The Wedding Crashers

Winnipeg to Moose Jaw

Two days after meeting Going Solo, I knew it was time to jump back on the bike and catch up with him.  He is riding a quadricycle and is slower, so I knew I could eventually catch up to him.

I started my journey out of Winnipeg by 8 a.m. (am pretty sure my body was in shock…am sooo not a morning person)  I wanted to leave early on sunday as I knew there would be little traffic and I was right.  Pretty smooth sailing out of Winnipeg with no taxi sightings! phew

So what does a girl who was hit by a car do?  she jumps on her bike and rides 170 kms.  By the end of the day, I felt like I had been hit by another car…mmmm…advillllll….  I had heard from Going Solo that he was only in Brandon, another 40kms away and that he would be leaving late the next day.  I knew I could catch up to him no problem…wrong…mother nature had a bad case of wind that day!!  That 40 kms was so much harder than the 170 the day before.  If I could have, I would have jumped off my bike and stomped my feet in the hissy fit that I really wanted to throw…but I didn’t have the energy..so I cycled on.

He had texted me saying that the gears on his bike “had shit themselves”  so he was still there.  I caught up to him in Brandon and we decided that we would hit the newspaper together and then move on the next day.

After the two rough days that I had had, cycling behind him was going to be a nice break.  His quadricycle weighs 600 lbs with him on it so he goes half the speed that I normally would.  I realized shortly into the ride that I had to be extra careful in how I cycled behind him.  He is so wide, that I can’t see what is coming when he cycles over it..for example..the extremely large mountain of dead animal that I managed to cycle over, or the potholes that can swallow me whole.

He has done a great job of decorating his quadricycle with stuff that he finds on the roadside and so now I have taken up a new hobby of looking in the grass and at the side of the road for new goodies to add to his collection since there is no way I am going to put more weight on MY bike.  I have to admit that I will be leaving him with some real treasures.  I did however pass up on the really nice shiney knife that he pointed out.  I felt that at some point it had probably stabbed someone..kinda had that feel to it.

After cycling for around 95 kms that day, we camped in a field by a farm (with permission from owner).  It was a lovely night listening to the sounds of the railroad and Trans Canada.  Why someone hasn’t made a CD of that I will never know.  I think I managed to get about three hours of sleep that night.  At one point we even heard Coyotes howling…Paul thinks they were Wolves…still in debate.

The second day we cycled a decent distance again.  I was cycling behind him again being lulled by the sound of his spokie dokes and wheels turning when he decided he had to stop when bam…I cycled into the back of him.  I won’t lie…I was in lala land.  I didn’t hurt myself, but it was just hard enough that two bags came off.  He felt the need to see a dead snake (that he thought was alive).

Camped again the second night…If it wasn’t for the marsh, I am sure we could have gotten ourselves a little closer to the train tracks.  Oh the sweet sounds of a train coming through your tent.

The next day Paul was excited by an animal rescue.  He managed to save a mouse that I am pretty sure would have had identity problems.  Paul was sure it was a ground squirrel.  Either way, it was so cute.  I had a good laugh as he promptly started asking random people where he could find a syringe…lol.  He got the local pharmacy to donate that and a home for “Dave”.  We then got cat’s milk from the grocery store to feed it.  Paul was now a doting dad!  It was funny cycling behind him now because I could hear him talking to Dave.  “Sorry Dave” as he would go over a pot hole…

As we were cycling later into the afternoon, a storm was coming in with some pretty good lightening and we needed to find shelter.  We turned off the highway after spotting a farm and decided it was worth the risk of having a man with a chainsaw in hand and someone elses face as a mask answer the door if we could find shelter in the barn.  As we turned onto the road, Paul spotted an injured Hawk that he covered it with his poncho and we took it with us.  “Doug” was now part of the group.

This lovely couple (Fern and Jim thank you) took us in for the night and let us camp in their shed/barn and have a shower in the morning.  They even donated a box for Doug.  I promptly fell asleep in the barn, but woke up a few hours later to Paul staring at me..he then told me that I had been snoring up a storm and if he could have found something other farm equipment and rocks to chuck at me he would have.  All I can remember from that sleep was how I couldn’t breath..my allergies had kicked into high gear.  He had been awake anyway feeding his new baby and checking up on the hawk.

