|Newsletter - 2023 Archive
John Bates, Barry's Reflections
I just came across the sad news about John. (John Bates Remembered). I have not been involved in Randonneuring for some time and now live in Nanaimo so haven't kept up since PBP '23. As Karen said "It was a shock, even though it was expected some time soon.."
Like John, I worked at Hydro, but I was just there '78-'81. Luis Bernhardt worked there as well and encouraged me to do some REAL cycling, but I didn't start Rando brevets until 1985. I was involved in VBC from their start in '78 and met the 'original four' and we even did some training rides together. I must have met Danelle soon after, in her BABC days.
But I don't know exactly when I met John. He was one of those fast guys you never saw after the start, while I was the opposite. Of course, I ran into him a lot, and we had conversations about electronic route navigation, which we were both interested in. But my best memory of his was during the Tour De Turkey that he and Danelle organized, I think it was 2014.
I had known about Danelle's Tours, but never did one. Actually, I never toured until 1999 after P-B-P. But I could not resist Turkey. I was in shape because I rode with some friends to Haida Gwaii a month earlier. But I had some trouble in Turkey. I got a case of 'Erdogon's revenge' when I drank the water, not having gotten Danelle's advice to the contrary in time. I was also not used to the heat and had been in the past prone to leg muscle cramps. I was still dehydrated, and I cramped very badly one day on the tour, slowly falling behind and finally stopping. I could not even lift my leg over the bike and I stood there frozen for a while. I am sure all Randos know what a leg cramp is like. Pretty much like a knife insertion.
Anyway, like the kind Shepard he was, John rode back to find me on the road and slowly guided me to the hotel. I could not have gone on without his encouragement and guidance. When I finally arrived at the hotel with all the others, Danelle gave me the best advice I ever had to cure cramps. "Jump in the swimming pool". It works. Along with a beer.
RIP John. You were far too young.
Remembering John Bates (Newsletter) November 26, 2023
November 26, 2023