Permanent Brevet #169: December 2, 2017
by Bob Goodison
I had completed the BC12 a few times before, but in the past I've always cheated and done at least one of the rides- usually January- in Victoria. I wanted to see if I could do it entirely in the Interior. With only one ride to go, I chose to try permanent 169, my modified version of Jeff Mudrakoff's Kelowna-Enderby route, in which Jeff goes up every possible hill he can find. My version starts in Enderby and has quite a bit less climbing, only slightly more highway, and avoids Glenmore Road, which I find dangerous and scary. I put out the word that I was doing this, in case anyone else was stupid enough to join me, and for a while it looked like I would have people to ride with. As the weekend got closer, weather forecasts got less favourable, and they got smart and pulled out.
I debated all week about whether to run my studded tires or not. They make any ride slower and much more tiring, but kept coming back to what it felt like when my hip landed on an icy bridge deck last December (I know you are imagining it right now, and that's exactly what it felt like). On the morning of the ride I got up and looked out the window at the van with an inch of frozen slush on it- No.
I turned on the computer and looked at DriveBC highway cams- well, maybe.
The roads on the way to the start were clear of snow, with the exception of the hill between Salmon Arm and Enderby. The thermometer in Enderby said +2C, and I unloaded and got ready. The roads were wet, and sanding, salting and de-icing liquid trucks were busy around Enderby and Armstrong. The ride was pretty uneventful. I found a few places where both the route needs improvement and the route sheet needs clarification. There are two spots where the road dead ends for vehicles, but on a bicycle you can just go around the barricades and get where you need to go. I thought I had found a great way to eliminate a section of Highway 97 (and two left turns) by staying on a rail trail, but it dead ended and I had to backtrack. I'm hoping this section will be opened up in the near future. In addition, I found I could stay on the Mission Creek Greenway all the way to the lake and miss a bunch of intersections. Old Vernon Road is a much better alternative to Glenmore, and it doesn't feel like one is about to be run over at any given moment. I need to change the Kelowna controllocation. It's currently a "Your Choice" at Hollywood Road and Hwy 33,where there is a Timmy's, McD's and a Chevron. The Timmy's was had a lineup to the door, the McD's was on the wrong side of the road, and the Chevron doesn't have much, but I was able to get a coffee and a chocolate milk. I found there is a decent looking convenience store about 1/2 km further up on Hollywood that looks like a better alternative. More research required. Westside Road is getting better all the time, and there were the usual quantities of mule deer, but no bighorns this time around. As usual, the bakery/deli section of the Little Kingdom store was a welcome oasis. My route between Armstrong and Enderby featured Young Road, which I had somehow never ridden before. It has a gravel section about a kilometer long, but provides a less hilly, low traffic route. Coming back into Enderby, the thermometer still said +2C- maybe it was stuck!
Reviewing my Garmin data, I had a high of +3C, and a low of 0C. No rain, no snow. For a little while it looked like I might get some sunshine, and I even cast a faint shadow for a few minutes while climbing out of Vernon. I had a headwind all the way from Enderby to Kelowna, and was hoping it would give me a push on the ride north, but it calmed before it could be any benefit. As usual.
The new and improved route is good, and it will get newer and improveder. With any luck, by the next time I ride it, the climb up College Way, and the section of Hwy 97 between Vernon and Oyama will be replace by the Okanagan Rail Trail. When that happens, look for this route to become a brevet.
Go to: Bob's Ride Photos (7 images - flickr)
December 8, 2017