Big Bay 200 & Bowle Buster 300

Ride report from Carey Chappelle:

Unbelievable Week-End! Huron Chapter hosted the Big Bay 200 and the Bowle Buster 300 this past week-end. Six Randonneurs successfully completed the Big Bay 200, they are Carey Chappelle, Chris Cossonnet, Con Melady, Terry Payne, Johnathon Syroid and Robert Woodhouse (likes to go by Woody rather than Robert!).


During the 200, 5 of the 6 Randonneurs hoped to participate in the next day’s Bowle Buster 300. By the end of the 200, Terry’s pain made it clear he wouldn’t be joining us and he left for home after dinner at the infamous Elk and Finch in Southampton. He described the accident he was involved in, last year on his bicycle … flying over the window of a Yellow Volkswagen Beetle and landing in front of an 18 wheeler and after the 18th wheel went over him he was so angry with the comments made by the Beetle owner got up to simply let him have it!


Johnathon rode with everyone up to Chatsworth, then pulled back and continued to be only a half hour behind everyone else at the finish. He had mentioned he would join us for dinner at the Elk … but he arrived a half hour later than the rest of us and we watched him limp up the stairs just to give us his Control Card. Said he loved the ride but experienced some right leg PAIN …none of us would have been able to climb those stairs if we were in his condition. Great accomplishment Johnathon!


Friday night, Woody, Chris and myself went to bed around 9pm, tired from the 200 we just accomplished and knew we needed a good night’s sleep before attempting the Bowle Buster 300.  At 10:30pm, my wife wakes me up and hands me the phone. I discussed Outage issues with a Bruce Power Manager for half an hour before getting back to sleep. At 02:30hrs, my wife wakes me up again … she had been chatting with my daughter on the cell phone and suddenly had no contact … she was heading to Toronto to find her. She had a shower and I got dressed to join her. Then we decided to call the Condo where Erika lived and were confirmed by Security that she had arrived at 02:06am. NO LONGER AN ISSUE. So, back to bed I went. 0530hrs came quickly, Chris, Woody and myself were on the road by 0700hrs. Saturday was much better then Friday weather wise! Blue Sky and sunshine! We all stopped in Hanover for Cappuccinos, Tea and some snacks then headed out after putting on some of Woody’s Sun protection. 10km later … Chris’s knee pain was OBVIOUS! We stopped and Chris decided to call it a day, wanting his issue to be resolved before our 1200km event next week. Hope everything works out buddy!


Woody and I headed out on our own arriving at the Leeky Canoe in Meaford around 1500hrs. Another GREAT Brunch, a Creemore and then off to Bowle Hill. Woody couldn’t believe we would have a 7km downhill run … until he did the climbing beforehand! We both loved that section of downhill. Woody had never done a downhill run that long in his lifetime. Approaching Bowle Hill, I let Woody know I’d be taking off my jacket, arm warmers, gloves and head warmer before attempting this one.  We both had no problem making it to the top and then we were off to Flesherton for another Cappuccino at the Bicycle Café. Neither of us were hungry so I let my wife know what pizza’s we would like upon are arrival home, thinking 11pm would be the latest. Approaching the turn to Dornoch, the gravel road section, Woody was approaching the top of hill just before the turn and I wished I could have taken a picture … THE SUN was dropping to his right and with the colours of the sky … UNBELIEVABLE! This is what makes this sport SECOND TO NONE!


Of course the General Store in Dornoch was closed, so we put our reflective vests on, marked up our Control Cards and continued on our last stretch, 60km to Port Elgin. I convinced Woody to wear my arm warmers as hand warmers knowing how cold it was getting. Shivered and Shook all the way back! Once in Port Elgin, the Tim Horton’s was closed but we had a Gentleman asking us what the hell we were doing, sign our Control Cards. Got back to my place, showered had a few Great Pizzas from Rosina’s, a glass of Red wine for myself, water for Woody …. Who then drove home because his flight to Arizona was first thing in the morning!!!


PS: I’ve already had contact with Woody, he and his wife are happily on vacation in Arizona!

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