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Trip Logs

  Wow, that's far!Wow, that's far!Wow, that's far!Wow, that's far!





Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon Jun 11 Falcon Lake, MB 138 2590
 So today was one of those days that Nick and Dave would qualify as character building.  We got up at 6 to find that it was raining and rather windy.  We stayed in bed and listened for the forecast until it started to clear around 7:45 am.  Once the clear weather had lured us out of the dry safety of our tent, it began to pour rain.  We finished packing up and decided to wait out the weather under the overhang by the office.  We got into a big conversation with Dave, the owner and operator of the Traveler's RV Park Resort.  He taught us about wood ticks, and told us all about his work with Habitat for Humanity.  It was wonderfully interesting, and we were happy to stay and talk even as the weather cleared.  So it was around 11:15 when we got rolling for the day.  This came to a halt at I managed to break another spoke.  I wasn't even joking about it this time.  As I finished the repair, which is much easier when you have the proper tool, we saw three cyclists coming up behind us.  At first we thought it might be Troy, Cary and Philippe, but as they caught us, we saw that it was three girls.  Darcy, Tracy and Elaine are also riding across the entire country and raising money for charity, in their case the Iliac disease society (I hope the disease is correct, it's pretty much an allergy to gluten, a component of most grain products).  We rode as a group of 6 for a while, and were moving very nicely until I noticed my bike felt sluggish and Darcy pointed out my back wheel was wobbly - I had broken yet another spoke.  At least I'm getting lots of practice with the repairs.  We continued on and stopped for lunch together.  At that point I took the opportunity to get the red ants out of my shirt - they bite and it hurts, I guess this is just more character.  The new group of 6 continued on and were swarmed by large, ugly flies.  Horse flies in fact.  They also bite and it also hurts.  Adam and Nadia got to build character on this occasion.  We pulled off at a rest area to deal with the bites.  Just as we went to pull out of the rest area, I got a flat tire.  It was my back tire too, with the big heavy duty inner tube.  It might have been the one inch piece of metal sticking into the tire that did it.  I set about fixing that flat and was very disappointed to find, that when I was nearly finished, the new tube wouldn't inflate.  At this point Darcy, Tracy and Elaine headed out, we all figured we would catch them in a little bit.  I then redid the flat repair with another tube, and thankfully, this time it worked.  We continued, still being swarmed by the flies.  We could actually see the cloud of them around us.  We stopped for dinner in Hadashville, MB.  Dessert was little 5 cent candies taken from our jersey pockets as we rode on.  We met the wife of a man who is walking across Canada to raise money to build wells in Haiti.  We chatted briefly and continued.  You can check out their work at www.cupofcoldwater.org.  At this point we still haven't seen my friend Mike yet.  He and a friend are hiking across Canada and we should be passing them sometime soon.  It isn't looking good.  The character building continued as I got yet another flat tire.  I took the opportunity to call Mike's house and we found that we might not have passed him after all!  We were only a few kilometers from camp, and it seemed like a slower leak, so I decided to pump and run.  I had to pump once more to get there, but it was much quicker than doing the repair at the side of the road.  At this point we pretty much set up camp and crashed.  I'm not sure why the Universe was annoyed with me, or why it thought that I needed more character.  I didn't run over any poor prairie dogs today, or much else for that matter, besides of course the one inch piece of metal.  Oh well, I guess I'm a better person for the experience, right... -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun Jun 10 Winnipeg, MB 35 2450
 Today was our "1/2" rest day.  While it was nice where we were last night, we really needed to be camped on the eastern edge of the city in order to get a good start out of Winnipeg tomorrow.  We started out by sleeping in at the motel, packing up, and riding into the city for breakfast (our usual greasy rest-day meal).  After that we headed into downtown Winnipeg.  Its a pretty nice city, but unfortunately for us it doesn't seem to believe too heavily in Sunday shopping.  In other words, we came up a little short in the library, internet cafe, and bike shop departments.  Oh well, on to our campsite for some bike maintenance and more R&R.  While we were riding out to the campground two people stopped us and asked if we wanted to go to a cottage!  Turns out that they were on their way out of town to their cottage in Kenora, ON and wanted to know if we wanted to stop there for the night.  Its great how much people will go out of their way to help you when riding a loaded down bike.  Then the people who own the Travelers RV Park & Campground gave us a tent spot on the house!  Manitobans rule.  There were also other people at this campground doing "Long Haul" trips.  Bruce is cycling across Canada, while his wife drives the support RV.  Jackie, at the next campsite over, is walking from Timmins, Ontario, to Alberta.  She has a really nice dog, which kind of looks like the Littlest Hobo.  After dinner, showers, and an on-going war with the Mosquitoes, we hit the sack.  Hopefully we will find Scott's friend Mike (who is hiking across Canada) tomorrow.  Bye for now, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat Jun 9 Winnipeg, MB 129 2415
