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The Imperialist
by Harold Bridge

As I grew up with Imperial measure, I used have a suspicion that metric foreigners were trying to cheat.
It took some time to think in terms of the metric system introduced to Canada by Trudeau.
As a result, my rides were in miles when I was doing what amounted to private time trials.
Pre-Randonees, I was fit and strong enough to climb the steep side of Woodside on 42x22 (~50").

But one wall I kept on banging my head against was the "Harrision Hundred", miles of course.
Usually, I would start at the Billy Miner Pub on River Road, Maple Ridge, fly out to Harrsion with the tail wind and then die a few deaths on the way back. A bikely check suggests it is a genuine 100 miles (161 kms).

1987-July-09; I cycled to work and was confronted by a big banner across the entrance;
"Weird Old Harold is 60 today!". Four of us were planning a "1000" starting early the following morning:
The straight forward route was Haney-Williams Lake-Haney. I was not at my best and the 3 others soon left me to my own schedule. Just south of Williams Lake I crossed paths with the others.

While the others had a few hours sleep in Clinton, I struggled on through the night. At dawn I layed down in the grass, checked my watch and slept. About 10 minutes later I was awoken by a very distinction sound; a Rattler!
I rode the downhill to Cache Creek with the others, had a meal in Cache Creek and then let them go on the climb.
The Canyon was at its worst, 96deg F and a gale force head wind to battle.
I spent a lot of time looking for shade and arrived at Boston Bar just out side the time limit.
I took a room at the Charles, had a meal, a couple beers, expelled that which discomforted me, and had 12 hours sleep.
I missed the bus the following morning but I felt good and rode back to Maple Ridge feeling little effect from my 800 or so kms. Total time 86 hours, including the 12 hours sleep.

The following Saturday I awoke early, saw a good day with a rising headwind and set out for Harrison.
The tailwind back from Harrison was a blessing and I finished back at the Billy Miner in 5:25
In comparison to my best 100 mile tt in 1950, 4:47:12 sounds slow, but I was happy.
We did once organise a 100 mile tt on that route. It was an awful day & no one got inside 5 hours.

Try it as a Permanent.



November 29, 2010