We had a nice overnight stay in Brandon, and awoke again to overcast skies, but with only a 30% chance of showers, and a predicted 10-15km/hr wind out of the east, I felt confident that our short trip to Portage La Prairie would be a piece of cake. Our usual 2 hour morning stint produced only 48km, missing the minimum target of 50 by just a couple, but also telling me that this might be a longer day than I originally thought. I can only attribute the shortfall and lower speeds to my friends the wind gods, as their subtle little 10-15 was having more to say about progress this day than it should on paper. No coasting allowed, or you would loose speed instantly. Every pedal revolution counted.
Manitoba Highway of Heroes runs from east of Brandon,
CFB Shiloh to Winnipeg.....honoured to ride it
Our schedule for the ride got a little screwed up when we left Lake Louise, and tried to make Calgary in one shot through some terrible conditions, and fell short. Since then we have tried to make it up, and with the century rides, and letting a day off slip by, riding instead, we are now back on schedule, but I think my body is craving a rest. No aches or pains, just running out of gas too quickly, which is what happened today. Hey, still no problem getting here, although it did turn out to be a 126km ride, but my speed and energy levels were down so it just took longer than expected. Not to worry, tomorrow is another day.
First stretch of tree lined highway we have seen since BC
Sid and Jon are off to the Winnipeg airport to pick up our replacement driver Billy Dagneau, a welcome addition to the crew, and tomorrow, after dropping off Jon for his trip back to Toronto, Bill will pick up Bill Stensson who is joining us for a few weeks also. Looks like all we will need to do if we need anything for the next little while is yell “Bill”. Tomorrow will be a short day, allowing us time to hook up with a bike shop in Winnipeg for a tune and once over on the bikes……..Sid better pick up some more tubes also…….still leading 7-5. He will also get a first hand look at tomorrows route, so we will know what we have in store for the day. Sid still hasn’t broken out the new white cycling shoes (you heard it here first). My feeling is they are being held in reserve for his return to GBC, so be sure to compliment him when you see them boys.
It really is a bit of a community out here on the Trans Canada. Everyone has a story about where they are going, who they are going to see, and why. Our story is pretty obvious as it is printed all over our clothing, and we get many chances during the day to share our thoughts and experiences with others in transit. Clearly the best part of the day is when your efforts are recognized on the road. Truckers, contrary to popular belief are the most courteous guys out here, moving over to the left hand lane when passing to give us more room, and the occasional blast of their horn lets you know they realize what we are up to. The Honda Civic with bikes on his roof that toots his horn on the way by, and the best, the guy on the motorcycle who speeds past us, no horn, but with his right arm extended, giving us a big thumbs up. Makes you feel good.
So it’s back at it again tomorrow, bright and early. Should be a great day, and will give you all the news from Winnipeg when we arrive. Cheers everyone…..miss you……Hugh