I kept telling him that I thought Dave had come into his life to feed Doug.  He wasn’t taking too kindly to that comment…his tone changed the next day when he was tired from waking through the night to feed Dave (I knew he wasn’t serious…he was too taken with this nugget of an animal..I have to admit that I was a wee bit attached myself).  We moved on the next day and we knew it would take three hours to cycle to the next town, so he flagged down a passing truck and had a young couple take the hawk to the vet in the next town with instructions to leave it at the RCMP office if the vet couldn’t help them.

We got to the vets office where they told us that they had given the address of a vet in Regina.  So we cycled on knowing we would hopefully see Doug in a day or so.

When we finally cycled to Regina we found out that the hawk had never come that way…Doug was MIA.  We then realized that Doug had probably been left at the RCMP office in the last town and that we had forgotten and cycled right by.

We both wanted to get through Regina and move on to Moose Jaw.  We made one stop at the Superstore for supplies for the day.  Paul was approached by the manager of the store to be told that they didn’t want any homeless people hanging out begging for money.  He was saying this as Paul was packing his two bags of groceries that he just paid for into his quadricycle.  He didn’t even notice the sign that said he was raising money for charity.

It was a long day of cycling with one stop before we got to our destination for the night.  We stopped at a roadside bar for some food and a bit of a break.  With our bellies full, we came back out to realize that we had forgotten about Dave when we went in:

Dave: rescued august 10th, 2011, died august 12, 2011

You will be missed little buddy!

With a tear in his eye, Paul packed up Daves box and we continued on the road to Moose Jaw.  We pulled in and found accommodation later in the day…just in time….to crash a wedding!!!

Am pretty sure Paul blended in with his board shorts, tshirt and buff…actually the party welcomed us with open arms and we had a blast.  Paul even danced with the bride!

Today was a day off where I took time to make a call..I had to find out what happened to Doug.

Doug: rescued august 10th, 2011, died august 11th, 2011

I am sorry that I didn’t give you one that one last meal….

Today I rescued a stuffed moose on the road…am pretty sure this one will make it!

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What to do in Winnipeg

So I am sitting here in Winnipeg wondering what to do…another movie perhaps.  I have been debating on when to get back on my bike.  I just want to get on my bike and go. I am not nervous about getting back on my bike….I am nervous about getting back on my bike here in the city.  I had a friend cycle through here on a quadricycle yesterday and am thinking about joining him.  He is cycling for “Help for Heroes” and the Canadian version “Wounded Warriors”.  He has cycled ahead and I am thinking about jumping on the bus tomorrow to meet up with him.  I still need a few days off the bike so by the time we meet up, I should be ready and then I am not getting back on my bike here where I am nervous.

I am doing okay.  I am super stiff but it is starting to let up.  May be the Advil, but I am finding it too hard to sit still.  I wanted to be proactive in raising money while here but I have only gotten donations from a few gentlemen who are staying here at my hotel. 

To the American Shriners who donated, you guys are awesome, I hope you have a great time here.  Do you have any hats that you can donate?  I so want to get one to my friend who is cycling on the quadricycle!!!  I think it would be a good look with his grizzly adams beard and Momullet!  I think it would be a hit with the ladies.

To all the peeps out there who have been kind enough to send messages whether it is on here, my blackberry or facebook, thank you all for your concern, but I am okay and truly ready to get on with this in a day or two.  Getting on the bike is going to be the only way to really tell if I am ready or not.

Will keep you updated on my travels, but for now..nothing to report. 

 

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“Vacation” extended in Winnipeg

So my stay has been extended here in Winnipeg thanks to a careless Cabbie.  I was trying to make my getaway from Winnipeg when out of nowhere a cab hits me making a right hand turn.  Now I know I am really skinny and hard to see but seriously, hard to miss the bike with all my bags on it. 

I was cycling straight on Portage when a cab swings into my lane and makes a right hand turn (which is where I happen to be cycling).  He caught the front of my bike.  Now all I remember is him swinging into my lane, hitting my bike as I was saying “what the fu..” That is literally all I remember (I serioulsy remember starting to say the f word but never got to the K) and then my head hit the pavement which I remember clearly feeling(cracking my helmet in half in the back where I hit).  I saw the video for the bear incident, but I have to admit that I wish there was a video of how exactly I came off the bike because well that is totally gone.  I have no clue/no memory of it.  I like to think that it was this incredibly graceful ninja like flip over my handlebars.  I cannot figure out how I ended up on my back facing the opposite direction to how I was cycling?

