Submitted by S. Beggs--The day was warm and dry, not much sun and not a lick of rain. A blessing when holding a scheduled event on the Charlottes. The roads had been swept, the bikes were gleaming, the riders were excited. It began at 10:30 with a 5.1 km time-trial from the Balance Rock parking lot to Chinikundl Creek. They call it the 'ride of truth'. There is no "drafting", there is no peloton pulling you to the finish. Just a rider and the road. The nine time-trial participants left the start exactly one minute apart and crossed the finish at top speed. The RCMP clocking them with the radar gun on the approach just for fun. Local fisherman David Beggs had the best time at 7:36, with Vancouver's Peter Curtain coming in second at 7:43 and third place going to Terrace racer Dave Stewart at 8:08. Local racer Terry Mitchell missed taking third place by one second but since he is currently watching the Tour de France in France with Peter Lake we reckon he's a winner anyway.
The Road Race began at 1:00 with the RCMP leading the pack through town for a neutral ride. They did the circuit, turning a few heads on the way with their bright colours and infectious excitement, and then headed back up the highway. The neutral zone ended at Funk Road and the race was on. Well for most people anyway. Remember, this race is for riders of every level, all riders are encouraged to participate and some ride just for the fun of it. Others, however, take the race very seriously and they were the ones to watch.
There were just a few spectators along the route but the riders appreciated everyone who came out to cheer as they whizzed by. They rode to the Pesuta Trail turn-around in Tlell and headed back to town. I drove the lead vehicle with my Grandson Nolan who, while watching the lead peloton do their thing, decided he wants to become a cycling racer. I explained to him how they were helping each other by taking the lead position and allowing the other riders to draft for a minute or two. I also explained that even though they were helping each other now, in the end it would be every man and woman for themselves because they all hoped to win. He thought it was all very exciting and was cheering for his Grandfather David the whole 100 kilometres.
We had one crash that took out a ride-you may have noticed Brenda Hanchard's black eye if you managed to catch her without her sunglasses this past week. But she's keen to get back on her bike as soon as her helmet is replaced. (Good lesson, always wear your helmet!) Everyone had a great time and the finish was thrilling. David Beggs and Peter Curtain had raced side by side almost to the end riding at an average speed of 36.4 km/hour. In the end, Peter crossed the finish line at 2:31:42, four seconds ahead of David Beggs. Kelvin Mark crossed in third place less than a minute later.
The Women's category was easily won by our own Robyn Boese who did the ride in 3:03:46. Sonja Efford took second crossing three seconds later and she graciously credited Robyn for "pulling" her to the finish line. Third place was Mary Stewart of Terrace in 3:04:50.
It was fun and it was hard but it was worth it. There was a barbeque and awards ceremony afterwards and a good time was had by all. Thanks once again to everyone who rode, who helped, who donated stuff (including the ice Albion!), and who cheered the riders on.