Brouse’s Beach Browser 600

Ride Report by Liz Overduin:

Saturday morning, 5:00 AM, ten cyclists headed out to take on this 600 kilometre brevet. For six of the ten, it was their first 600 kilometre brevet ever! Not all ten would make it.

There is 3,900 metres of climbing on this ride – almost 13,000 feet. Most of the climbing is done in the first 300 kilometres. It would appear that everyone made it through that. The last 100 km going west to the overnight control in Wiarton, was a battle with the wind as well as the hills. The five cyclists from Windsor stayed at a different motel and the two groups did not connect again. John Maccio, Stan Shurlayov, Carey Chappelle with Rookie Chris Cossonnet and myself, headed out from Wiarton at 4:00 am. A beautiful morning and no more hills to climb, we headed 40 km northwest to Lion’s Head. And then…..we went south, sometimes southeast, sometimes southwest, but always south. Into the wind. All day. With building heat and humidity. All day long. No point talking because you couldn’t hear each other because of the screaming wind in your ears. All the livelong day! Endless headwind. Just making it to the controls with little time to spare. Looking down at my cycle computer, I began to make calculations on what I would need to maintain if I were to finish in time. With 100 km to go, I realized I would not make it. Very disappointing. Carey was ahead of me, and I hoped he would make it. Both my knees were aching and I could barely stand up on my pedals to go up the slightest hill. John Maccio and Rookie Chris caught up to me as I was walking up a hill while eating my last wrap with Nutella and cheese. I told them that I did not think that mathematically we could make it in time. John totally disagreed with me – just maintain 15 km/hr he said, and we can make it. This gave me hope and I eased my painful arse back into the saddle, clipped my shoes back into the pedals, ignored my throbbing knees, put my head down and carried on. In Lucknow, 35 km from the end, Stan and I met up and we carried on together. With almost 3 hours of time left, we felt hopeful we might finish in time. We did. Total of 39 hours and 18 minutes. John Maccio said that except for PBP 2007, this was the hardest ride he had ever done. Asking Stan what he thought of the ride, all he could do was nod his head and say “Yes” It was a loaded “yes”, full of wisdom and experience – if you know Stan, you can hear him say it, with his smile and the pain in his eyes. Chris, the Rookie, completing his Series, he was just glad he made it. Carey had already checked in and left. As for the 5 cyclists from Windsor…..we are still waiting to hear their story. I’m sure it’s a good one! Brouse’s Beach Browser – the hills are one thing, but I always knew that if there was a South wind on the 2nd day, that would be the ultimate challenge.

Until next year then!

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