‘Cross Canada: Days 16 & 17

Day 16

With another great day of wind on the forecast, we set out from Regina to make the most of it. By Thursday and Friday this week the wind is looking to change and actually head straight west, so we want to minimize the time spent riding into headwinds. Had we actually stayed in Moose Jaw for the rest day, the original goal was Indian Head. The updated goal was Moosomin, which would put us two days ahead of schedule!

The day started out great with a guy we met in elevator of our Airbnb who asked to take a selfie with us! Worried about city traffic, we hopped on the trans Canada right away. Turns out the only “traffic” was a short stretch of construction. Gotta love these small cities. Shortly out of the city, we caught up with a fellow traveler. Oliver was up front chatting with him so I didn’t get his story, but I did get a couple cool pictures.

After parting ways, the wind picked up and we set sail – cruising in the high 30s. We chugged along for a while, making a stop at 70km then stopping for a proper lunch (and milkshakes!) at 140km.

With a hefty 200m of elevation gain out of the way, we settled in on the pan-flat trans Canada as we winded our way southeast towards the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border. At one of the stops along the way we met a trucker who was into bike touring and had painted his classic celeste-coloured Bianchi lime green and swapped the drop bars for a flat bar – a truly painful story to hear.

Once we made it to Moosomin (and were officially two days ahead of schedule!) we stopped for a lengthy dinner break and Wi-Fi stop. Afterwards, we had a leisurely sunset cruise the final 20km to the Manitoba border.

Just to confuse us more, we decided to set up camp right on the timezone border. Though we had a pretty sweet sunset of a storm on the horizon (we only got rained on for the time it took us to set up our tents).

Day 17

We woke up this morning quite confused by the timezone change and which province we should follow, though I suppose we did that to ourselves. All our clocks were still on Saskatchewan time but we tried to mentally switch to Manitoba time. It’s still baffling that the mid-summer sunrise is around 4:30am here.

We slowly packed up and ate some lukewarm oats since our fuel canister ran out halfway through boiling the water. Oliver did some more posing for the camera.

We decided to try to go long again today since the winds were looking quite good and there was a decent chance we could get to Winnipeg a day early. That’d let us not have to ride in the ridiculous headwinds forecasted for Friday AND we’d get an extra rest day (a real bonus since we were already planning on using the extra day we saved as a rest day).

The first 60km rolled by uneventfully. We were both feeling pretty tired so we were taking it easier. We definitely had a tailwind, as we averaged 35kph+, but it wasn’t as stiff as the past couple of days. After a roadside break and realizing it was going to be a scorcher of a day so we shouldn’t dally outside, we set off for Brandon, another 60km down the road.

Due to the late start from the timezone confusion, we didn’t get to Brandon until nearly 2pm. We had originally intended to make it to knock off another 90-100km so we’d be only 100km outside of Winnipeg, but we settled for taking a longer break and leaving 130km for tomorrow. We recharged with burrito bowl, Starbucks, and some unlimited ducks then set off for a town 50km down the road for dinner.

Carberry turned out to be a very pretty little prairie town with lots of welcome signs and a cool mural. We grabbed a giant pizza for dinner and what looked to be the local hangout spot and hung out for a couple hours while Oliver struggled to change a tire he got a puncture in. Then he punctured it while changing it and had to change it again. Sigh.

Eventually, refilled with pizza and ice cream, we set off to cover another 30km to round the day off to 200km (the first and probably one of the only times I’ll do back-to-back 200km days). We pulled off on a gravel side road, found a nice looking ditch, and set up camp.

9:30pm and still clear blue skies…crazy

Tomorrow we head for Winnipeg and a few days of rest!

Cheers and Ride On!

-Evan

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