A total of 114 cyclists passed through Clearwater and the North Thompson Valley on Monday as part of the Rocky Mountain 1200.
“I’m doing it for the challenge,” said Maurice Smith of Calgary, one of the participants. “I did a similar one on Vancouver Island five or six years ago and I wanted to try it again.”
Objective of the event is to complete the 1200 km course within specified time limits.
The event started in Kamloops late Sunday evening and early Monday morning. The course takes the cyclists through Clearwater to Valemount, Jasper, Lake Louise, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and then back to Kamloops on Thursday.
About 81 riders left Kamloops Curling Club at 10 p.m., aiming to complete the course in 90 hours. The first group went through Clearwater by 6:08 Monday morning.
Six hours later, at 4 a.m., another 33 left the curling club. Their aim is to do the course in 84 hours. The second group of cyclists saw their check station at the Wells Gray Inn close at 11:08 a.m.
Although a handful of the participants came from Kamloops and area, most are from elsewhere in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan.
The Rocky Mountain 1200 began in 1996 and now is held every four years. The BC Randonneurs Cycling Club hosts the event.
According to Wikipedia, riders in a randonneur event aim to complete the course within specified time limits, and receive equal recognition regardless of their finishing order. Riders may travel in groups or alone as they wish, and are expected to be self-sufficient between controls
More information about the event is available at www.randonneurs.bc.ca on the Internet.