The RRrR 600 starts at 5a from 829 Tulip Ave (Jims House) Saturday May 23. Doors open at 4a with coffee and muffins available.
A pre-ride has been done by myself and Graham Fishlock. The route was revised and I wanted to ensure that it was accurate. I have include a link to my Garmin Track so have a look at the map to get a feel for the changes.
If you have done this ride in the past then the general route is still familiar...Victoria - Nanaimo, Courtney/Comox, Campbell River and back to Victoria. Some of the nicest roads are used on this route. If you are heading to PBP...this revised version is a great qualifier or training ride. The elevation gain is about HALF of PBP over HALF the distance....and many of the rolling hilly roads, and significant climbs like the Malahat have their twins on the PBP route.

For our pre-ride, we started out at 5a on a crisp clear morning. Instead of going up the highway the route now goes around Prospect Lake, a quiet, scenic road at this early hour making a much more pleasant start. Entry onto Hwy 1 is now via Six Mile Rd. Once you past Ladysmith, the route takes you toward Cedar. A new manned control awaits riders at the inviting home of Graham and Edie Fishlock on Doole Rd. This is followed by a nice quiet loop on Yellow Point road. A few road changes through Nanaimo make the passage more pleasant. Stephen and Carol Hinde are again offering their nice home for the Nanaimo control. Carol was home when Graham and I came through, and we had a pleasant visit and break from the growing head wind constantly blowing in our face since early morning.

The rest of the route to Campbell River is unchanged. If you are interested in doing this ride in a civil manner, and intend to sleep a few hours, then consider staying in Courtney on your return leg (370 kms). We like to stay at the River Heights Motel ( http://www.motelriverheights.com/ ) as it has ground floor rooms easily accessible with your bike and its location makes checking in on the way up to Campbell River very easy. There are many food options close by too including McDonalds across the road that opens its doors at 5a for breakfast. There is also a 24 hr Tims just down the street heading toward Nanaimo.

The control in Campbell River this year is also manned and is located at the home of Paul Love. Paul lives on a pretty steep hill...sorry...but its a nice location and easy to get to.

If after visiting Pauls house you still need a break, there is a 24 hr Tims and instructions are on the route sheet. Turn back now and head to your sleep stop in Courtney as we did. There is still an info control at Headquarters Road and Merville Rd. A sign with the answer to the question does exist and I will give you clear instructions when you start.

Union Bay, Buckley Bay, Fanny Bay, Qualicum, Parksville and Nanaimo are next. In Nanaimo, the route through is via the back roads to Chase River. However, the 19A to St George Street turn has a very very dirty shoulder and has been know to cause a few flat tires. As an option consider using the very nice bike path (E&N Rail trail) that parallels the highway. At Norwell Rd, join the Rail Trail. This point gives you a very good run with only a few road crossings. Just remember to exit at ST GEORGE (this street is across the road from the McDonalds you passed the day before when you came up Juniper/Princess Royal)

Once you leave Chase River in S Nanaimo, get into the left lane and make a Left on Cedar Road (don't go UNDER the over pass to the HWY). A pretty country road now takes you south and eventually you join Hwy 1 again near the airport. All is the same until Duncan. There was mention on signs about road widening along Somenos Rd after the HWY 18 crossing, but on the weekend hopefully you should be fine. Allenby is very rutted. Follow Allenby and join the highway toward Cobble Hill. We encountered terrible rutted sandy debris along the shoulder of the highway because they are doing tar snake seals....hopefully they sweap it soon.

A big change this year is we do NOT go around Shawnigan Lake. Head into Shawnigan Village and take care of the info control. Then head back DOWN to Mill Bay. In about 30 - 40 mins from Mill Bay you are at the summit of the Malahat and can enjoy a nice downhill ride...the initial push up has some section of around 8% but this is short lived. The shoulder is wide and the new section on top is very good. The route back to 829 Tulip remains unchanged from this point onward, including the last little hill over Knockan Hill...

This is not an easy flat 600, but it is a 600 with lots of access to supplies and so makes it a very nice 600 to do. This year we are grateful to have 3 manned controls along the route...

So challenge yourself to do this 600 as part of your PBP qualification or training, or just for "fun"...you will be happy you did...when its all done! As usual, doing a pre-ride has its own set of challenges but I was fortunate to share those with Graham and we enjoyed the route, the hills and beer at the end!

Results

Member Time Bicycle Class Sortable time
Arscott, Deirdre 36:58 Single 133080000
Bonner, Kenneth 28:58 Single 104280000
Campbell, Dave 37:45 Single 135900000
Fishlock, Graham 37:30 VP Single 135000000
Ford, Mark 36:58 Single 133080000
Gidney, Holland 37:45 Single 135900000
Hopcraft, Francis 35:00 Single 126000000
Inouye, Darren 35:53 Single 129180000
Jansson, Mikael 38:40 Single 139200000
Johnston, Chad 25:23 Single 91380000
LePage, Bob 36:58 Single 133080000
Nichol, Ross 32:23 Single 116580000
Runkel, Jim 37:30 VP Single 135000000
Tilitzky, Michael 36:25 Single 131100000
van Wersch, Paul 34:40 Recumbent 124800000