Here is the Osoyoos photo taken on the way to dinner. The story is interesting: this guy is driving by main street Osoyoos and cranks a Uey in the middle of the block and jumps out asking if he can take a picture of a Whitecaps fan ( probably a rare breed in downtown Osoyoos ) his name is Joe Cannon’ one of the whitecap keepers. His fiancé took the picture. Patti Asked the logical question at dinner…” did you get a picture on your camera too?” Of course I hadn’t , but within two hours John’s girlfriend found the attached photo on Joe’s twitter Account. Jane said, were you sitting on a bench? ( I’m 6 foot) So Joe’s typically tall as goals keepers tend to be.
First and foremost, a big thank you to Robb Sebastian for the gracious invite to his early season training ride. Something tells me that this was the 9th annual, but don’t hold me to that. Suffice to say that the six of us that rode together for three days (Tom, Patti, Barney, Brian B, Mike T, and John P), also felt comfortable together, and got to know each other a little better than when we started. Robb has created a very comfortable vibe with his routing, lodging and dining, and it is obvious that he has spent some time ensuring that the details are crisp. Having produced events for 25 years, I can fully appreciate the energy that Robb puts into this, and it does not go unnoticed. Thanks again, Robb. We look forward to 2013, and hope that you will once again join us on a Mt. Baker run.
The six VVV riders were dressed in their #1s throughout, and we stayed together for the most part. We began Day 1 with a police escort through Grand Forks, winding our way through it’s neighborhoods until we returned to the highway and headed north. Of course, with everyone starting at the same time, it was going to take a few hills to separate the groups, and we enjoyed the pace set by the A group for as long as we could hang. As the plan was to ride together and save the legs for the next two days, some of us got carried away with that wonderful feeling of being involved with a fast peloton, but we re-grouped at the halfway point and rode back in together. In fact, we pace lined a fairly large contingent of solo riders on the return to Grand Forks from the turnaround on North Forks Road on Day 1, and I must say that they were content to let us do our changes and just hang on to smooth sailing. More than a few of those would be looking for us in the coming days, but their opportunities never did materialize again. They will remember the VVV as a well tuned machine and a wheel to be trusted.
Day 2 saw us venture into the US. The Danville, WA to Oroville, WA express was scenic, isolated and enchanting. We were asked to congregate at the Danville Border Crossing at 10am, but decided on getting a jump and ventured down a bit early. As it turned out, it was the right choice as the peloton was held up by the usual slowness and stubbornness that is generally associated with border guards. In spite of Robb’s notice to them in advance, they chose to ignore. We didn’t know that this would happen and kept waiting for the A group to blast by. They never did and we stayed off the front for the entire day, only to be caught waiting at the Oroville Border Crossing by a handful of the A team and the yellow jersey. The roads were quiet and without shoulders, continually stepping up to just past Chesaw, and then rolling down for 20k into Oroville. We stopped for coffee in the tiny town of Chesaw and couldn’t help but wonder how these folks survived.
This would not be an easy place to find or to get to, but they were happy, and grateful for our support. It appears that there are artists in the surrounding area and they congregate from time to time and spread the wealth. This was a great route and is easily accessible from both Grand Forks and Osoyoos, and its natural compliment came on Day 3, following a lovely meal and too much wine….imagine that!
Day 3 starts from the beachfront resort of Osoyoos and the climb to the top of Anarchist Summit begins right away. Having driven it on the way to Grand Forks on Thursday with Garmin 800 in hand, it was clearly not as devilish as forecast. Climbs can always be worse, and this one was no exception. For the most part it is an 18k climb to a false summit and the grade varies between 5 and 7%. There is then a bit of a flat spot and it continues to rise until you finally reach the Summit at 30k. Robb was quick to point out that last year’s version got nasty at this point due to a huge headwind most of the way in to Grand Forks. Thankfully, we only saw bits of that, and mostly at the very end of the day. We stopped for coffee in Greenwood and then completed the second summit of the day, the Eholt Summit, and happily screamed back to Grand Forks, collected our cars and luggage, scampering back to Osoyoos for a lovely meal at Campomarina Restaurant and then a well deserved rest again at the Coast Hotel. We can thank Valerie Herring (Barney’s significant other) for scouting out the restaurant. She drove directly to Osoyoos from Vancouver to meet up with Barney and spend a few days after the ride. It was fun to spend some time with her as well and, of course, just another excuse to twist the wine knobs.
Day 1 Tour de Grand Forks 114k 31kph Avg 850m Climbing
Day 2 Grand Forks to Osoyoos (Danville to Oroville WA) 120k 28kph Avg 1200m Climbing
Day 3 Osoyoos to Grand Forks 125k 26kph Avg 1800m Climbing
Robb’s Ride is a treasure. We managed to stay dry all three days, even if we found evidence of rain on the roads or storms at night. Temperatures were quite pleasant, but I imagine that they could become much warmer and would change ride dynamics considerably. Ride support was in evidence at all times with three vehicles in use that carried luggage, water and bananas. The Coast Hotel was set up for bike storage and maintenance, restaurants were well chosen, and the Grand Forks Cycling Club’s hidden presence was palpable. Last but by no means least, Robb’s better half, aka Saint Mary Sebastian, warmly welcomed 150 strange cyclists to her home in Grand Forks for appies and drinks after the Day 1 ride. Thank you again, one and all. I know that the six of us will be looking fondly back as well as looking fondly forward!
A final thank you to Patti, whose nutritional guidance allowed the 6 of us to recover properly and have fuel in the tank to enjoy each and every day! I’m quite sure that the weight that I carried back was mostly due to alcohol consumption, but that is yet another story.
PS: After my first Robb’s Ride in 2009, Michel Pelletier put the bug in my ear about creating a West Coast version of Robb’s Ride. I haven’t forgotten that seed, and even did some scouting on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. It wouldn’t take too much to twist my arm, Robb. You continue to be a great inspiration for passion and fun times.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.