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The Mighty Fraser and a Deeply Disturbing Act
Cache Creek 600: May 31-June 1, 2014
by Jaime Guzman

What kind of cowardly, savage beast decides to shoot a passing-by randonneur? As randonneurs we worry about encountering bears and other wild creatures in our rides, and sometimes we forget about the most savage creature of all!

Our heart and prayers are with our fellow randonneur. Get better and see you in another ride soon!

On the last day of May thirty-something randonneurs started the Cache Creek 600 ready to face the Mighty Fraser River as it constantly changes in its way up the mountains; little we knew that we were to face a infinitely larger challenge: To try to come to terms with an act that defies any understanding.

I had a minor additional challenge: I forgot my bike computer. No that anybody needs navigation help with a route that goes straight up Highway 1 and straight down Highway 1, but I missed pacing my ride with my heart rate, I even had my chest strap and all. We all face minor challenges: Hell, we even saw a randonneur riding the wrong way around Hope with no saddle!

It was the first day of full summer and the views of the river going as we went up the canyon were astounding! All sorts of greenery, mountains and water under a bright hot sun! That was a really hot climbing, about to give heat shock to anybody that missed the right balance of water, electrolytes and cooling down.

After Boston Bar the scenery transitions to desert and bare mountains and you ride by the side of a fast angry river as you approach Spencers Bridge. At the Inn I met with Deirdre and Bob and caught a ride with them up to Cache Creek and back; I always feel safer riding in a group at night in the middle of nowhere. And nowhere it is, after traffic was re-routed to the Coquihalla the small desert towns on Highway 1 became, well really deserted!

I stopped for a sleep at the Inn, but they kept riding. Little did they know that soon they and others would be assisting a fallen randonneur! A big, big, big thank you to all who helped!

I wake up to the shattering news, but its meaning only sunk in 24 h later as I write this. At the time a decision needed to be made whether to continue the ride and under what circumstances. I decided riding along with two other randonneurs once there was enough light on the road was acceptable and thus I headed South with Jacques and Dave. Of course I couldn’t keep up the pace, but the good thing about randonneuring is that most of the time you can fall back to the next group of riders.

By the time we hit the last control the shooting was all over the news, but no clues yet as to the perpetrator of this random cowardly act.

Stay well and remember: Enjoy the Ride. Never Quit.

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June 2, 2014