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Early Bird 200 Organizer's Report
by Sylvia Lee

The weather forecast leading up to the day was ominous, so I was excited to see that it was not yet raining when I awoke to go to the start at 6:25. I was pleasantly surprised to see a half dozen riders already sitting inside Bean Around the World with coffee and muffin in hand (the manager at Bean was quite happy with the amount of business you all provided. Thank you everyone!).

Cheryl and Nigel helped keep things in order at the start as riders trickled in near 7am. The rain gods cooperated for the first 1/3 of the day as riders enjoyed cloudy skies with only a mere sprinkle of rain here and there. James and I tried our best to keep the food dry for the riders at the Spanish Banks control with a tarp and lots of twine.

The riders were treated to an elaborate control manned by Ali and Roger. Hot soup, coffee, tea and an assortment of goodies were enjoyed by all. James and I can attest – Roger's soup is “da bomb”. See Ali and Roger's pictures of the control. As we packed up the control, the rain started in earnest and we all agreed that it was better to be volunteering today. We certainly were not envious of the riders!

There were reports of heavy traffic and flooding on United Blvd. Sorry riders – I guess the drivers figured out a way to get around that Bailey Bridge closure as we experienced no such traffic last week.

Riders started pouring into the Bean shortly before 5 in the afternoon. Dripping wet and very cold, all were relieved to have finished. I was enthused to learn that many had stopped to enjoy the generous portions of french fries at Five Guys and was a little amused to hear the reports of upset stomachs. I should've warned beforehand that 'Little' at Five Guys is a synonym for 'Large'. I swear, I only eat these when riding lots of kms!

Cold, windy, and rainy. These three words again describe this year's Early Bird 200k. Bravo riders, you made it in spite of the conditions! A special congratulations to new riders Shaun Hayes, Lee Ryan (sorry Lee, I missed taking your picture), Mark Longpre and Sergio Hsia. You chose the most epic of conditions for completing your first brevet.

P.S. Let's not make this a habit, Mother Nature. I expect sunny skies, puppies, and rainbows for next year's Early Bird 200!


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March 19, 2014