Day 30 to Day 34 Regina to Portage La Prairie

Day 30 Regina to Indian Head, Sk

The thunderstorm we heard throughtout the night had let up early but left dark grey clouds hanging over us. There was a mild headwind that didn't slow us down, just kept us working. Finding a spot for lunch was pretty muddy. By then the sun came out but the ditches were still wet. The first spot we tried had us sliding into the ditch and had to walk back through the mud to get out. There was some frustration, maybe some swearing and then 10 minutes of scraping mud off our tires. The rest of the day our bikes felt heavy as they clunked out all the mud. Catherine had it worse than me and was still spitting mud as we pulled into the campsite in Indian Head. We set up the tent and pulled more mud off our bikes, then went and got Indian food for supper. After a long chilly day into the wind, the curries and samosas warmed us and cleaned out the nasal cavaties. If you go through, the place is called Lucky's Punjabi Dhabba and it's worth the visit. Got to bed at 9pm and had a good rest. 

Day 31 Indian Head to Whitewood, Sk

We were out by 8am and were in for another long day with the headwinds getting stronger. The shoulders were nice and both our phones had half batteries so we biked side by side and chatted most of the morning. The road was flat, the fields were vast and they're all starting to blend together. The long days feel even longer on the praries. Had lunch in Grenfell and supper in Whitewood. Saw more cows, fields and even a couple trees in between. 

Day 32 Whitewood to Moosomin 

The winds got even stronger and turned so they were headed straight east, directly in our face. It was a loud day. 40-60 km/hr winds all day. Gusts from the side pushed us into the road and gusts in the front brought us to a stop. That was the story all day long. We were hoping to make it the 115km to Virden but our top speed was only something like 14km/hr so that wasn't happening. Made plans to rest in Moosomin where we could wait out the storm coming in the evening. 

It was too loud on the road to talk and we were hunched over most of the day trying to stay as aerodynamic as possible. Sometime after lunch we came up on a long line of taffic and saw flashing lights at the head of them. People were out of thier cars, trying to see to the front or walking their dogs. We road in slowly and enjoyed the cover from the wind. When we got to the front we asked a guy leaning on his Corvette what was going on. He said a semi got blown off thr road and was starting to tip. No one was hurt and a couple tow trucks were blocking the road but we were able to sneak by. Even though we could only manage 10km/hr, we were still the fastest people heading east from Wapella. 

Bob's Bike Ride, Now offering safe passage from Wapella to Moosomin!

When we got into Moosomin I went and checked us in but the wind was so disorienting all day that it took a lot of mental effort to get through it. Looking back, the strange looks I was getting from the clerk was probably because I was shouting, compensating for the ringing in my ears. We watched the storm and then went to bed around 9pm. 

Day 33 Moosomin to Brandon

Since we only made it 50 km the day before, we had 140 km ahead of us. On the road by 8am and the wind behind us, we finally had a nice day for biking. It was less than an hour before we made iy to the MB boarder. We jumped off the bikes and jumped, danced, you name it. It was pretty surreal and really start to feel like we were biking across Canada. The wind pushed us all day and the sun was out too. Saw some more cows and fields and a lot more trees than Saskatchewan. We rode into Brandon on the 1A, a stretch that I'd never been on but was probably the nicest views of the day. We got into Greg and Michelle's around 6:00pm and they had supper waiting for us, fresh off the bbq. 

We visited the LDAM Brandon Branch in the evening and were welcomed in by their ADHD adult support group. It was such a great experience. It's amazing how many places you can really feel at home, especially when you're living on the back of a bike and essentially homeless. We talked about the struggles of ADHD and how those struggles change after a diagnosis. These were the conversations I wanted to start when I had the idea for this ride. And they'd been having them over 40 years. Thank you to everyone there and Cheryl for inviting us! 

We headed back to Greg and Michelle's and chatted the rest of the evening. We've been blown away by how warm and inviting people are across this country. We are truly blessed. 

I didn't have a great sleep that night. Was up for about 2 hours in the middle of the night with violent stomach pains and nothing coming out either end. They lessened as the night went on but in the morning not even a can of sweatened condensed milk could get me going.

Day 34 Brandon to Portage La Prairie 

Michelle made us breakfast and we talked more throughout the morning. I was still feeling tired and achy but the nausea was gone so I was happy. We were heading out of the driveway at 9am when we noticed Catherine had a flat. Back into the driveway, we fixed it quick and were finally off. I've driven the stretch from Winnipeg to Brandon and back so many times but never on a bike. It was hillier than I realized and it was really exciting to start recognizing my surroundings. It put a fire under our asses and an extra beat in our hearts as we maintained speeds of 26-30km/hr throughout the day. We stopped for lunch in MacGregor. I was still feeling sick and we were both short on sleep so the last couple hours were a struggle. We hit a freshly paved shoulder and had some easy riding for about 45 minutes. Then we caught up to the pavers and the rest of the way was the exact opposite. For about a km stretch we had hot tar and pavement less than a foot away on our right and cars passing us less than a foot away on our right. Oh and a line of traffic cones in that small space with us. It may not have been easy but it was a lot of fun. We made it through without a problem but then got in front of the pavers and had to travel on about 5km of cut up road. The constant bumps rattled me to the bones and I could feel the nausea coming back. We finally got past it and had a whole lane to ourselves pretty much the rest of the way. Coming into Portage felt amazing and as we pulled into the Motel parking lot, my dad pulled up. It wasn't a surprise but I still hopped off the bike like I hadn't seen him in a month. After hugs and talking about how sore our butts were, we settled into the room and got ready for supper. We had a nice evening with my dad and Pat, they took us out for dinner and we all ate too much. Feeling full and happy we waved goodbye. Headed back into the room and passed out before I hit the bed. In the morning we'd be getting ready to head home. 

SEE YOU SOON WINNIPEG!

Bob Essex