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Nanaimo Country Club
Permanent #41 Report (Ride Date: November 17, 2013)
by John Thomson

I was off to a terribly late start, not realizing that my troubles where just starting. I had taken my bike into the shop to see about random, and generally difficult shifting on an almost new drivetrain. They reassured me that it would be fine for the ride.

It was a gruelling ride. I had three flats in the first twenty km. They were those crazy flats that don't seem to have any cause. I stopped short of using my tongue to find the cause.

When I finally got underway, I realized how short the first leg was. This meant for the first time since I started randonneuring, I was under serious time pressure. At the first control I was indeed well past the "closing time." Since I missed the first control, I thought I might as well go home.

I headed back about 5 km and was thinking what to do with the rest of the day. I decided, that I had carved out the time, so I decided to turn back around and just do the ride as planned. It was then that I realized the power of the headwind that I was battling.

To Mill Bay, the wind didn't let up, and there was a light rain. I was certain that the weather would get better as the sky ahead was clear blue. I never did out-run the rain.

I was pretty discouraged when I got to Mill Bay, and considered heading straight back. But again, I decided to stay the course, and headed out around Shawnigan Lake. On my way up to the lake, with the light dimming, and the rain increasing, I was passed by 3 ambulances. Later I discovered that a car accident would force a several kilometre detour.

The random, belligerent shifting was becoming a real hassle in the rollers around the lake.

When I was finally around the lake, it was truly dark, and raining heavily. Then I got another flat. Same thing as before-- I could't find the cause. I was now out of glue to patch my tires, and didn't have another tube. The issue now was simply getting back.

I decided to stick to the route, and it was uneventful. Until I got to the lower bridge over the Chemainus River. The bridge was supposed to be reopened in August. When I got there, the sign said that the bridge would re-open on November 25. Another detour. Instead of an easy flat 11km, 17km with a big hill.

The weather improved, and I didn't get another flat. I loaded my bike into my truck, and looked at my watch. 10:48. DANG!!! I didn't make up much time.

I ran around trying to find someone to sign my Control Card, mentally calculating the closing time.

Anyway, if you are willing to overlook the first missed control…...

Actually, I spent about 10 minutes trying to find someone to sign the card.

I did the close time calculations after the ride. I can't believe how close I was to missing the rest of the controls. I made the next control with 3 minutes to spare, the third by 1 minute, and the final by 9 minutes.

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November 19, 2013