Let me say that injuries could have been much worse and I feel lucky and am glad I was wearing my helmet.  So my injuries include the following: stitches in my right shin where they think my pedal punctured (thats right not scraped..punctured) my leg.  Migraine from the obvious hitting my head on the pavement.(apparently hitting my head against the wall in my marriage did not prepare me for this!)  Concussion..who knows..whats my name again?  and Whiplash. Am beginning to feel little aches and sprains esp on the left side.  My body hurts to laugh, cough, and situp…All in all, I am doing really pretty good.  And I have to say, I have a whole new appreciation for the pain that my sister went through.  In answer to all your questions: yes I went to the hospital via ambulance on a board and in a neck brace.  Yes I had xrays done to rule out cspine fractures and skull fracture.  Yes I called insurance and have been documenting everything.  Yes I shaved my legs that morning, was wearing clean underwear and had my makeup on!

I was lucky to have four witnesses to the accident who all clearly saw that it was the cabdriver’s fault.  They turned out to be truly lovely ladies who left their phone numbers in case I needed anything and even offered to take me in knowing I was alone.  One was even kind enough to come visit me in the hospital to make sure I was okay.  Her and I had a bonding moment at the accident scene.  I like to refer to her as my “truckermouth sister”.  I will be calling them shortly to thank them.

I want to say thank you to the staff at Grace Hospital (amazing yes the name of the hospital was not lost on me.  I had a moment while there when I found out the name) for taking care of me.  I know it is your job and can sometimes be thankless.  I want you to know that I do truly appreciate the care that you gave me.

To Firehouse station 20…thank you gentlemen for taking care of my bike and getting me to my lodgings for the night. 

So I throw myself in front of a car and meet firemen and paramedics…a couple of doctors….sheesh…whats a girls gotta do for a date? 

So what does one do in Winnipeg to kill time?  well go to the movies of course.  I went and saw “Horrible Bosses” and had a laugh (hurt like a mofo to laugh so hard but I took it like a trooper).  There was even one scene stealing moment in my books…ready for it…ready for it…they used the “CAW CAW” line…..who knew?  It was a much needed laugh in the middle of a poor me day. 

So to all those concerned out there, I am truly okay.  I am just gonna have to wait out the injuries before movin on.  I have decided to invest in one of those inflatable sumo wrestler outfits so that should there be a next time…I will be better prepared to hit the pavement.

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New Start

So much to catch up on and where to start.  I am currently in Winnipeg and am about to go solo.  Mom and Quinn who have been my support until now are going home.  It will be interesting to see how my distance changes now that it is sooooooooo flaaaaaattttt.  Northern Ontario was a Marathon of hills.  It was a challenge that I enjoyed, now I can’t wait to see what my max distance can be in this terrain.  I have a feeling that it is going to be against the wind, but maybe Mother Nature will have pity on me and give me a break.

So to update for the moment…hmmm…where to start.  Well let me start by saying that Quinn has challenged herself and cycled 25 kms in one day.  I wasn’t only proud of her accomplishment, but her attitude as well.  She was asking to get on the bike and wanting to beat her previous distances.  So to Quinn, thank you for being there as my support and I am so proud of you.  To my mom, I can’t thank enough for always encouraging me and telling me how good I am doing.  I am going to miss your support and love Mama C.

I have met so many people who are cycling, walking, hitchhiking and even running across Canada, but there is one person who stood out the most.  Jean from Montreal has for the last 11 years walked around the world.  He started in Montreal and walked south through the states and to the bottom of South America.  He flew to South Africa and walked north to Europe and then across Russia, China and down southeast Asia where he then flew to Australia.  He walked from Perth to Sydney and then has finished his trip by flying to Vancouver and walking back to Montreal.  He will finish in October.  His journey has been amazing where he was showing me pics like when he met Nelson Mandela.  He is walking for “Peace for Children”.  The truly amazing part of this is that a Canadian friend of mine met him walking 9 years ago when she cycled across Ecuador.  Such a small world.

I have had my ups and downs and yes my funny moments…but there is one that tops them all.  To those women who have the video, should you ever read this….please please please send me the video.

