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Pacific Shoreline
Permanent Brevet #37 Report, March 24, 2013
by John Thomson

For my first two permanents, I was so physically depleted that last the 50km were like a different ride. I did some internet research to try and figure out how much I should eat for rides like this. To my shock, I discovered that I should double my normal daily calories. I hadn't been coming close. So, I tried a new strategy... eat as much as possible.

The weather forecast was for fine weather. As I headed out the weather was classic Wet Coast drizzle, pretty easy riding for the first fifty. When I got to Courtenay, it was heavy rain, and at about 75km I wondered why I was doing this. While I was in the Subway in Campbell, the rained stopped, and my spirits rose as I started the trip back. So far, my time looked like I could do the ride in less than ten hours, and my hopes were high.

Until I met the headwind, (I think around 30km/hr.) My spirits dropped with the each successively lower gear that I selected. Dreams of a sub-10hr died, and I started to wonder if I would even make it back. "This," I told myself "is experience. It is something money can't buy." I was soon hoping for the hills, which meant the shelter of trees. The hills came, but the shelter didn't.

By some miracle, once I passed back through Courtenay, the wind died, and the last fifty km were the most beautiful, inspiring fifty km that I have ever ridden. The snow was low on the hills, an exhilarating chill in the air, and the road was almost abandoned. My efforts to eat more had paid off. I don't ride with my watch, but I was riding so strong that I was once again wondering if I would beat the 10 hr mark.


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March 27, 2013