Newsletter - 2013 Archive

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Permanent #97 - Coastal Inspiration
May 21, 2013
by Susan Barr

I'd made 3 previous attempts to do the Port Renfrew ride -- the first was two years ago with Graham Fishlock, when he was going to do Eau de Hell Week 300 km pre-ride. It was barely above freezing; pouring rain when we got to Lake Cowichan; and both of us were frozen. So we turned around. The next time was a 300 from Victoria via Sooke and back to Victoria. Although we all finished, the ride became known as "the day I spent 12 hours in a car wash". (Yes, it rained). And the third effort was on a 300 that started in Nanaimo. Again, we all finished but there was a significant amount of precipitation.

So when the forecast for the Hell Week 300 km called for a cool, wet day, for some reason it just didn't seem incredibly enticing. Graham (who was organizing the ride) suggested I consider doing Permanent #97 -- 211 km from Chemainus to Port Renfrew and back (it included much of the climbing of the 300, but avoided the 'extra bits' at the beginning and the end). It turned out to be a good decision for me - although the weather was much better than expected (less than an hour of 'real rain' and another hour or so of drizzle), I ended up getting *quite* hypothermic on the way back, and my hands were completely frozen (which made changing gears and braking challenging!). After getting back to the hotel in Chemainus and spending half an hour in the hot tub, I finally stopped shivering. The ride, however, was excellent -- awesome scenery, a great road, long stretches of no people/no traffic, and (thankfully) the bears stayed hidden.

But doing the ride in warm sunshine is still on my bucket list!


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May 22, 2013