BC Rando 400K…

25 05 2013
Mike in control...

Mike in control…

I helped Mike and Steve run the Hell Week 400K last Thursday. The weather was awesome and the riders put in strong performances which made running controls easy. We enjoyed some lovely sunshine running a control near the Denman Island Ferry and then retreated to the Best Western Hotel in Chemainus where we watched the NHL play offs while waiting for riders to come in for a 280K control plus the final control. Luxury hotel rando volunteering. ;)

I posted some photos to Flikr here.

The start...

The start…

Folks familiar with the BC Rando Club’s Hell Week will notice far too much smiling in these photos. Sadly the excellent weather meant that the legendary level of suffering for this week long Super Randonneur series has not materialized.

Eric on the move...

Eric on the move…

I offered to blast riders with cold water from a garden hose at the 280km control so they could get more suffering value out of their ride, but nobody took me up on it! ;)

Ken doesn't look like hell at 280kms...

Ken doesn’t look like hell at 280kms…





Victoria Populaire 50K…

28 03 2013
Team Raspberry Rocket mid-ride...

Team Raspberry Rocket mid-ride…

Sharon and I tackled the BC Randonneurs Victoria Populaire last Sunday on our Bike Friday Tandem Traveller XL. We decided on the 50K route because Sharon is scheduled for knee surgery this spring and we didn’t want to push things too hard and cause her any issues. With the ride to and from the event we racked up 70kms.

Click on map for more details...

Click on map for more details…

The event was well run as per the usual high standards of the BC Rando Club. It was a cold, but dry day with around 100 smiling riders. The course is easy to follow and has some nice scenery with enough hills to be interesting, but not punishing.

Ride pin...

Ride pin…

We racked up 50.85kms in 2:55 and finished with a Bike Friday Pocket Llama and a Cruz Bike recumbent. That seemed fitting. We had a great day out on the bike and we’ll be back next year to tackle the 100km course once Sharon has new bionic knee… ;)

Our beast of burden...

Our beast of burden…

Our Bike Friday tandem continues to impress with its ease of use and solid performance.  =)





BC Rando Recruitment Poster…

21 03 2013
BC Randos need a few good cyclists... ;)

BC Randos need a few good cyclists… ;)





At the start of the Chili 200K…

4 03 2013
Bikes arriving at the start...

Bikes arriving at the start…

Brynne manning the registration...

Brynne manning the registration…

There is always paperwork to complete...

There is always paperwork to complete…

High visibility...

High visibility…

Control card...

Control card…

Croy HQ getting busy...

Croy HQ getting busy…

Mike pumping up morale...

Mike pumping up morale…

Guido, Jim and Phil...

Guido, Jim and Phil…

One less car...

One less car…

Eager to start...

Eager to start…

Lots of neon...

Lots of neon…

Excellent turnout...

Excellent turnout…

Mike giving out last minute instructions...

Mike giving out last minute instructions…

and they are off...

and they are off…

happy to be rolling...

Happy to be rolling…

ch26

Heading north on Milgrove…

They keep coming...

They keep coming…

and coming...

and coming…

and coming...

and coming…

and coming...

and coming…

and the last of the pack...

and the last of the pack…

My bike feeling lonely at the start...

My bike feeling lonely at the start…

Steve showing off the 200K pin...

Steve showing off the 200K pin…





Crouching Rat 300K…

30 04 2012

300K Map - click for larger...

I rode the BC Randonneurs Crouching Rat 300K on Saturday. I’m uber busy at the moment so no detailled ride report will be forthcoming.

Photo: Eric Fergusson...

Ride Stats:

  • Distance = 301kms
  • Event Time = 17:10hrs
  • Off Bike Time = 2:23hrs
  • Ride Time = 14:47hrs
  • Elevation Gain = 2377m

Busy start...

Ride Links:

Tobin - the Patient Randonneur...

The Good:

  • well organized and executed event
  • started/finished at a bakery with excellent espresso and tasty beer [in that order]
  • varied route with lots of different terrain/scenery
  • Tobin [shown above] hung out with me for most of the ride even though he was capable of a faster time
  • friendly faces and treats at most controls [salted pretzels are my new favourite next to chocolate milk!]
  • got to see a lot of familiar BC Rando Club faces
  • traffic was quite polite/courteous
  • 2 different old men on mountain bikes who decided to race us at various points on the course!
  • chose the right clothing for the day so I was comfortable with minimal fuss
  • wasn’t nearly as destroyed as the 2011 Hatzic Hills 300K
  • ~20kms of gravel to switch things up a bit…=-)

Mr. Lazy...

