6:00 am, Saturday, 18 June
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.