Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tales of The Ride - I

6:00 am, Saturday, 18 June

It’s raining.

Driving east on Highway 1, heading to the Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino, the start of this year’s Ride. There’s a lot of traffic, all heading in the same direction, all carrying bikes. I guess I’m not the only one who wants to get there early.

Traffic at the track is a total clusterfuck. No signs, no directions, nobody really knows where to park. I pull in next to someone unloading a rack full of bikes, ask him if we can leave our vehicles overnight - he shrugs, and says that’s what he’s going to do. Sounds good to me, so I unload my bike and gear, lock my car, and start looking for my teammates.

It’s still raining.

I find the rest of the team, looking cold & wet. Some are huddled under a big trailer, waiting to get on the road. Nobody is particularly happy.

Hundreds of cyclists mill about. Some are woefully unprepared - cycling shorts and short-sleeved jerseys. Just watching them shiver makes me cold. Volunteers are handing out green plastic garbage bags to use as rain gear. Oy.

Still raining.

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