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Mike's Crazy Ride
Crazy 8, 300 km
Ride Date: July 8, 2021
by Mike Hagen

Was it crazy to ride Crazy 8 in the heat and the smoke, alone, on an unfamiliar course? Maybe. But Anna, Kiersten, and I, and a friend, were doing the Bowron Lakes canoe circuit when the VI and LM 300s were scheduled. If I wanted to ride, it would have to be the Interior event. That was okay; I took my bike and left it with my sister in Kamloops, and stayed with her for a few days after we came out of the bush.

I only did one 300 last year. That was the LM Ryder Hatzic Hill brevet on a hot day ridden before getting acclimated to the heat. I ended up sick (raging diarrhea, you don't want to know), then a back issue flared, and I never did ride any more 2020 brevets. I'm in better shape this year having already done eleven 200+ km rides, a handful in the 250 km range. So 300 km should not be a problem, but I still had nerves, angst, and apprehension, to the point where I'm talking to myself:
Me: Jeez, what if something goes wrong?
Also me: It'll be fine! Just fine!
Me: It's always fine until something bad happens.
AM: What could possibly go wrong?
Me: Heat! Smoke! Fire! Rain! Wind! Cold! Flats! Mechanicals!
AM: Oh, pfft. You can't cocoon on your couch avoiding the bad stuff. You gotta get out and enjoy the fine things.
Me:
AM: Besides, the bad things spice up the good stuff; so you appreciate them more.
Me:

Anyway, nothing bad happened. No flats, no mechanicals. Sure, we were at the tail end of a record-breaking hot spell. Yes, air quality was bad; Kamloops was under a high-risk warning (AQI = 8). And the thunderstorm Wednesday night was ferocious: pouring rain and howling wind. But at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, my ride day, it was calm and cool, the sun rising red, yes, but skies were clear. By Chase, the smoke had largely dissipated, though it remained slightly hazy the rest of the day. The climb up the Chase Falkland Road was grinding and never-ending. The gravel bit was uneventful, but the climb continued. Finally, after Piller Lake, the reward: swoopy downhill on a curvy forested road, no traffic, good pavement -- I love that stuff. More swoopy downhill was had on the Yankee Flats road. This was proving a great route!

Coming into Salmon Arm, km 131, it was getting warm and I was running out of water so I stopped at the Husky to refill my water bottles. Now, on Monday, one of my bottles disappeared in the car going back to Vancouver. Whoops. So on Tuesday I dropped into Cycle Logic and scored a 1 L Zefal Magnum bottle, plus a 1.5 L Camelbak Skeeter. Along with my large PBP bottle, I had 3.3 L of carrying capacity. I also re-filled at Vernon, and ended up drinking over 9 L on the day. It was barely enough. 37 degrees at Vernon! But there was a tailwind after that, and the downhill on Barnhartvale Road the last 30 km to the finish is a stroke of genius. All-in-all, as nice a 300 course as I've ever done.

I pushed pretty steady all day, taking only 40 minutes of stoppage time, as I wanted to finish before the forecast thunderstorms. That was accomplished. Half an hour after I was back at the house, the skies opened, featuring torrential rain, howling wind, and a nice thunder and lightning show for the next couple of hours. Really didn't want to ride in that.

But, I lied. I did have a mechanical. At km 270 my bottle cage loosened, and the bottle was flapping around. Had to stop to fix that. It's always something.


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July 12, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

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