Kemble Rock 200km ride report by Carey Chappelle

Huron Chapter’s Kemble Rock 200km Brevet!

The Kemble Rock 200 held this past Wednesday had 5 Ontario Randonneurs Signed Up! Only 4 Showed Up Ready to Go! Rob Shedden didn’t show up, so he gets credit as the SMARTEST RANDONNEUR of all! 

John Kieffer took this pic of the other 3 Starters, Chris Cossonnet, Carey Chappelle and John Cumming

I had received a few emails prior to the ride wrt the Weather Forecast. Having seen Sunshine in the morning with 31km winds from the SW changing midday to 52km winds from the NW and a Wind Gust of 72 km / hr and SNOW that would last through the evening, I let everyone know the first 150 km or so would be to our advantage!

John Cummings was not concerned about the weather, here is the photo of his home for a few days  … the Orange Tent! At Night the Temp went down to -5 deg C!

So off we went! As we approached Shallow Lake, clouds took over! Fortunately we were able to get a pic of the Boys in the Flinstone’s Car!

Johnny C, Chris C and John K!

Heading to the First Control in Wiarton, the SNOW started coming down.

The SNOW started getting heavy as we headed towards North Keppel Heights

 North Keppel Heights!

Arriving in Wiarton with almost 2 hrs in the bank, we decided to get our Control Cards Signed, treat ourselves, then head out. Scenery along Georgian Bay was Gorgeous, the Wind had picked up, Snow was Steady and it was a little Cooler.  I knew we were headed toward the Kemble Mountain Drop and mentioned to everyone to make sure their brakes worked and that we should keep our downhill slower due to the possibility of ICE!  John Kieffer loved the Scenery from the top of Kemble Mountain! Everyone made it down safely and we continued heading towards the next Control in Owen Sound.  The SECOND SMARTEST RANDONNEUR, Chris Cossonnet quietly called his wife and asked her to come pick him up at the next Control … things were getting a little bit DANGEROUS! Everyone lost use of their rear derailleurs and front derailleurs, which were both frozen with ICE! Everyone made sure their brakes worked! Somehow my chainring wouldn’t connect and as I got close to the Control in Owen Sound I thought I may have to DNF. Once at the Control, we had our lunch and I asked Chris and his wife Vickie to hang around for a few minutes. John Cumming mentioned that he poured  Coffee on his rear cassette on his way into Owen Sound and his gearing worked. I asked for 3 XL Cups of HOT Water from Tim Hortons, poured them on my chain, front and rear derailleurs then did a test ride in the parking lot … YAHOO everything worked PERFECT! Chris and Vickie wished us well and headed home.

Notice the ICE!

John Cumming, John Kieffer and myself left the Control in Owen Sound together and planned on staying together for the rest of the Brevet. Safety First. Over time Johnny C slipped off the back, John K and myself stayed together and the two of us arrived at the last Control in Chesley. John K had forgotten to tie his Cycling Boot on his right foot, snow had gotten in, melted then turned to ICE. He had extra socks so took the time to put a dry one on after we had our Control Cards Signed. Wondering where Johnny C was, we looked at the time we had left to finish this Brevet, we knew how TUFF this section was going to be with the 50 – 71 km/hr HEADWINDS and decided to head out.

Chesley to Paisley was ~ 16km, the WIND was INCREDIBLY STRONG!. I wish I could have taken a picture of John K on a 45 deg angle pedalling into it! On route the THIRD SMARTEST RANDONNEUR John Cumming messaged me, letting me know his Sister-in-law was picking him up in Chesley and he was going to pass on the last 40km!

It took John and myself just over an hour to get to Paisley. John’s foot was now numb and he had to find a place to warm up. So we agreed to spend 10 mins in the Bonfire on Queen to improve things. Staff were quite interested in what we were up to, provided us with water and wished us well.

John took this photo and wrote: “Paisley Pizza, before Darkness and the Real Hell Begins!”

Just so you know, we didn’t have Pizza! Wish we could have. So, leaving Paisley, we climbed the Escarpment, warming up as we headed towards the Finish. This section … I don’t remember seeing more than 2 automobiles … the SNOW covered the road in many spots and so did ICE! It was tough for both of us staying in a straight line! We both were back to Single Speeds and had to get off and walk a few hills. Back on the bike, I went A** Over Tea Kettle in the middle of the road! It was Dark but I could see John just ahead of me walking again. Stood up and almost fell again! Walked a section until I was comfortable attempting to get back on the bike. Pedalling together, we were all over the road, thankfully we had mirrors and we saw next to no traffic. Our behaviour from here to the Finish suggested we were suffering Hypothermia. Arriving at Tim Horton’s, the FINISH we had our Control Cards Signed and headed over to the Queen’s for a Pint and something to eat. I forgot that my wife was getting us PIZZA for supper. I decided for some reason to bring my bike into the restaurant and left it by the bar. Enjoying a PINT, a Manager comes over and starts mopping up the floor … then asked who thought they could bring their bike into the restaurant and let the snow melt all over the floor … I put my hand up and she tore a well deserved strip off me and cut the two of us off. I Thank John for paying the Bill! We headed back to my place and I convinced John to spend the night. My loving Wife had Pizza and 1664’s  for both of us! The two of us took off our cycling shoes, nothing more( trying to stay warm) and sat down for dinner. After seeing me eat a little, Donna suggested I take a Shower, Change and that I’d feel more like eating. Off I went … Showered then Hit the Hay! 

John Kieffer and myself agree that this is the TOUGHEST 200 we have ever done!

PS: This Gorgeous Kemble Rock Went from HEAVEN TO HELL!