Randonneurs Ontario

Big Bay 200 Report

Big Bay 200 Report

Story and photo by Carey Chappelle
June 5, 2004
Congratulations are in order for all 7 participants of this years Big Bay 200. Gord Grant, Nathan Klages, Pat Little, Bill Little, Glen Kujbida, Rolf Hauckwitz and Carey Chappelle all braved the uncertain weather of Bruce and Grey Counties to successfully complete the ride. Special congrats go out to both Nathan and Gord who completed their first ever 200km brevet. Pat, Bill, Glen, Rolf and Carey were familiar with the route as they completed last years Big Bay 200.

For Bill Little, this years ride was particularly sweet as he redeemed himself after having walked one of the more challenging climbs last year. He not only rode every inch, but was the first to the top on all the climbs and pulled the group out of their comfort zone on the flats. His conditioning methods remain a secret!

The day started off cool and overcast, a little mist and light rain after Desboro which stopped around Walter's Falls. Interesting enough, none of the riders had ever seen the Falls in Walter's Falls so we took a side trip down to the falls where a $2,000,000.00 Inn was under construction.

Leaving Walter's Falls, we made good time getting to Owen Sound where the group enjoyed lunch at ..you guessed it, Tim Horton's. On the way up to Big Bay, the group split into two, Carey, Rolf, Gord, Glen and Bill led the way, while Nathan and Pat teamed up for the remainder of the ride. As usual, the locals merchants are always friendly and were willing to share their life stories to anyone who would listen....As Pat from the Big Bay General Store stated "the winters can be long and when the cyclists show up, its officially spring!" The route from Big Bay to Wiarton was spectacular as usual, with the sun actually making its first appearance of the day. There were no ice bergs in the Bay as was the case last year, but the flowers were in bloom and leaves were on the trees which certainly adds to the beauty. As we were finishing a fairly steep climb out of Wiarton, one couldn't help but notice Bill Little's cadence, something like 130 rpm's yet he wasn't going anywhere. I pedaled around what I thought was snake on the road, only to come to the realization that Bill was now chain less. A quick repair and we were on our way down the home stretch.

The Sauble Falls were roaring in full force as the spring runoff made its way to Lake Huron. There were no reports of bikinis in Sauble Beach, but the cottagers were "opening up" and that only means one thing, warmer weather is just around the corner. All riders were reunited at Tim Horton's in Port Elgin where we had something to drink, talked about the ride and about the upcoming Scenic Cave 300 in June. Based on the conversations, I would have to say, a great time was had by all!

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