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Eau de Hell Week Info Page:
Scroll down for information up dates

(Note: Doug & Susan have prepared a separate info page for the 200 km --> GO)

What The Hell !!
(VanIsle "Eau de Hell Week") Go Directly to The Routes
by Ken Bonner

Opportunity knocks!

Based on the old randonneur saying, “In for a 200, in for 1500”, the Vancouver Island contingent of the BC Randonneurs has established a ‘compact’ super randonneur brevet series (200k; 300k; 400k and 600k) starting with the Tour de Cowichan 200 on April 7th. Originally, the concept was to ride each brevet, back to back. 1500k in 100.5 hours! After considerable whining, complaining and then negative publicity initiated by an unnamed webmaster J [Link], the concept has been re-visited.

Randonneurs now have a whole week to complete the compact super randonneur series, which includes considerable rest time to explore the scenic wonders of Vancouver Island not already examined while riding the compact brevets. ‘Normal’ randonneurs can choose to ride any one, or several, of the individual brevets which comprise the Eau de Hell Week and earn the respective distance medal(s).

Other randonneurs will earn the new, coveted and prestigious BC Randonneur 1500 k Hell Week pin (and qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris) should they manage to complete the full compact brevet series*:

Saturday, April 7th – The traditional Tour de Cowichan 200k
Sunday, April 8th – The reverse direction version of The Hills Are Alive 300k
Tuesday, April 10th – The Lost (But Not Forgotten) 400k (includes the Tour de Cowichan route in reverse and some Back Country Roads territory)
Wednesday, April 11th – relax and book a ticket for Murder on the Nile at the Chemainus Live Theatre
Thursday, April 12th – Ride for Gold 600k (Chemainus to Gold River and return)

--> All rides start and finish in Chemainus, B.C. (Dancing Bean Café, 9752 Willow) Start time for each brevet is 7:00 a.m.
--> It is recommended that only experienced randonneurs attempt to complete the full compact brevet series
--> No organized support provided. (Upon completion of required paperwork and payment of Club membership and ride fees, each rider will be provided with a route sheet and control card before the start of each brevet in the compact series – in traditional randonneur fashion each rider is then on her/his own).
--> No manned controls – where controls do not have convenience stores that are open, each rider will answer a question on their control card and insert the time/date of arrival and rider’s signature.
--> $20 BC Randonneurs Club 2007 membership; plus $15 for each brevet – No discounts for signing up for all of the compact super randonneur brevets.

Eau de Hell
     Perfume of spring blossoms
     Pitter-patter of spring showers
     Phrase oft-repeated by Eau de Hell Week riders

For further information:

Tour de Cowichan 200k – Susan Allen & Doug Latornell
(email: or telephone 1-604-734-2504)

All other Eau de Hell brevets – Ken Bonner
(email: or telephone 1-250-598-4135)

January 31, 2007

Additional info from Ken - March 12

* No front and rear light attached to the bike (B.C. Traffic Law) equals brevet disqualification
* No approved cycling helmet on the rider’s head while cycling equals brevet disqualification
* Use as much reflective material on your bike and clothing as practical!! Don’t let motor vehicle drivers use the excuse “I didn’t see the cyclist!”

The Ride for Gold 600k (Chemainus to Gold River & return)
1. I will be manning the Gold River control (Gold River Chalet - km. 316 – Open 4:26 pm Thursday, April 12; Closes 3:00 am, Friday, April 13)
2. For those who cannot manage this brevet on their own, I am prepared to transport one small drop bag (pre-tagged with rider’s names) up to the Gold River control for up to 10 riders – bring bags to the start of the Ride for Gold 600k.
3. The Gold River control room will be available to riders on a ‘1st come-1st served-short nap and move on-basis’ to nap/clean up. Pack your own towel. It is highly recommended that riders make and pay for their own reservations if they want a substantial rest period. The website for the Gold River Chalet is Telephone toll free 1-866-450-2688. No special rates. In order to avoid disturbing other guests, attempt to reserve rooms close to the control room, which is booked under ‘Ken Bonner’
4. Riders planning to sleep in Campbell River might want to consider making and paying for a reservation at the Campbell River Lodge which is next to the Campbell River control at km. 226 and km. 406. The Campbell River Lodge website is: or, telephone toll free 1-800-663-7212. No special rates.

