|Newsletter - 2013 Archive|
Brookmore 300 Pre-ride (Not) and Route Information
I really did try to pre ride the 300 km route on Saturday April 27. The forecast was for 40 kmh SW winds gusting to 70 kmh, but, I reasoned, I finished the 2012 Williams Lake 600, the ride by which all other windstorms must be judged. I could do this. If I could make it to the turnaround at Brookmere the return would be a cakewalk in the park. How wrong I was. I started up Hwy 5 doing just fine despite the headwind, and made good time up the Knutsford hill. I had to go pretty slow down the Cardew hill on the other side due to strong gusty crosswinds. Once I was on the flats I was able to get my average up to 18.1. All the hanging road signs were horizontal. There were clouds of water being blown up off of Napier Lake. I amused myself by figuring out how much time I had in the bank every 15 km. At 30 km I had 18 minutes to spare. I brought it up to 25 minutes at 45 km and 60 km. Then I got to Nicola Lake. The waves crashing on the shore resembled the ocean. The sun was now shining, making rainbows in the clouds of water being blown up. The cross wind gusts were far worse than the headwinds, and several times I had to stop because I could not keep the bike on the road. I arrived at a gas station before Quilchena, 66 km into the ride with about ten minutes in the bank, and realized that (a) it was far too dangerous to continue and (b) there was no way I was going to make it to the first control in Merritt within the time limits. Susan was spending the day in Kamloops (or so she thought) so I called for a rescue. We drove most of the rest of the route, except for the Coldwater road section, so I will be able to provide some information on route conditions. It looks like Susan will be staffing the Brookmere control by herself, and I will ride the route with the rest of you on May 11.
Notes on the route: There is an A&W at the start/finish that is open from 5:00am to 10:00pm, as well as a 24 hr convenience store. Highway 5A shoulders have not been swept, so anywhere there is a concrete guardrail you have to take the lane. There is very little traffic so I found no problems with this. When I originally rode the route last August there was some broken pavement at the far end of Coldwater Rd. I expect that is still the case. There are more cattleguards than I have marked on the route sheet. I only marked the ones I thought were dangerous. The longest stretches without services are about 60 km. Although Merritt is not a control point on the return, make sure you stop and top up water bottles and food, as there is a long climbing section before you get to Logan Lake. There will be a slight change to the official route sheet as I decided to go 1 km farther up Tunkwa Lake Rd. before turning around. This is because the measurements on the sheet come from my bike computer, which usually reads slightly high and I needed to ensure the route was at least 300 km. The Esso station in Logan Lake that is the control is open until 10:00 pm. If you are later than that you may have to go to the pub 3 blocks away for food. The last 40 km are mostly downhill but watch for patches of rough pavement. There are some sharp corners on the descent in the last 7 km of the ride that could be dangerous if you are finishing in the dark so keep the speed down. Hope to see you there.
April 28, 2013