I had just left Pancake Bay, Ontario and cycled about 35 kms when I pulled off to where mom had stopped to check on me.  As I was speaking to her a pickup truck comes rippin in and a women says something to me out the door.  I just looked at mom like is this woman drunk?  Anyway, she jumped out and came running back to where I was standing beside the truck and she was saying “you have to see this, you have to see this”.  She had a video camera in her hand and she replayed what she had just recorded.  They were recording a bear that was at the side of the road just in the bushes…then you hear one of them say “doesn’t even see it..oh my god…cycle faster…oh my god”  My head and shoulders then go through the frame as I cycle past the bear that I have absolutely no clue is within five feet of me.  Just as I pass it, it comes out of the bushes and stands on its hind legs and watches me cycle by.  All I have to say is “ignorance is bliss”.  It is a hilarious video and definitely worth a good laugh.  The women in the background talking to me is soo funny.  I can’t thank them enough for jumping in their car and chasing me down to show me that video.  To those women, I say thank you so much for showing me that video.  To the bear..I did not sleep in your bed or eat your porridge!  To the ladies and the bear, I want to thank you both…that afternoon between the adrenalin of what had happened and being freaked out at a possible repeat performance,  I had the best distance and time to date.  To Canadian Canoe Company…Thank you for the Bear Spray!

Dear Tires:  I want to thank you for the first 4,000 kms problem free.  I however have one request…the next time you go kaplooey…can you please do it in a town with a bike shop? preferably with a hot bike mechanic?  Sincerely, your incredibly frustrated truckermouth owner.  I have now replaced my pump with one that actually works!!! Love you MEC in Winnipeg.  You guys rock!

I will obviously be changing my format for the blogs as I can only get to a computer periodically.

I do want to take a few minutes and thank those peeps out there that have made a few more donations.  I really appreciate all the support and love and messages that I have been getting.  I truly have the best people in my life.  I love you guys! (fine print: no alcohol was consumed prior to those statements)

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Back on the road

I have realized that I have forgotten my plug for my laptop so it will be slow updating until I get my hands on one. Here is a brief summary that I will edit when I can.

My niece and nephew both joined me for portions of the ride to Tobermory. My nephew rode an impressive 50 kms and my niece cycled a whopping 10 kms. I am impressed and happy that they were there with me. Way to go guys.

Cycling from Manitoulin to Espanola, I picked up a bee that almost caused an accident. I really wish I was a car driving by when I was wildly swinging my shirt around trying to get the bee out of it.

I met two guys who are walking across Canada. Bo and Darrin are looking to get their PADI cert along the way…if anyone in northern ontario can help them out, they will be on here soon enough, so please leave your info for them.

My niece joined me again on HWy 17 and it was the most stressful 7 kms so far. “SlOW DOWN QUINN!” “BOTH hands on the bike QUINN” She did great, but it is a busy highway and I am the crazy aunt who was a nervous wreck.

I want to give a shout out to the truckers who are giving me space…and to the ones who aren’t…I am mentally giving you the finger! Please share the road with cyclists and give them space.

Will update again shortly. Please keep sending in the money….please….pleeeeeeeeeeeezzzz

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Home for a break

I am home for a couple of weeks for a break. I think the next leg of the journey is going to be a bit different. I will update before I go again so you know the new details. So blogs may be few and far between along the route.

I have managed to finally get the money donated updated. Am a quarter of the way there. I have cycled 2800 kms so far. Another billion to go (small exaggeration).

I want to again thank those people who have been kind enough to donate online and who donated along the way or those who donated on the island before I left.

My biggest thank you today will go to my parents who I got to share the east portion of the ride with. I know I joked about spending so much time with them but I am thankful to be able to have the time with them that I did. After the accident, it really comes to light how important family truly is. I am thankful to them for their emotional support and sponshorship. I enjoyed the fine dining of Mama C’s mobile canteen. Kept me healthy and feeling good. And just between you and me. Life wouldn’t be the same without my dads jokes.

Love you both mom and dad.

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Day 38

Quebec City

So have now finished the first half of the ride Ontario to Newfoundland. There is going to be a break for about a month. I am going to just sum up Quebec happenings.

1. Fine Dining with mom and dad. I actually bit down on a rock that was in my salad. My mom was wondering which I was gonna get with my main meal. Paper or scissors? smartass!

2. Chateau Frontenac. Was expecting the twin girls at the end of the hallway and a little boy to appear in front of me telling me “ertruem” with his finger. (get it “redrum” in french) Creepy hotel!

3. The secret to a 50 year marriage. Hard hearing and bad memory. Can repeat the same stories over and over and they are fresh each time you tell them.

May be on here doing some updating and editing for the next couple of weeks, but the riding will not resume for three weeks. I am asking those who are reading this. Go thru your workplace tomorrow. Ask for one dollar from each of your workmates and explain to them what it is for. Take the total and donate it online!! You will get a receipt from the charity for income tax. One hundred percent of the money donated online goes DIRECTLY to the charity.

I will also be updating with photos in the next couple of weeks as well.

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