Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Week 3 Bow Island to Virden (857 km)

AKA Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Three provinces in week, although you couldn't tell it from the scenery. Apparently I've been through prairie, grasslands, plains and farmlands. Which as far as I can tell are all different words for flat and windy.There's a definite difference in people though as you go further east. In Alberta a lone foreigner on a bicycle doesn't even turn heads - just another one of those outdoorsy BC loons who took a wrong turn in the mountains and wondered over the border. In Saskatchewan, if you're not in a truck or tractor you're pretty much invisible. In Manitoba however, it was like I rode into town naked on the back of a three headed dragon. You're doing what?? On a what?? WHY?? BUT YOU'RE A GIRL?? Which is kinda funny because Virden, Manitoba is where I finally ran into some other cycling weirdos, when we all randomly ended up at the same tiny campsite. I was the first to arrive, followed by Joe shortly after. He's also going west to east, and had been tailing me for a couple days before finally catching up. Despite the popularity of this route, since leaving BC cyclists have been few and far between, particularly tourers. We were just chatting about how neither of us had seen many other riders, when cyclist number 3 arrived. Steve is heading north to Alaska from Montreal, and was equally surprised to see us. Clearly there was only one way to celebrate impromptu cycling club: to the liquor store! Which consequently resulted in Steve taking a "rest day", whilst Joe and I did hungover battle with a headwind straight to the nearest Tim Hortons for coffee, donuts and paracetamol. I ended up riding with Joe through some horrifically bad weather until Winnipeg, where he stayed to hang out with a friend whilst I pushed on. Pretty sure I'll be seeing him down the road though, we'll be keeping in touch to make sure we meet for a few shandies further east. 

Bow Island to Medicine Hat - 69 km
Medicine Hat to Eagle Valley - 93 km
Eagle Valley to Swift Current - 134 km
Swift Current to Besant - 149 km
Besant to White City - 126 km
White City to Broadview - 143 km
Broadview to Virden - 143 km

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