Newsletter - 2013 Archive

BC Randonneurs logo BC Randonneurs logo

BC Randonneurs
Cycling Club
BC Randonneurs logo BC Randonneurs logo



Ocean Park Mission
by Étienne Hossack

Étienne Hossack
Permanent # 80 - Ocean Park Mission 203k
October 14th, 2013

Not deterred by the abysmal weather in September, I set out to ride my first route again, but with more style :P
Encouraged by the turnout of my Escape Velocity companions on the flatlander, I thought we'd have another fun day.
The week leading up had the forecast looking good, the day was booked, I had a new fit on my bike and everything was dandy!

The night before, everyone but one of those who had expressed interest bailed. :(
However, two others decided they were going to come and told me so, though they were cyclocross racers at the start of a big season, so I was a little confused.

Lo and behold the morning of the 14th came, the weather looked great (although dark and cold), and no response from the last club member....
That'll teach me to rely on those folk!

Riding out to the start was a little chillier than I expected, a layer of fog coating everywhere, and at the modified Starbucks-start, I was glad to see it the fog dissipating. Though I did seem to choose a start at the top of a typical New West hill (I'm sure I would love that by the end!).

So off we headed Maple-Ridge bound, riding along United as the fog dissipated. But my wonderful luck would not leave me! As we reached the Pitt River Bridge, I remained on the Highway while my companions diverted onto the bike path. As the two rode quite closely together, when the first rider exited the path, he was able to hide the pylons that were so nicely newly installed in the path (to stop cars from driving about). Which of course meant that when I looked over to see where they were, all I saw were legs flying in the sky and a cartwheeling bike as the second rider hit one.

I rushed over and we reassembled bits of his bicycle, but with his 28-hole steel spoke rim now warped, it was clear that it was a bit of an impact (later on he found it to be a bruised bone.)

But, committed 2 of us carried onward to the Tim Hortons in Maple Ridge where we enjoyed a coffee in the sun.
The next part of the route is always pleasant, especially because I grew up in Whonnock, and the rolling hills down to the damn I think are just gorgeous. Upon reaching the damn, there was repaving going on, but thankfully no wetness, so the super-new, super-slick asphalt was quite pleasant to climb up. During this section I got a couple texts along the lines of "I'm at Tim Horton's, where are you?", "How close are you guys?", and "Sorry couldn't wait any longer". Needless to say, we assumed a coincidental wrong number.

Upon reaching the next control in Mission (another Tim Hortons of course :P) I pulled out my phone to discover a "This is Alex [Pope] texting ;)"..... COMMUNICATION PEOPLE!!! IT HELPS! *mental sigh*
Apparently he had just wanted to say hello with his kids, but we had no idea he was going to show up.....

Distractions aside we crossed the Mission bridge, praying for dear life we would not puncture amidst the plethora of debris on the sidewalk --> beer cans, shards of glass and twigs and others scary things. Thankfully we made it over without a hitch.

At this point, my last remaining riding partner had to go visit some family, so we split ways and I went to ride the remaining 130-odd kilometres myself. I wish I brought headphones :)

Personally the Langley --> Aldergrove --> Fort Langley traversal is my least favourite part of the route, but it was gorgeous sunny weather, so I couldn't exactly complain :) And information controls as riddles are always fun!!

Once back in Fort Langley, a little bummed at the lack of company I sat down to a bit of a meal at Wendel's. It ended up taking actually a fair amount of time due to the huge amount of people around (sunny holiday Monday... figures).
But I got my food and after a nice long (almost an hour) stop, I carried on through the nice winding roads around Fort Langley.

I paused briefly at the next information control to consume some chocolate, re-pump up my tires (they're supposed to be at some obscene psi) and carry on to the coast.
The White Rock section was nice and chilly with the seabreeze, but still sunny, and I did not get stuck behind too many cars on Marine Drive, so I cannot say it wasn't enjoyable. I whizzed past the next control and made my way along the King George highway back towards New West with considerably more gusto than I did on my first brevet (in which I did not plan for that hill. That was a bit of a rude shock...)

Eventually the first control presented itself, I had it signed and then reflected on the bailing of my comrades. With some energy left, I decided to ride home in the setting sun towards Vancouver.

Go to: Permanent Results

November 13, 2013