The long way around

18 08 2013

Detours can be frustrating.

They can also be an opportunity.

Sunday’s FRF ride had plenty of both.

Our route was to be the most ambitious one yet, about 90 km to “The Goat” and back, via the new South Fraser Perimeter Road and over the Golden Ears Bridge. For some in the group, it was uncharted territory.

The first of the day’s many detours hit us early; the South Fraser Perimeter Road, the key to our route, was closed. Deconstruction crews are tearing down the old Port Mann Bridge, and the risk of a giant steel girder falling upon our head was too great.

We were kicked onto a narrow, hilly side road that ascended up into deepest, darkest suburban hell. So were the trucks, that couldn’t manage the steep climb and stalled out, clogging the road.

After an interminable time winding through ugly subdivisions, we finally came to a main road but no more signage as to where we needed to go to get back on course. Then it started to rain.

It was, for the group, a dark time. We didn’t know where we were, all but one of us was unprepared for rain. Doubt creeped into our eyes.

We’ll press on, it was decided, reassess if the weather deteriorates even more.

Back on course, the rain subsided, and we pedalled with renewed vigour.

Until Guy flatted.

Uh oh, the first flat of the day.

Uh oh, the first flat of the day.

Then it started raining again.

Shortly before our destination, I flatted.

It was that kind of day; it seems The Goat was mocking us.

When we reached him, we dutifully saluted for good luck. Given the way the ride had gone so far, our luck couldn’t get much worse.

FRF salutes The Goat. Hopefully the ride's bad luck is now behind us.

FRF salutes The Goat. Hopefully the ride’s bad luck is now behind us.

On the return trip we chose to take a couple of detours of our own, along pan-flat pastoral country roads with minimal traffic. The ride was good again.

Another detour. At least the builders at this bridge site kept a route open for pedestrians and portaging cyclists.

Another detour. At least the builders at this bridge site kept a route open for pedestrians and portaging cyclists.

Ahh, finally an activation button at Ford Dr. and Lougheed.

Ahh, finally an activation button at Ford Dr. and Lougheed.

Then we detoured to our coffee stop, in an odd little commercial development at the bottom of a new housing subdivision along the Fraser River. It was a bit of a find, as all the bikes strewn around the patio could attest.

A pit stop find off the beaten track.

A pit stop find off the beaten track.

As the girders were still falling from the sky along the Perimeter Road, we knew we’d have to find a different way home, through suburbia’s dark underbelly. We rode past crack shacks and scrap yards. We dodged lurching junkies and menacing pick-up trucks. The rain began again, this time harder, colder. It was a new kind of cyclist’s hell. Grim determination to get home fuelled every turn of the pedals.

It was the FRF group’s first official 100 km ride, a milestone. It was a day for the hard men.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: