Ride Report: Huron Chapter’s Nassagaweya 300km Brevet!

One Awesome 300km Brevet was held this past weekend. The Nassagaweya 300, created by Charles Horslin was ENJOYED and COMPLETED BY ALL 12 RANDONNEURS! This is the first time this ride was scheduled and I can’t wait to do it again! Congratulations to John Cumming, myself (Carey Chappelle), Marc Deshaies, Jerzy Dziadon, Richard Felton, Mike Fox, Mark Hopper, Charles Horslin, Matthew McFarlane, Sergi Tsymbal, Brenda Wiechers Maxwell and Nick Wolfe for successfully completing this challenging 300km Brevet!
Now, the Huron Chapter generally likes to add some ENTERTAINMENT during a ride and typically would complete a 18 Hole Mini-Putt Championship on a 300 … however,  that would have created a few DNF’s on this brevet … Scenery, 2300 meters of climbing and nasty weather created quite a challenge!

Dinner prior to the 300k
Charles wanted to help Chappy save energy for the 300 so he rode him back to the hotel.
With a 5am Start Saturday morning everyone focused on a good night’s sleep, then headed out together.
The weather was perfect and the sunrise gorgeous! John led the way with a strong pace!
More sunrise!
The Grand River Crossing was enjoyed by everyone.
Mark Hopper let us know he has returned to randonneuring!
Matt McFarlane stopped to enjoy some scenery on another bridge crossing.

The first Control was in St.George where we saw a few Randonneurs stopped at the ESSO, our group stopped at a little Bakery and enjoyed some treats. Mike Fox met us at the Bakery before we all headed towards Hamilton. What a Gorgeous Ride that was, getting us back to the top of the Escarpment. Weather at this stage, PERFECT! The majority of us stopped at a POPULAR Cafe … the Copper Kettle in Waterdown for lunch and noticed  another 20 or so Cyclists on the patio.  One of them needed a tool and Dick was able to help them out!
Looking ahead, the weather forecast showed Heavy Storms headed our way with Rain Showers, Thunder and Lightning. Clouds could be seen and we all knew what was coming!

Mike Fox wouldn’t have noticed the rain if he had fenders!

So the last 150km was the opposite of the first 150km, the groups had basically split up, finishing at different times. Mike and myself stayed together and had quite the adventure to the Finish! The last Control was in Hillburgh. The only place open was FOODLAND. Now Mike and I had hoped we would have dinner along with a Pint or two to get us home! We found a bike rack beside a General Store and parked ourselves. A Gentlemen approached us, found out what we were up to and let us know his Restaurant – Tina’s Homemade Cookin! was closed but he might be able to convince his wife Tina to make us a dinner! Sure enough Tina came out and took our order, moved us to their Patio!

A pint before dinner on a closed restaurant’s patio.

While waiting, Tina came out and asked if we would like some protein added to our burger …

Notice the egg added!

To this day, both Mike and myself agree that this was the BEST BURGER we have ever had! Now, having started dinner around 5pm and finishing around 6pm, we headed back out. Who shows up .. Dick Felton! So we decide to finish together and take turns leading into the STRONG HEAD WIND, HEAVY RAIN and eventually THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. At this point every man for himself! With 8km to go, my front light started flashing ON / Off, Mike’s Rear Light simply turned OFF, so Mike led the way to the Finish with us arriving just after 10pm. Dick a few minutes later. If there is one picture I wish I had taken it would have been Dick entering our room at the Hotel, PRICELESS! Soak and Wet, Shivering and one big SMILE ON HIS FACE!
The next morning, Mr. Felton treated Charles, Gwen, Matt, Marc, John and myself  to breakfast at a local Sunset Grill. Boy … did that HIT the SPOT! Thanks for the photo Gwen!

Ride Report: Beaver Valley 400km Brevet

By Carey Chappelle

The Huron Chapter hosted the Beaver Valley 400km Brevet this past Wednesday. Scenery – Drop Dead Gorgeous! The Route – CHALLENGING! The Weather – NASTY!Congratulations to John Cumming (1), Charles Horslin, John Kieffer (2), Matthew McFarlane and Tiago Varella-Cid on successfully completing this 400!!Chappy, Charles, Matthew, John 1 and John 2. Photo taken by Tiago at the Start!

The original Start time was 0400hrs., the Randonneurs showed up at 0330 and enjoyed the Rain, Thunder and LIghtening for the next hour and a half. No one even considered heading out until 0500hrs when things started to look better! You can see me (Chappy far left) checking out the weather forecast for the day … I simply wished everyone WELL and headed back to bed!After 4 hrs of sleep, I double checked the weather forecast for the day. It hadn’t changed. Temperature to feel like 39 deg C, Occasional Strong winds from the SW at 100km/hr, along with Thunder and Lightning to happen in the evening and into the night! It wasn’t hard convincing myself I had made the right decision to provide SUPPORT!Heading NE, the participants enjoyed a decent tail wind until Matthew Mcfarlane experienced a flat tire! Quick fix and everyone was back on the road heading  towards the first Control – Dundalk (114km). When Chappy arrived, the only Randonneur he could find was pedalliing in circles … John Kieffer (a new Randonneur) had refuelled and was having trouble getting back on route! Chappy was able to get him in the right direction!
Now heading out of Dundalk, roads were closed but cyclists were able to stay on track. I had to detour but eventually was back on route. Another road closure left me wondering where everyone was. Headed through Flesherton, down into the Beaver Valley then up towards the next turn, then decided to message one of the Randonneurs to see where everyone was. Heading back to Flesherton, Tiago Varellla-Cid was in the middle of the climb and low and behold … the new Randonneur … John Kieffer wasn’t far behind!

John Cumming heading down into Beaver Valley
John Kieffer’s first 400
Matthew McFarlane climbing out of Beaver Valley
Tiago just a little ahead of John (2) and everyone else on the climb out of Beaver Valley!

The stretch from Kimberley to Owen Sound took a fair amount of fuel from everyone’s tank! I Stopped and filled some water bottles along the way … much needed of course! Touching base with the Randonneurs, I was able to make reservations  at the Casero Kitchen Table and order just ahead of their arrival. Tiago and John (2) arrived earlier, when I was having lunch at the Mudtown Station in Owen Sound and gassed up at another restaurant. I ordered meals ahead then waited in the Tented area for everyone. HOT? I had a difficult time not sweating under the tented area in the SHADE! Checked my GPS and the temperature was 41 deg C!! With over 20 yrs experience Randonneuring I knew the effect these conditions can and will have on every participant. I hung around waiting for the last rider to refuel and saved their leftovers for later in the ride. Leaving Owen Sound the ride basically headed SW. Into the Wind. Dark Clouds were moving in our direction, keeping fingers crossed I hoped the weather forecast wouldn’t happen!Unfortunately, another Bridge Closure happened on route to Durham, a few were able to make their way across while others simply took the paved roads detour. 

Matthew found a way to cool off!

I decided to wait in Durham for all the riders to make it through the second last Control. Time difference from first to last was approximately 3 1/2hrs. Fortunately the weather was cooling down and the 100km / hr winds hadn’t happened!  Chatted with everyone, filled up their water bottles, passed a bag of Nuts on to Charles and wished them well to the Finish!

Sun going down!

On my way to the Finish, I passed everyone noticing how much better they looked thanks to the cooler temperature, wished them well and headed back to the Best Western Plus,  Waterloo. Thought I’d pick up some Pizza but was unable to find a place open. Showered then waited to see our Finishers. Congrats Boys! Well Done!! I wouldn’t suggest riding in these conditions often!  Huron Chapter V.P.,Chappy