Race Report??… well actually a ride report… or perhaps more of a report about standing on the side of the road…
A few hardy souls braved the elements in their pontoon equipped AWD’s and arrived in Bragg Creek Wednesday evening to find partly sunny skies, no wind and mild temperatures.
Despite receiving word via carrier sea gull that the evening’s competition was “washed out”, spirits remained high and bikes were soon unpacked.
Finding no one else on the road except for a few half drowned earthworms and dedicated race volunteer Robert Armstrong, “the peleton” (Norm Smith, Willy Vansevenant, Brian Beaulieu and a visiting cyclist from Edmonton named Terry who just happened to be sleeping in his van at the meet point) set out from Bragg Creek towards Elbow Falls.
Approximately 12km into the ride Norm’s rear tire flatted, likely due to a sliver of roadside debris from a discarded Bicardi Breezer bottle tossed from a pickup truck on it’s way to MacLean Creek OHV Area. The troops rallied and thanks to Willy’s “thumbs of steel” we were quickly on our way.
Less than a kilometer further down the road Norm’s rear tire flatted again. A thorough inspection of the casing and a borrowed spare tube from Willy had us rolling down the road again several minutes later. In retrospect I think Paddy’s Flats recreation area should be renamed Norm’s Flats in honour of the night's events.
As the rider’s crested one of the many spectacular vistas along the course and were nearing the 19km mark Willy’s front tire flatted, likely due to the blistering pace with which he made the ascent.
Again, Willy’s “thumbs of steel” sprung into action and Brian’s spare tube was installed. As Willy pulled the head of the pump from the valve stem, it caught and pulled the valve core out with it…
Off came the tire and in went one of Norm’s punctured tubes with a newly installed patch. No joy…
Off came the tire and in went Terry’s spare tube (the last spare tube in the group). Third time was a charm.
Deciding to forgo the beautiful scenery along the remainder of the route “the peleton” turned around and headed for home. We arrived back at the cars without further incident.
Three flat tires, four spare tubes, and plenty of camaraderie. Much better than an evening spent staring at the TV watching an episode of The Real World.