This friendly and cheerful challenge is an annual event to raise money for a Hospice House to be located in Little Fort. All funds received go towards achieving this goal. Supporters buy a “guess” to predict the exact meeting place of cyclists heading towards each other along Highway 5 between Clearwater and Barriere. An attractive cup records the information and is tippled with champagne at the event’s end.
This year’s date of Sept. 11 seemed appropriate; before the cyclists left their respective towns, the 10th anniversary of that dreadful event was acknowledged with a moment of silence. Clearwater’s volunteer cyclists, Jean Nelson, Chris Newel, and Mitch Miller were sent on their way by Mayor John Harwood. Clearwater Hospice Society president Shirley Barnard and coordinator Andrea Lenny followed by car with a sign and flashing lights to warn motorists of the bikers ahead. Meanwhile, Barriere’s Mayor Mike Fennell had given the starting signal to cyclists: Drake Smith, Dennis Farquarson, Mary MacLennan and Ward Stamer. The car behind them was driven by Al Kirkwood of the Barriere Fire Department, a most important role with the narrower shoulders, numerous curves and limited passing zones on that part of the highway. With the road south being wider and level, the meeting place was south of Little Fort. Here, the lead cyclists dropped markers and the exact distance was carefully noted. Kathy Frezell of Barriere had predicted that 26.82.would be the meeting place.
All then gathered in front of the Little Fort Hall where Steve White, president of North Thompson Hospice House Society, MP Cathy McLeod, acting mayor for Barriere Pat Paula, Clearwater Mayor Harwood, TNRD Area “O” Rep Bonnie CruzelleMyram and others praised the cyclists, the hospice house project, and all who had helped to make this event a most successful one. Most cyclists were content to have their bikes transported home by car – but not all chose a soft seat for their return journey!