 We started out today by having breakfast with a family from Portage la Prairie, which was awesome.  A big meal of eggs, bacon, and toast, and we also got a crash course in Manitoba farming and western politics!  Its been interesting this trip getting a western perspective on stuff.  As we were packing up this morning, Scott noticed that his front tire was looking kind of soft.  After he pumped it up, I bet him that it wouldn't last 10 km before being flat and in need of a tube change.  I was wrong on that account ... it made it 25 km.  So at our first break Scott was changing his flat, but I wasn't far behind.  Later that morning my back tire blew (that'll teach me to laugh at other people's slow leaks).  We hung out for the afternoon in Portage, hitting our first Tim Horton's of the trip.  And it was good.  We almost ended up staying in Portage because we thought the winds had spun around on us.  But deciding to push down the road, we quickly found that the winds were still OK out of the city.  Things were going well, but right around the sign for Oakville (MB), Scott noticed a new wobble coming from the back of his bike ... BROKEN SPOKE!  No problem, we have the tools for that repair (where have I heard that line before?).  This time, however, everything went relatively smoothly.  It took a little more muscle than we expected to get the cassette off (while our wrench is big enough to fit around the Lockring remover, its not as long as a good one in the shop, M=Fd).  We eventually got it loosened, with Scott holding the wrench in place while Nadia pulled on it, and me pushing on the handle of the chain whip with my foot.  After that the spoke change and wheel true went like clockwork and we were rolling again.  Hooray for repair vindication!  The only problem was that while we were doing that, the winds really did spin around on us leaving an ugly headwind from that point on to Winnipeg.  We hobbled into Headingly (a little town just shy of the city) with some pretty heavy-duty drafting going on (thanks, Nadia).  Since it was so late by this point (mid evening) we grabbed dinner at a Subway, ice cream for dessert, and headed to a motel for the night.  We lucked out at the Alpine Motel (OK, so its the only one in Headingly), because a movie crew that left early had pre-paid for all their rooms,  so the staff gave us a room for free!  Score.  Not only that, but it came with a Sauna!  In the end, it was a long day, but it worked out in the end pretty well.  Later, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri Jun 8 Sidney, MB 155 2286
 So that treat of rain last night turned into a thunderstorm.  Nadia made a quick dash out of the tent to move her gear under the shelter.  Yet again we hit snooze for an hour.  Leaving Virden we found we had lousy shoulders to ride on, the nice thing was that all morning, all but two cars passed us on the far left side of the left lane and gave us tons of room.  Adam's GORP (aka trail mix) fell of his bike today, but didn't give me as much of a surprise as Nadia's hockey bag yesterday.  I was in the process of telling him it looked loose as it fell.  Having to stop anyways and having Adam's GORP out already, we took a snack break there.  Adam began filling his water bottle from his camel-back hose and I asked if it made him have to pee (the sound) while it didn't at first, it only took about three seconds for the idea to be implanted and make him have to go, it was quite funny.  We did lunch and groceries at the IGA in Brandon.  I went next door to the Zellers to look for insole for my shoes as my feet are hurting.  The problem is most insole have all the padding in the heal, but when cycling, the pressure in on the ball of the foot.  The lady at the pharmacy counter looked at me rather oddly for a second when I asked if they had any high heel insoles (with the padding in the ball of the foot) in larger sizes.  It was also a nice lunch because I won a free Coke.  We hung out downtown to get out of the heat.  We found a bank, a pharmacy, and a bike shop which had a lovely selection of spokes.  We were rolling again with a pleasant tailwind around 4:30.  Things were going well until I managed to cut my finger while greasing my chain.  We didn't need the first-aid kit, and haven't had to use it beyond borrowing the scissors a few times.  We made it to Sidney and set up camp among the large numbers of mosquitoes.  We all got chewed, but they seem to like Nadia the best, good for Adam and I, I guess.  Our dinner was pasta, as it is most night, but tonight instead of tomato sauce and TVP (textured vegetable protein) we did a nice chicken with rich broth, congrats to our chef Nadia!  I found the squeak in my bike that had been bugging me all day, it was a screw that had fallen out of my back rack.  We were invited to breakfast with some of the participants in the blue-grass festival, and spent most of the evening hiding from the mosquitoes in the tent.   -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu Jun 7 Virden, MB 119 2131
 Yet again we were camped next to the train tracks last night.  Partially as a result of that, and partially being tired, we hit snooze until 7 this morning.  We got rolling around 9 and were very glad to see the windsock at the golf course next to us showing a west wind!  It was gentle, but a gentle tailwind beats a headwind any day.  At our first little break, I had to fix my back wheel since something was rubbing, I guess as a result of my maintenance last night.  We had a bit of a scare when a large German Shepard ran onto the road behind us, we weren't scared for us, since he couldn't catch us, but he nearly got hit by the large transport that was coming.  The transport blasted his horn and hit his breaks and the dog wisely decided to get of the road.  The driver, the three of us, and I imagine the dog, all were relieved to see the dog standing on the side of the road.  Later on the morning, I got a bit of a surprise when Nadia's hockey bag fell off the back of her bike right in front of me.  No harm was done, but it got the adrenaline up.  We took lunch in Moosomin and found brief access to the internet.  The site looks great, thanks Bill.  It's nice to see the pictures, since we have no idea how they turned out.  We did groceries, and as we were having our lunch a woman asked us to make a delivery to the local Credit Union.  It was her sister's birthday and she needed someone her sister wouldn't know.  So we matched in carrying a basket of chicks, yes real live chicks, and made a 'bicycle courier' delivery.  It was quite funny, and Julie Bell must have had a great 40th.  We reached the border and took our pictures.  At the visitors' centre we were pleased to find out that we finally got one of the time changes right.  Nadia had a headache, so we decided to call it a day in Virden rather than push further.  We treated ourselves to Ice-cream which was a great idea in the heat.  Sadly Cliff died, we think of the same thing as Luna did yesterday.  It was sad.  We set up camp, ate and showered.  There is a threat of rain overnight, and we had a bit in the evening.  Wow, another province done!  -SK


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