Lodging at Start/Finish

Please use the BC Government’s Hello BC tourism website to locate appropriate accommodation:
The moderately priced Fuller Lake Motel is about 3 km from the start/finish at the intersection of Hwy 1 and Henry Road. A café is nearby. The more costly Best Western is about ½ km south of the start/finish. There are many B&Bs in Chemainus. Ladysmith is about 10 km north of Chemainus and has a couple of m/hotels and a 24 hour Tim Horton’s. Duncan is about 15 km south of Chemainus and has many motels and fast food establishments. In addition to fast food and convenience dining, all areas have some very ‘fine dining’ opportunities and fine wineries to visit. The professional Chemainus Live Theatre is very good. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile is beginning during Eau de Hell Week.

It is very, very helpful if you are planning to ride any/all of the Eau de Hell Week brevets, if you advise us in advance of your plans (Susan/Doug – Tour de Cowichan 200; and Ken – for the other 3 brevets). Although we can accept your 2007 BC Randonneur memberships and related general waivers at the start of the 200k, it would make the start process smoother if you processed your membership per the information on the BC Rando website as soon as possible.

As we all know, a positive attitude is important when riding brevets. Those who are contemplating riding the Eau de Hell Week brevets should consider practicing the enunciation of the phrase “Eau de Hell!” with positive enthusiasm. In order to achieve a full cathartic release, try putting a short breathing space between each word …. For example, EAU (breath in, breath out pushing down with the right foot); DE (breath in, breath out pushing down with the left foot); HELL!! Repeat as necessary or tears blur your vision. :-)

Happy Riding!

Additional info from Ken - March 16

More on: The Eau de Hell Week 600k (Ride for Gold 600)
Thursday, April 12 - Strathcona Park Lodge has a range of accommodation options and room prices. I understand they will be serving breakfast at that time of the year. Strathcona Park Lodge is located at 268 km on the way up to Gold River; and 388 km on the way back. This is NOT a control.

Strathcona Lodge Tel: 1-250-286-3122

Additional info from Ken - March 18

Start of 300k – There will be no café open before the start of the 300k on Sunday, April 8th; Consider eating in advance elsewhere. There is a McDonald’s and Tim Hortons – not a control – at about 55k. (Note: The Subway around the block from the start will be open at 6:30 am ONLY for the 400 & 600 k)

Another message from Ken - March 21


Thank-you to everyone who has informed us in advance that you are planning to ride one or more of the Eau de Hell Week brevets!!

At this point in time, the following numbers of riders have indicated they plan to ride the Eau de Hell Week brevets:

* Tour de Cowichan 200 - 24 riders
* Alive are the Hills 300 -- 18 riders
* Lost (but not forgotten) 400 -- 19 riders
* Ride for Gold 600 -- 18 riders

TWELVE riders have tentatively/optimistically/pessimistically indicated they will rise to the challenge of riding ALL of Eau de Hell Week brevets (1500k), thereby earning the right to wear the coveted Victoria Cross Eau de Hell Week (1500k) pin on all subsequent brevets. These folks have caught the spirit of the brevet series with references to:

* Road to Hell
* Best of Purgatory
* One Hell of a Week
* Going to Hell in a Hand-basket
* Decrepit Man Going to Hell
* The Route to Hell

(To discover who these intrepid folks are, all one needs to do is let me know that you have the 'right stuff' to contemplate riding the full, compact super randonneur brevet series that comprise the Eau de Hell Week Challenge.)

Happy riding!! ... Ken


Ken's messages about this event (these events) come to us through the BC Randonneurs discussion list. Be sure you are receiving these messages.