|Newsletter - 2016 Archive|
Rocky Mountain 1200 - Not a Ride Report
I write lots of ride reports. This isn't one of them. This story starts in 2012, while I was nearing the end of that years Rocky Mountain 1200. I remember that I was riding with Randy Benz and John Kramer, between Malakwa and Sicamous. I said to Randy "I'm really looking forward to the next Rocky." When he questioned my sanity, I replied "I'm going to volunteer." Randy thought that was a great idea, and said he would join me.
For a while it looked like the 2016 Rocky might not happen. Thanks to the efforts of Deirdre Arscott and Jeff Mudrakoff, a committee was formed, and the event began to take shape. I volunteered Susan and I to pull our "wee caravan" out to Beauty Creek and run the controle there. At some point it was decided that we could also run the first controle at St. Annes Rd. in Spallumcheen before driving out to Beauty Creek. I'm not sure how it came about that when Beauty Creek closed, we would go and run the last controle in Wells Gray Park. I don't remember volunteering for that one, more likely it was suggested and I didn't say no. Perhaps it was not a good idea to drink beer while attending committee meetings via Webex.
Ever since my first Rocky in 2004, I have had a great appreciation for the efforts of the volunteers. They did so much to help me through what was, at the time, the hardest thing I had ever done. With Susan's help (actually, she did almost all of it), we gathered supplies, drawing on my experience as a rider as to what I tend to crave, and/or be able to eat at various points of the ride. I had initially thought that as the event drew close I would wish I was riding it, but that didn't happen. I was looking forward to the event in a much different way. When you ride a 1200, you only get to spend time with the riders who are close to your own speed. As a volunteer, you get to see how everyone's ride unfolds (or unravels). Of course, our first controle was so busy, there was little time to talk to anyone, and I'm very thankful for the help of Randy and Jill Benz, and Trevor Taylor in getting everyone checked through and replenished. Words cannot express how happy we were to see Nobuko Sawada finish this ride after dnf's in 2004 and 2012. Or to see Makiyo Goto, who many of us thought would have to abandon after a bad crash coming into Lake Louise, looking better and stronger every time we saw her. Or Ryoichi Hase, who the sweep drivers thought would run out of time before Beauty Creek, roll in with a half hour to spare. Many of the riders there were participating in their first 1200, and It brought back such memories of my first 1200.
We became known as the "remote controle", as none of our locations had cell phone reception. Our facilities got better with each move, going from a roadside pullout with no toilets, to a roadside pullout with outhouses, and finally to a community hall parking lot with flush toilets, potable water, and a piano.
All in all, this was an amazing, unforgettable experience. I think I slept less on this event than most of the 1200s I have ridden, but I loved every minute of it. What a wonderful sport, bringing together people from all over the world, to become instant friends.
P.S. Susan has neither murdered nor divorced me, but has strongly suggested that if we do this again, we should just do one controle- perhaps one with walls and a roof.
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August 1, 2016