The Bad:

  • my front derailleur wouldn’t shift to the small ring [there were some uber steep slopes I would have used it on!]
  • lots of steep climbs all packed into the first 150kms left me pretty worn out on the 2nd half
  • 2nd half of the ride started with a long stretch of highway riding into a noticeable headwind – demoralizing!
  • GPS refused to navigate us along the route I had programmed for the last 60kms to the finish [when riding in the dark in the city turn by turn GPS warnings are so nice!]
  • course seemed far harder than it should have been….not sure why, but I heard that from several people who I didn’t ride with so it wasn’t just me!

Sumas Mountain Control...

The Ugly

  • we took a 5km detour off route and climbed the most heinous climb off the day only to find out we were on Old Claybourn Rd instead of Claybourn Rd!!!
  • definitely the most punishing bonus miles I’ve ever done…=-(

BC Randonneurs 300K Event Pin - 2012...

Thanks to Chris Cullum who organized the ride as well as his intrepid band of volunteers who staffed the controls! Another fine BC Randonneur Club event in the books…=-)





Volunteer Bling…

26 04 2012

My 2011 BC Randonneur Volunteer Pin...

I’m no uber volunteer. There are folks in the BC Randonneurs that put in a million more hours to support the club, but I feel like if you want to see rides happen you have to be willing to put in some effort to make that happen. Start with helping out at one ride and see what happens. You’ll likely enjoy it a lot. Then see if you can fit in supporting a second ride. Every little bit helps and if everyone shares the work it all gets done easily without burning out a few generous folks.

Sure that means maybe you don’t ride every event that you might like to, but that’s life. You have to put something in to get something out.

I’m never going to win a volunteer of the year award, but you’ll always see me helping out on the other side of the table at a few rides.





Hills Are Alive 300K…

22 04 2012

Who is in Control here?

I had the pleasure of volunteering at the BC Randonneurs Hills Are Alive 300K brevet yesterday. When the alarm went off at 0430hrs I panicked for a second realizing my bike wasn’t ready for the ride…until I remembered I just had to help out at the event….not ride it! The 0630hrs start was well staffed so I mostly took photos and did my best imitation of a Rando Cheerleader.

Team Croy ready to rumble...

Once all the riders were off I grabbed the stuff I would need to staff a control at ~222kms along the route from our fearless ride leader Mark. I debated getting a nap in, but decided to be productive so I fixed our BBQ after breakfast. Then it was time to head to the control for a 1300hrs opening time. I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on a few items I always like to see when I pull up to a Rando Buffet [chocolate milk, chocolate bars, peperoni sticks, chips, coke, etc…]. Sadly while at the grocery store I forgot to buy any real food for myself…an error that came back to haunt me as the clock ticked past 2100hrs in the evening.

Mark gives the riders a few pointers before they head out...

Another volunteer, Patrick, showed up right at 1pm to lend a hand. As it turned out our first customer wasn’t until nearly 1600hrs so it was good to have some company to kill time.

Steve M shot the video above while he was volunteering on the ride.

Lee, Jim & Phil - far too cheerful at ~120kms...

My second mistake after not bringing any food was to forget my laptop. The Ottawa Senators were playing hockey at 5pm and we were getting a strong WiFi signal from a nearby house. I’m such an amateur sometimes! Luckily we could follow the score on my phone and we won. Go Canada!

The big picture...

The main pack came through between 1730-1900hrs and we did good business at our control. Boost and chocolate milk were very popular as were chips and brownies. Not much interest in cookies, fruit or muffins.

Happy customers...

After our control was the last 80kms which has some very tough climbs that have to be pumped out with very tired legs. Our stop was mostly a morale and resupply stop to keep the riders stoked for the last effort.

Guido gets back in the saddle...

The weather stayed sunny all day and the temps rose to at least a warmish 12 deg C. Ideal conditions for a tough ride like this. Once the main group was through we had one last rider out on the course at night. Not ideal – especially when they are near the edge of the cut off time. He rolled in after 2100hrs just before the control closed and made the smart decision to stop riding. We packed up the control and returned the control supplies to Mark at the finish while Patrick gave our last customer a ride home.

Jeff heads back out...

All in all it was a great day to be outside supporting the ride. As the saying goes – “This shit doesn’t run itself!” and if I want to have rides to participate in I have to support the club when I can. I rolled home around 2230hrs to crack open a cold beer and then pass out.

Ed on the move...

Hills Are Alive 300K links:

Click to enlarge...