Member Time Bicycle Class Sortable time
Czembor, Chrissy 17:01 Single 61260
Fingler, Colin 17:17 Single 62220
Fish, Lee 17:01 Single 61260
Gottlieb, Mike 14:11 Single 51060
Hagen, Mike 13:45 Single 49500
Hartline, Andrew 11:52 VP Single 42720
Law, Benjamin 15:20 Single 55200
Parke, Daniel 16:21 Single 58860
Poon, Dara 14:00 Single 50400
Press, Nigel 14:00 Single 50400
Sandeen, Andrea 17:28 Single 62880

Preride Notes

I prerode this route on Sunday, July 7th. 

There are views of Baker in the first and last kms! I liked that a lot.

The ride out to Abbotsford is nice, lots of shade. From there it began to get hot.

As recommended in the ride description below, I filled three bottles at Glacier for the climb and did wind up emptying all three by the time I was at Artist Point.

Baker itself is a completely magical place. The bottom of the climb has massive ancient trees that provide a lot of shade. As I got higher up I was hoping to get some AC from the altitude but in fact the day just heated up: I watched my Wahoo's thermometer go from 19 to 30 degrees as I climbed. There are some fantastic columnar basalt crystals higher up, a reminder of when it was really hot up there. Up very high there is snow, lots of snow. 15 foot banks in the Artist Point parking lot. I made four snowballs and kept them in my jersey pockets; they lasted until Maple Falls, or around 50 km.

The washroom at the Artist Point parking lot is closed. There is snow piled in the entrances and the roof has a gaping hole in it. Someone at the Visitor Centre (a few turns down the road) let me know that the DOT broke it, I assume by hitting it with snow removal equipment. 

There is a washroom but no water at the Visitor Centre, but there is a really nice fountain at Heather Meadows Cafe, which I think is a ski lodge in wintertime. If you are climbing and run out of water or food, Heather Meadows is right at the top of the Picture Lake traffic circle, with plenty of signage to let you know where it is. They should be able to set you up with enough to make it up the last few kilometers of the climb.

I will have a staffed controle for you at Artist Point, dispensing goodies, drinks and good cheer at 1500 metres altitude.

The "fast" way back from Maple Falls via Kendall is not very nice to ride now. There is a lot of sand on the shoulders, a lot of traffic in the skinny lanes of the road, and a rumble strip.  Therefore we are going to go by Silver Lake both ways and skip the final detour to Derby Reach.

From Abbotsford back to New West was the hardest part of the ride, because of the heat. Much harder than climbing Baker. I suppose that I got the hottest part of the day in the hottest, least shady part of the LM. Do not underestimate how difficult this will be if it's hot on the ride day; take it easy on Baker. It is so uniquely hard to stop at a long Abbotsford traffic light and feel yourself start to sizzle.

Things I did for the heat:

  • Snowballs in my jersey pockets. Definitely recommended. I took four and by the time I was halfway down I wished that I had taken more. Mike H. is planning on brining a knee sock to fill with snow at the summit. If it's brutally hot again  I think it would not be a bad idea to split a bag of gas station ice with your ride partners in Sumas or Abbotsford. It helps a lot. As your body temperature goes up your ability to pedal diminishes a lot, and vice versa.
  • Sprinklers: I found a residential sprinkler in Sumas that was throwing water over the fence and stood in there for a bit. I also went in a probably non-potable industrial ag sprinkler near Fort Langley and didn't care.
  • Arm coolers and necktube: I am pretty much a convert to this system for heat. Just get them wet and you will have AC for a while. As a bonus there is much less skin to worry about keeping covered with sunscreen. I pull my necktube up over my ears which doesn't "look" cool but "is" cool.

Final FYI: Due to ongoing SkyTrain maintenance projects Braid Skytrain station currently has un-intuitive changes as to what platform goes where. Study the signs carefully when you go in. :-)


Let's climb Baker!

If you haven't been on the climb to Artist Point, it is an incredible road that goes above the treeline with gorgeous Euro switchbacks. None of our local ski hill climbs is anything ilke it. We have done this climb in years past, but on 400 and 600 km routes. I think there's something to be said for simply hitting the summit and then going home.

From looking at the elevation profile it really looks as if the entire second half of this ride is going to be downhill. This is not exactly true but the Baker descent is beyond fun, and we will head down Lefeuvre later on towards Fort Langley.

This route uses Highway 15 south from Tynehead Park to 40th; it's definitely a highway but it's fast with a wide shoulder, has few lights and is not busy on Saturday mornings. This stretch and United Boulevard are the worst bits, and some of the sprawl around Abbotsford may rankle tired riders in the afternoon heat; but everything else should be quite nice.

Don't crash on the RRX near Fort Langley. And be careful on the wooden bridge near the start and finish.

If it's at all hot, it is recommended to get a third bottle at Glacier, the last stop before the big climb. The climb is never that steep but it goes up and up.

On the climb up, take the time to check out the condition of the pavement especially on the curves... there are cracks and descending can be dangerous! If you don't charge into blind corners, and instead simply assume that something unexpected is coming that you can't see, you should stay safe.

We will have a staffed Artist Point controle! You'll be on your own at the end though. Sapperton District Taphouse (across from Cap's) is the unofficial finish controle but there is a taco place across the street if you prefer. If you plan on hanging around at the finish, it would be a good idea to bring a U-lock and leave it locked to something in the morning as the neighborhood is a bit rough.

Parking in New West in the hospital neighborhood can be tricky. I would recommend arriving early and fishing around uphill of RCH, or else planning on cycling or transit to the start.  The 7-Eleven at the start has a washroom but please don't poop in it without buying something.