A Road Trip to BC Canada
It was an early start for John Haaker and myself in the Lewisport "RACE" van, for an event called "TERRANOVA" !
Leaving CA and traveling north to meet John Isherwood in Portland that evening, then then going onwards to Port Angeles to catch the ferry to Victoria, we finished with a small trip north on the island to a place called Lake Cowichan for the event.
This event has been running for many years and has stages in the middle of the small sleepy town where motels and accommodation is provided. The whole organizing committee were very enthusiastic about the event and were surprised to see such traveled entries, but we were told it was a good one -- so we thought we would make the trip to check it out ourselves!
Well, we weren't disappointed! A GREAT event it was. Many riders compete on trials bikes as it had been known to be a little on the hard side in the past. This year was not too bad at all, a little on the easy side if anything. The event started on Saturday at 10:00 after the riders' meeting. About 75 riders showed up and the weather surprised everyone with warm sunny skies (as it does rain a lot!!). We left the start with a 70 km loop in front of us -- long sweeping fire roads and straight onto tight twisty open trails in cut areas with many wet small cut tree limbs to throw you off at a moments loss of concentration! Then, into the forest. Dark twisty hill climbs with descents and rivers to cross -- all in all an excellent course, and coming from CA it was so nice to ride on something that hadn't been all whooped out!. We traveled on up into the mountains where the views were spectacular, looking out over Lake Cowichan (some 25 miles long I was told) with clouds below us and more trail to discover! Lunch stop came and a feast of hot soup and rolls with as many candies as you could stuff where available, then onwards into the afternoon and fuel stop, then on to the finish. We finished the day in good time and all returned to get a shower before the night's festivities. This was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and the club put on a FULL thanksgiving dinner for ALL the competitors and workers--probably close to 100 people -- and what a dinner it was! I have never been to an event with such hospitality and such great food, a full turkey dinner with wine and dessert! Thank you all! We all retired early, stuffed and ready for the next day.
The start of day two was a little different -- a look outside showed this wet stuff falling from the sky. What could that be? Can't remember what that looked like, it has been so long! Anyway, it was a damp overcast day with drizzle at sea level and we all knew it would be raining higher up....GREAT!! This is what I came for! Well, maybe one of our party (who will remain nameless) was not so impressed! So off we went on day 2--basically a reverse of day one. Problem was-- we knew some of the downs we encountered yesterday were going to be ups! Sure enough, as we went up the weather became increasingly wetter, and the trail became even better! The same lunch stop, and (being wet through and through) the hot soup was just the ticket! On into the afternoon with only one notable excursion (went off the fire road into a washout following "Ishy" too close...the "Trench of Death")! The whole event went very well !
We didn't bother to score and ride to the enduro stops and average speed, we just went and rode, and had a great time!
I would like to thank the organizers for this great event -- we will return!