Bike Shop, Round Two
Once again, packed everything up and made my way across the city to “Wheat City Cycle” first thing in the morning to see what they could do about the wheel.
Well, much to my surprise, it wasn’t until I walked in to the shop that I found out they were a motorCYCLE shop… I couldn’t believe I had just taken an entire rest day to wait for them to open up.
The guys there were still very helpful and took a look at the bike, but did not want to attempt fixing the spoke since it may require very specific parts (not the generic motorcycle ones.)
That was a huge bummer. I found myself with yet another decision to make. Do I wait another day in Brandon for the other bike shops to open up? Or do I just continue and make it all the way to Winnipeg?
Naturally, I went to sit down, grab food (can’t make decisions on an empty stomach), and regroup.
That’s it, I couldn’t afford to lose too much more time sitting around, so I made the executive decision to power straight through to Winnipeg. No overnight stops in between. A full 200km, which would by far be my longest ride ever. This would allow me to get somewhat back on track with my schedule.
I was meeting up with family in Winnipeg, so called my Aunt Doreen and Uncle Gord to let them know that I’d be a day ahead of what I had told them!
And just like that, water bottles filled up, handlebar duck secured, I begun this long stretch. Of course, it was a real scorcher out there.
For the first 80km, I didn’t even listen to music, in order to preserve the limited battery life that I had. Just listened to the sounds of open fields, pierced with semi trucks ripping by.
This made it go by all that much longer.
I arrived at a critical gas station checkpoint, where I was able to fuel up on a Subway sandwich, stock up on water, and give my devices a quick charge.
This meant music for the rest of the way! I usually just put my entire library on shuffle, and like getting surprised by the randomness. Everything from Vance Joy, Avicii, to Frank Sinatra… Everything!
The ride was a tough one, and the heat did not make it any easier. Thankfully, this happened to be some of the flattest stretches in Canada! As you approach Winnipeg, you can really be staring at the exact same scenery in the distance for hours on end. A trippy feeling!
I once again found myself racing against the sunset. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I do NOT like riding in the dark.
Riding in the Dark
Well, even after what I felt was a valiant effort battling past KMs 160, 170, 180… I still found myself outside of Winnipeg, with dusk unfolding.
At the 200th KM, beyond exhausted, I had officially made it to the city’s limits.
I was so tired that I miss-stepped on a sidewalk curb and fell over sideways with the bike. A very minor fall, but I knew I needed to get to rest.
I googled my great aunt and uncle’s location, which I knew was off of “Main St”, so surely couldn’t be that far.
Man was I wrong.
Winnipeg is so spread out. Not at all like Vancouver. The GPS was telling me that I was still a solid 35km to go. Another 1 hour and 50 mins.
I couldn’t even process doing that, but I didn’t have much of a choice but to get there. On top of that, I was feeling really bad for keeping them up way past their 9:00pm bedtime.
Within a minute of coming to this realization, I looked up to see what I thought was a car driving towards me, slowly… Right on the shoulder. Like I said, I was tired to the point where things didn’t need to make sense.
It was a pick up truck, backing up, and I knew it was coming for me.
Inside was a young guy, smiling, and right away pointing out that I looked like I could use a hand.
He couldn’t be more right.
His name was Ahmed, and he offered me a ride to wherever I was heading to. Just when I thought I was past the prairies generosity and kind hearts, and entering the city, I was proven wrong once again.
He helped me load up the bike in the back of the truck, and drove out 30 mins out of his way to get me to my family’s place. I had such a pleasure chatting with him too.
An incredibly bright and ambitious guy, who had moved over from Egypt a year ago. Currently doing roadside assistance (that’s how his instinct of spotting me kicked in!) and trying to get into an engineering job to put his education to use. Not an easy feat as an immigrant. Such a harsh reality, which saddened me to hear.
He drove me right to the building’s door step, and yet again just an incredibly kind act.
I was so happy to meet my great Aunt and Uncle that I hadn’t seen in over 15 years, and have that oh-so-comfy bed.
Needless to say, I had one of the best sleeps of the trip.
- Route: Brandon, MB —> Winnipeg, MB
- Distance: 201km
- Elevation Gain: 229m
Effort dedicated to Skylar ; )