Eau de Hell - Stories & Articles

BC Randonneurs Cycling Club


Multiple EdH week finishers: Jeff Mudrakoff (4), Eric Fergusson (4) and Gary Baker (2).
Photo: Jerome Lavigne

"Eau de Hell" Week #4
April 10-16, 2010
by Ken Bonner, Series Organizer

Eau de Hell...
     - Pitter-patter of spring rain-drops
     - Perfume of spring blossoms
     - Phrase uttered frequently by cyclists

The 4th Eau de Hell Week (EdH) ultracyclist event centred in Chemainus, B.C., concluded Friday, April 17, 2010, with the last riders finishing the EdH Ride For Gold 600k in 38 hours and 10 minutes.

It was a week of ‘firsts’. For the first time in four years, the weather was unusually pleasant, as heavy rain, freezing temperatures and strong winds are the norm. Cheryl Lynch, from Vancouver, powered through all four distance events (200 km; 300 km; 400 km and 600km) to be the first female rider to complete EdH Week. Her total accumulated time was 80 hours and 42 minutes. Fantastic! Excellent Club history material.

Club history was also made with other notable performances by intrepid EdH neophytes, Mike Croy, Phil Lennox and Jim Runkel, (all from Victoria) as the first British Columbia randonneur cyclists to complete their first super randonneur brevet events (200, 300, 400 and 600 km.) in one week! See Jim Runkel’s story on the Club’s Newsletter pages, along with Cheryl’s recounting of her saga. Normally, cyclists take a minimum of two weeks between each distance before moving on to the longer distance.

It was also noted that Mike Croy (30) is the youngest randonneur to have completed the full EdH brevet series. The inimitable randonneur ancient, Manfred Kuchenmuller (67) has the distinction of being the most ‘senior’ of Hellions

Participants in the 4th Eau de Hell week came not only from British Columbia, but also from California, Ontario, and Washington State.

Out of 45 starters, 16 persevered to complete the four distances setting a record for the highest percentage of Hellions ever.

Once again, everyone was very pleased with Patrick Wright & Jenny Watson’s well-oiled organization of the EdH Tour of Cowichan 200 km event; and with Graham Fishlock & Dave Macmurchie’s new challenge of organizing the EdH Lost But Not Forgotten 400 km event, not only providing goodies at several controls, but also, Dave went all out with a heated, lighted and well-stocked bus stop in the wilds of Shawnigan Lake in the deep darkness of a cold night.

Newly arrived from Ontario, Martin Williams, jumped into assist with the EdH Ride for Gold 600 km event, registering riders, staffing the first control and staffing the finish control all day Friday until the last Hellions arrived!

Eau de Hell Week results, photos and stories are available at the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club’s website http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/eau-de-hell-week/results_2010.html

Rewards for the EdH Hellions:

- Special award for the first woman to complete the full EdH brevet series received a fine bottle of B.C. ‘bubbly’ -- Congratulations to Cheryl Lynch!

- All sixteen Hellions received a 36.9 gram size of BodyGlide (Thank-you to BodyGlide!)
- The male rider with the least accumulated time over the four brevets received a bottle of the devil's Quebec-brewed Maudite – Alex Pope
- Two male riders shared the distinction of being the EdH series ‘lanterne rouge’ cyclists having he same most accumulated time over the four brevets. Each received a bottle of the devil's Quebec-brewed Maudite – Jim Runkel & Phil Lennox

- One rider who was both the fastest and the slowest female Hellion received two bottles of the devil's Quebec-brewed Maudite – Cheryl Lynch

Thank-you to:

Dancing Bean Café in Chemainus for opening early for the 200k brevet
Chemainus Best Western Festival Inn for making riders and their family members/friends welcome; and signing and collecting control cards
Utopia Bakery in Chemainus for permitting registration on their premises
BodyGlide for the free product
All the Petro-Can service stations that signed control cards
7-11 in Sidney & north Nanaimo (signing control cards)
Tim Hortons at Royal Oak and south Nanaimo (signing control cards)
Save-On Gas on highway to Port Alberni (signing control cards)
Courtyard Patio Bistro in Qualicum Beach (signing control cards)
Mohawk Service Station in North Campbell River (control cards)
Gold River Chalet Motel for welcoming dripping wet and cold cyclists
All the volunteers listed in the results (could not do it without you!)
Support from the Executive of the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club, in particular, Cheryl Lynch for processing all the results and tracking membership; Karen Smith for providing the brevet pins in a timely fashion; and finally, Quadruple H-Rated Hellion and webmaster, Eric Fergusson for all his work with pre and post EdH related information.

Finally, many thanks to all the riders who participated in one or
more of the Eau de Hell week brevets. See you again next year!

The next BC Randonneurs cycling event on Vancouver Island is The Hills Are Alive 300 km. starting early Saturday morning, April 24, 2010 http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/schedule/sch_vi.html

Editor's note: It should be mentioned that in addition to organizing the series, Ken also rode the event with the other riders this year. (In past years he has pre-ridden the routes a week earlier.) The result for Ken was a new cumulative time record (66:25) for the four rides that make up the EdH week, and a course record on the 400 km route. Nice going Ken!


April 20, 2010