Ride report from Liz Overduin:
There was a total of 26 Controls during Devil Week – if you include each start and finish. For us Randonneurs, it seems to be all about the Control – how far we have gone, how far to the next one, getting a signature, etc. We are truly Control Freaks. I have heard cyclists pre-plan what they are going to order when they get to the Control – homemade ice-cream at Big Bay, a real milk chocolate shake at Thornton, Creemore lager at Creemore (yup, right before the steep hill), or soup at Tim Hortons always goes down well. Riding together on the first two rides to the first Control – a double pace-line of 16 or more riders, going over 35 km/hr – that was great! (The dog coming at us was not so great.)
The wonderful thing about Randonneuring is not only the Controls, but those amazing moments between them.
On the 200 Big Bay ride we cycled through the forest of Lilacs, wishing we could just breathe in, without stopping, for the time it took to go through. In the warm sunshine we stopped for a refreshing drink at the Pub on the beach in Sauble. Then 10 km from the finish we stopped again at another favourite Restaurant – The Elk and Finch in South Hampton, where we ordered pizza and more refreshing drinks.
The highlight of the Bowle Buster 300 had to be the presence of the Devil himself at the steepest grade on Bowles Hill. Dressed in red, with horns and tail, the Devil of Devil’s Week (Bill Little) harassed us, yelled at us, belittled us and whacked us with his pitchfork to get up the hill. Not even showing concern for David Pearson who was on a Fixed Gear bike. (By the way – huge congrats to David for completing the entire Devil Week on a fixed gear bike – amazing!)
The Creemore Classic, with the famous Scenic Caves climb, also included the chance for any cyclist to stop for a game of 5 pin bowling and become the 2013 Champion. Terry Payne was not on the ride to defend his title, and we have a new winner – Larry Sowerby. It should be pointed out that even if you added the four total scores together (only 2 strikes between 4 people), it would still be a low score that no self-respecting bowler would be proud of.
Devil Week finished off with the March to the Marsh 600. With a much needed rest day between the 400 and the 600, the ride started with a spectacular sunrise. Many riders commented that they had never been on a 600 km brevet that had so many participants – it was awesome! Thanks also to John & Laurie Maccio for doing the drop bag service.
Devil Week needs a new title – with the opportunity to ride a bike for a week, it was a week of Heaven. The weather was mostly great – no crazy highs or lows in temperature, no wild thunderstorms or gale force winds, and everyone stayed safe – lots to be thankful for. Who will ever forget Abhi, the store owner in Dornoch who stayed open an extra hour when he heard there was another rider “still out there”. How about those steaks, salmon, pastas and salads at Carey & Donna’s place on Friday night. Was that the Devil at the BBQ, or was he really an Angel? (Thanks Bill Little)
One last thing I should add, my Bob took one look at me when I arrived home after the week and said “I will have to have a talk with your friends – look at you! Here I send them a beautiful wife and this….this is what they give back to me!” With my bleary bloodshot eyes, puffy face and crazy hair, he said I looked like one of those apple dolls.
Bob is currently living in the dog house.