666 Ride Update
My friend Johann called me one Friday evening completely drunk and stoned and announced that we were going to ride the Squamish Backdoor ride on June 6th. He was giggling a lot and it was hard to stay at his slow pace. I had given up drinking months earlier and was completely sober. He eventually let me in on the fact that on June 6th, 2006 the date would read 06-06-06, or 666. Only once in a person’s lifetime does such a satanic date come up. This was it, the 666 ride to Squamish. Johann had been jealous of my ride since before I had ever done it. I was teasing him about it for years before I had actually completed it. Johann always wants to do these trips and always suffers through them. At the end of most trips he says that he is retiring and then it takes some months of psychological recovery (numbing) before wanting to do another trip. It had been two years since I had done a trip with Johann. We had to do some fancy scheduling between the bike shop I worked at and the one where Johann worked as three people from each wanted to do the ride. Eventually Melvin got cut so he could fix bikes at my shop and Jonas got cut to work at Our Community Bikes. There was a story in the Province about the ride before we had left and the Chief newspaper had scheduled someone to meet us at the Brew Pub for a photo opportunity. The Province read about the ride from a trip plan I had posted on mec.ca and the Chief presumably read about us on the wire from the Province story. Johann called twice to cancel and like a good friend, I didn’t allow him. We were set to meet at my house at 4:00am and then meet Pat and Zdenek at 5:00am in Port Coquitlam. We waited for Johann at my house until 4:15 and then I called him. His answering machine had a message on it telling us to go on without him. We started off down Hastings when I realized that Omar never showed either. We were so concerned about Johann that we forgot Omar. We doubled back and threw rocks at his window. He woke up and was ready to go in under 5 minutes. We arrived a bit late in Coquitlam but were well received by Pat and Zdenek. There were now six of us, Matt S, Omar B, Damien M, Pat M, Zdenek M and myself. We made haste to get to the gate and guardhouse before darkness ended. Well, it was full morning light when we arrived and as we talked over our forest bushwhack plan, a car drove right past us and through the gate. We quickly ducked into the woods and crossed the river. As we did so many cars went through the gate into the watershed. On my previous trip I saw and heard no cars, all day. As we silently made our way through the forest across from the guardhouse we were startled by a super load foghorn. Pat’s high-end bike accessory went off as he fell on it while being tripped up by the brush. Our laughing was just a bit less loud. After we composed ourselves we continued up stream to where I had crossed the last time and waded back over close to the road. We ducked down beside the road and watched while many more cars and trucks passed us. Shit! We had no chance if the traffic was this heavy. Our plan then was to bushwhack further until we got past where ever the construction project people were working on was. We bushwhacked all morning until we were able to pass the dam. We traveled roughly 6 km through regular dense coastal bush and it took us 6 hours. We still saw cars heading up the road past the dam, where a lot of work was going on, but it was much lighter trafficked. We decided to go in sets of two and risk losing one team at a time. Pat and Zdenek went first followed by Damien and Me and then Matt and Omar. Well I was on the road for about a minute when a truck passed us before we could even hear it. Luckily it didn’t stop us. Moments later we saw a truck coming towards us and pull over Pat and Zdenek. They were busted; this truck was a watershed scout looking for people just like us. He told Pat to call us all out as the road ahead was being blasted for stone for the dam. It just wasn’t safe to go ahead. We all biked back to the guardhouse with the GVRD boys and they took down our information plus pictures. We all went to a skate park in Coquitlam and ate out lunches and rode the park. We split up again and rode back with our tails tucked. Pat and Zdenek stayed and rode the trails in Coquitlam. On the way home we made plans to ride up Seymour to ride the CBC and the Good Samaritan trails. Luckily I was too hooped and decided against riding up Seymour. Matt talked me into riding up Burnaby Mountain and riding Nicole’s trail back down as a consolation prize. It was fun but I was glad to get home and off my bike nonetheless. The next time I plan on riding this loop backwards, up to Squamish and then home past the lake. That way if I get caught I will get escorted out in the right direction and still be able to make the loop.