food at Heritage Mall|
|1068.8||Gas Station/food (not 24 hours)|
|1071.6||Nanoose Petrocan Gas Station (suprisingly good donuts and baked goods) -24hr?|
|1097||Downtown Nanaimo - some ammenities (coffee shop/food/bike shop)|
|1101.4||Amenities (Tim Hortons 24hr, Subway)|
|1115.7||A&W Fast Food on left|
|1119-1121||Ladysmith - amenities including 7-11 (24hr)|
|1121.7||Ladysmith @ Chemainus Road (grocery store/fast food on right)|
|1131.5||Co-op Gas Station on left at Chemainus turn-off|
|1145-1148||Duncan - many services including bike shops, grocery store (Safeway on Left), fast food|
|1150||Whippletree (Coffee/Food) on left (opening hours?)|
|1158.6||Coffee Shop off Cowichan Bay Road on left (opening times?)|
|1166.1||Mill Bay Services (Tim Hortons 24hr, other restaurants/Gas Station)|
|1194||Shell Gas Station|
|1198.2||Shell Gas Station|
March 2, 2014
January 30, 2014
January 15, 2014
January 7, 2014
December 22 , 2013
A waiting list has been started as we reached the 50 rider limit.
December 16, 2013
December 13, 2013
December 11, 2013:
Town Centre Inn (Control) - staffed drop-bag - group rates under discussion include room sharing - up to 4 people and group rates
Street, Campbell River, British Columbia V9W 3A6
Special VanIsle 1200 rate: Can$100.57 double (Mention BC Randonneurs) Tel: 1-800-287-7107 Ask for Justin. Book EARLY! At least 3 months in advance.
December 5, 2013: