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Ridiculous Permanent
Permanent #50 Report
by Étienne Hossack

Route: That’s Ridiculous!, Time: 9:31

So for my first 'official' permanent I decided to ride the Ridiculous 200, because, well... Ridiculous? :D
I had to ride one previously to Barry prove that I could ride my first event (Whatcom Wamble), but didn't know about this whole cue sheet thing very well, so it was time to make one count!

The day started out quite nice: sun shining, cool temperatures and I was stoked to get the show on the road. With all of the climbing I brought my race bike and had bags of food hanging off it all the way along, making for an amusing spectacle.
After about 5 minutes of circling around Britannia School trying to find the darn start, the ride began, through Vancouver, along the causeway towards Britannia.

I ended up riding with a bunch of rather gung-ho riders to Britannia Beach, whom I let drop me on each of the climbs as I tried to conserve all the energy I could, and catching up on the descents of each hill. The beautiful vistas of the Sea to Sky never fail to impress me. And the traffic was reasonably pleasant, so a nice, brisk start to the day. At Britannia Beach snacks were nibbled and a museum employee was coerced into signing the control card and back off to Cypress we set off.

One of the riders I rode with ended up having 2 flats, so eventually I gave up waiting and rode on back towards the base of climb 1, Cypress.
By the second flat the clouds had come in and as the base of Cypress became closer, the raindrops started. It spat all the way up Cypress! At the top, I had hoped for some snacks, but it tuns out the café opened for the year the day AFTER this permanent. Hurrah.... So, snack, water, begin descent. A little bit of saddle discomfort on the race bike made the descent slower than normal, but still satisfying.
Riding over to the Grouse area was... interesting.
Missing the turn off of Glenmore drive and doing some VERY steep climbing was a little nasty. (Need I emphasize how small that #19 on the cue sheet is! It's VERY hard to miss! Keep your eyes peeled!)
Lots of lovely climbs in the damp up the *gentle* Montroyal Blvd, followed by a nice detour down most of Lonsdale Ave before realising that I'd missed the turnoff and had to climb some more back up to the correct Braemar turn-off. Apparently my mind and body just couldn't get enough climbing! But I ate some energy bars on Lonsdale to keep me running.

Eventually the base of Seymour was reached and after a quick coke & chai tea & muffin break, it was time to start the last climb of the day. In between the missed turnoff on Lonsdale and the base of Mt Seymour Rd, the rain had kindly let up, but lo and behold, as soon as Seymour was reached, the sky spat again!
The climb was... harder than usual? About 12 minutes slower as well. …I was dreaming of a triple or compact crank all the way up as I spun heavy, 50rpm strokes… But where would be the pleasure without the pain! :) I still passed a couple people, so it wasn't ALL bad!

Cypress and Seymour

At the top I was rather discouraged by the time, thinking I wouldn't make it back under my self-imposed 10 hour time limit, so I took a 20-minute break and just relaxed and ate more food! Yummy sugar. (Yes, I eat a lot) The descent started slow, but about a quarter of the way down my legs seemed to say, "Hey? Ready to ride again?" so I began happily whizzing down the hill and passing folks, realising along the way that the time was still achievable.

Booked it along the Hwy, up to the base of the demonstration forest, practically snatching the cue sheet from my benevolent sign-ee's on the trail, and then hightailed back to Dream Cycles, sprinting to make every light, and eventually returning, tired, but satisfied.
Of course, a finish on Commercial Drive cannot miss nice beer, so that and cooked food was lovingly consumed.

Returning to my doorstep, the GPS read: 8hrs 12 minutes moving time (meh), 216.7km distance (alright), and a lovely 3,977m of elevation (there's the fun part!).

Finish on the Drive

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June 29, 2013