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1000km ride report

posted Jul 12, 2011, 5:02 PM by Mark Beaver   [ updated Jul 12, 2011, 5:04 PM ]

Our 1000km brevet turned out to be another sizeable challenge for its participants.  Three riders, Dave Ross, Tony Kelly, and Mark Beaver, headed out on Friday this week at 5AM to attempt our longest club ride of the year.


The morning was easy riding to Sheet Harbour, with bays and lakes like reflecting mirrors along the way.  Arriving at Sheet Harbour at 9AM (112km), we breakfasted at the Fairwinds then headed off to Upper Stewiacke into the hills.  The temperature rose and the winds began to pick up.  The big climb after Upper Stewiacke was quite challenging.  Descending into the Stewiacke Valley, we picked up a brisk headwind to Brookfield.  It was +29 and hot enough that my feet were both burning in my shoes, not a good sign with 250km to go.


Departing Brookfield, we rode the headwind to South Maitland and the Noel Shore.  Tony began to fall ill from the heat and withdrew from the ride.  Dave and Mark continued on to Windsor for supper then to Wolfville and the Valley, mercifully flat roads after the Noel Shore.  The winds died with the sunset.  We arrived at our motel in Middleton just after midnight.  Huge thanks to Cheryl for coming in the car with bag drop bags and supper and breakfast food – this made the ride much more civilized!


After three hours sleep we rose at 5AM to a cloudy morning.  We hit the road shortly after 6AM and the rain began five minutes later.  It rained steadily and firmly all the way to Digby, where we bought wool sox at the SuperStore to have dry feet during breakfast, then continued on in the rain through Weymouth and Meteghan to Yarmouth.  The skies began to clear around Port Maitland and the sun came out.  After a visit to the bike shop in Yarmouth for a new rear tire for Dave, we lunched at a Subway then continued on.  The sun had brought increasing tailwinds which blew us all the way to Barrington.  We had supper at Barrington then onward toward Clyde River (where the lights were turned on again) and on to Shelburne, arriving at 11:30pm at our motel for the night.  Again, huge thanks to Mary for bringing bag drop bags and supper and breakfast to our motel – and she brought Tony along as well, recovered from his illness and ready to do the third day of the ride!


On the road at 6AM, we enjoyed a clear sunny morning with rolling hills all the way to Liverpool, our first stop for breakfast and coffee.  After Liverpool, we rode backroads to East Berlin and West Berlin, and on to Mill Village in a stiff headwind, then tailwind to Voglers Cove and Broad Cove to the Lahave Bakery.  After a lunch there, we crossed the ferry and fought a stiff headwind all the way to Mahone Bay.  Temperatures reached 28 degrees with wind off the land.  The rest of the way to Chester was a mix of headwind and tailwind depending on the curves of the bays and inlets of the coast.  After a quick break at Chester, we plugged on to Hubbards and Tantallon, where mercifully the last 25km was tailwind all the way.  The 1000km point was passed just after the Bayers Lake Industrial Park at 6:20PM.  I arrived home shortly thereafter, to a wonderful shower and supper and a very good bottle of Australian Shiraz.


Thanks to Mary and Cheryl for their time sacrifice for our epic, and congrats to Tony for coming back from illness to finish the ride, and thanks to Dave for the companionship and the conversation on what was a very challenging but very rewarding 61 hours 20 minute ride.