Another eventful one! Looking back, I can’t believe this was all in one day.
Auntie Doreen & Uncle Gord’s
With my rare visit to Winnipeg, I was always very much looking forward to meeting up with my great aunt Doreen and uncle Gord. This ended up being a last minute decision based on Covid restrictions, but I’m super happy it could work out.
They prepped me a tasty bacon and eggs breaky, picked up a bunch of Gatorade because they knew I liked that, and packed me some sandwiches for the road. Everything completely taken care of. We got caught up on all things family, and they were still cracking jokes just as I had remembered last time I had seen them, 15 years ago.
Also HUGE shout out to Auntie Doreen for being cancer-free as of a few days ago!!!
Bike Shop, Round Three
After making some phone calls, the wheel situation was starting to look very promising.
I made my way down to “Sprint Cycle”, a couple mins down from Auntie Doreen and Uncle Gord’s, and got to see a tiny glimpse of Winnipeg along the way (Hey Ted, I made it!)
I was incredibly surprised to see an “Fuji Authorized Dealer” sticker on the bike shop. “Fuji” is my bike make, one that is incredibly hard to find back in Vancouver. I can’t imagine is anymore common in Winnipeg.
The odds of this were pretty insane, and this instantly relieved stress off my shoulders, that they would have the parts, and know how to deal with my exact bike.
Within 30 mins, the shop owner straightened the skewed wheel, replaced the spoke, adjusted the breaks, tightened the front rack, lubed up the chain, cleaned it, and just made sure this thing was ready to take me for the rest of the way.
All that and he only charged me for the tune up.
The bike was so clean I walked right past it and didn’t even recognize it. And it rode like an absolute dream. The best feeling!
We then made our way over to Lisa, Aaron, Dylan, and Adam’s place; relatives I had never actually had a chance to meet!
One thing among many that has been so great about this trip is that it has really allowed me to connect with my mom’s side of the family. It instantly felt like we had known each other for a long time.
Had a blast in their backyard pool catching up, and later having some mouth watering BBQ’d pork tenderloin. Dylan had just graduated from high school, and Adam from middle school. Tons to celebrate!
Oh and I broke my Apple Watch as I went to put it down. It fell at just the right angle on the pavement, and cracked the whole screen. After doing some research and making a few phone calls, it was clear that getting repaired was out of the equation (it’s so expensive it almost costs the same as a new one, plus it would take multiple days to get done.)
So made the quick decision to go out with Aaron and just buy a new one, since it’s my last time in a big city until Toronto, and it’s such a valuable tool to have.
Painful for the wallet, but you know what, the good from this trip far outweighs the bad.
Pitch Black Adventures
After our dinner, it was time to hit the road, and make a bit of distance in order to not fall too far behind the schedule.
Going into it, I knew it’d be a late start, so had planned to do roughly 50km and get towards Steinbach, MB.
Surely enough, that day, my cellular data had completely stopped working, adding a layer of stress to that night.
Amidst all that, I did take a moment to appreciate that I had officially hit the geographic longitude centre of Canada!
Back to the ride.
As I got closer to Steinbach, the night fall hit hard, and I knew I needed to call it as soon as possible, and regroup to get the data sorted out.
I saw a sign indicating a hotel in St Anne’s, so made the turn off the highway to eventually get there. A roof for the night and solid internet connection sounded great. Arriving there, the hotel was closed. Thankfully, I was able to connect to their wifi and scope out the nearest campground, which was about an hour out.
To get there, you could either go all the way back and take the main highway, and head East, or you could take a smaller road, that would take you right there.
So I went with the smaller road. By that point, it was almost fully night time. Within minutes of starting the road, my headlamp battery had died. Perrrrfect.
I continued the road ahead, relying on the limited city lamps, until at some point, even those weren’t around.
I was entering total darkness. Not a comfortable feeling. I then remembered that I had made a very last minute decision to pack my LED bike lamp, juuuust in case, even though I didn’t have space for it on my handlebar.
I was so thankful past me had done that.
I found just enough space to get it on, and while the ride was still quite uncomfortable, I had finally made it to the campground.
Let’s not do that again, shall we? (Sorry mom!)
- Route: Winnipeg, MB —> Richer, MB
- Distance: 57km
- Elevation Gain: 77m