|Newsletter - 2014 Archive|
A Blustery Remembrance Ride and the Closing of a Very Full Season
I had never ridden the BC Randonneurs’ 11th hour ride, mostly because it usually is a very wet cold ride. But this year, given recent attacks on Canadian Soldiers and since the weather forecast was for sunny skies I signed up at the last minute. It was indeed a beautiful autumn day with plenty of maple leaves, but the gustily eastern wind made for very interesting riding when crossing the ten bridges along the course. I never new I could ride a bike at a 45 degree angle leaning against the wind, a bit unnerving I’d say.
Being Remembrance Day, I rode a Rocky Mountain bike with the flying maple leaves paint job. The leaves on the bike were indeed flying when we faced strong headwinds all the way from Iona to the Golden Ears Bridge.
The ride started with about 30 randonneurs going up and down the rolling hills of West Vancouver up to Lions Bay; a beautiful ride indeed, with clear skies, full fall colours and crisp fresh air. As usual, I started faster than I should and by the time we hit Spanish Banks my right calf was already sore. So when Cheryl and Jacques accelerated up the hill, I decided to fall back. I eventually caught up with them at Iona and had a delicious hot soup courtesy of Ron and wife.
Then, it came the headwind. I shared windbreaker duties with Dave and Jacques but Dave took the lion’s share of the pushing, until we caught up with the other two Daves as we approached the Alex Fraser Bridge. At 104th Avenue we caught up with another group that included Cheryl, the only randonneuse in the ride. By the time we hit the secret control there was about 12 of us altogether. I really needed an espresso, so I took the lead across a rather blustery Golden Ears Bridge (as Winnie the Pooh would say) hoping to get an espresso in Pitt Meadows. No luck, as the only “real” espresso place was closed I had to settle for a gas station coffee; a randonneur has to do what a randonneur has to do to keep on riding.
As I was sipping my coffee most riders in the group went by and I eventually started behind Bill and Colin. I rode with them the rest of the way, but made the mistake of pushing hard along the Barnett Highway, until my calf cramped. Poor choice, I should know better. Anyway, the tailwind was very nice and it was a drink and a bagel at the Bean before catching the Sea Bus back home. All and all, it was a nice ride indeed.
This has been a very full and eventful season for the Club and for me personally, being the year before PBP. We had great spring and summer weather, awfully disrupted by Craig’s shooting during the Cache Creek ride. Judging from his recent riding, he seems to be recovering just fine. Keep on going Craig!
As I hang up the randonneuring bike, my heart goes to those hardened souls that will be riding permanentes this winter, keep on trucking! For me, it is going to be my usual slow down and put on a few pounds.
Stay well and remember: Enjoy the Ride. Never Quit.
Go to: Results
November 14, 2014