posted by alex on Jul 16

posted by gavin on Jul 12

Alex was out of cell phone range for the past two days, so he wasn’t able to send me his updates.  I’ve been trying to keep track of the places he’s riding without cell phone coverage so I know in advance when he’ll be out of touch, but the coverage maps are either out of date or imprecise, so it’s hard to tell sometimes. I just talked to him online and got a big update about what he’s been doing the past three days, so here goes…

On Thursday he biked from Rennie to Rushing River provincial park with Theo and Caro, two of the seven other cyclists he met in Rennie. They stopped in Kenora, ON to look around and watch seaplanes in the harbour. Alex also briefly met up with Dave again, but they split up again and Alex thinks he’s probably further ahead now. Alex, Theo and Caro camped in the provincial park that night.

On Friday they biked from the provincial park to Nestor Falls, ON. They stayed overnight in a motel and were glad to be dry, since there were thunderstorms all day. Supposedly that night a tornado touched down about 40 kilometers from where he is now in Fort Frances, so Alex is keeping an eye out and being vigilant. He wants to thank Brian for picking them up and giving them a ride for the last 5 kilometers into Nestor Falls, because it was raining like crazy.

Right now Alex is at an internet cafe in Fort Frances, ON with Theo and Caro. They’re taking the southern route to Thunderbay via Fort Frances, avoiding the main Trans-Canada route (Highway 17) in favor of Highway 71 and Highway 11. There’s less traffic that way, though Alex says he did see lots of big American trucks pulling boats. That area is a popular fishing destination, I guess 🙂 Tonight they’re probably going to camp somewhere around Fort Frances. Alex is estimating that it will take him about 20 days to make it back to Ottawa.

Alex also uploaded a video of him and the other 7 cyclists riding together shortly after leaving Rennie. Here it is:

posted by gavin on Jul 9

Alex encountered some stormy weather earlier in the day and phoned me to ask about any weather warnings in the area. There were some severe thunderstorm warnings for Kenora, ON so I guess he was seeing the tail end of that storm.

Alex eventually made it to a campground near Rennie, Manitoba tonight, where he met up with 7 other cyclists, including Meagan and Lisa, the girls he’d biked with for a while in B.C. They’d taken the train and hitchhiked for part or their trip so it’s kind of a coincidence that they all met up again – that campground must be a hot spot for cyclists! I guess there isn’t much else 125 kilometers east of Winnipeg :). They’re having fun watching a movie and ordered in some pizza.

Ontario is definitely within reach for tomorrow – he’s only about 40 kilometers away from the border.

posted by alex on Jul 8

In case some of you were wondering, Dave and I didn’t beg for money in Regina! We just saw the sign on the ground and thought it would make a funny picture (note the desperate look in our faces 🙂 )

Last night Paul invited me to a pot luck that was going on at his coworkers’ house. Let me tell you that I really got my full! I got news from Dave, he made it to Winnipeg but he also had a hard time making it because of the roads and the traffic. Today Paul and I rode around the city and visited the exchange district (plenty of turn-of-the-century buildings that give the city a Chicago-esque atmosphere), the forks (a series of parks where the Assiniboine River and the Red River meet) , St-Boniface (the french quarter of Winnipeg), the site of the upper Fort Garry (a fur trading post for HBC), the burial site of Louis Riel (need I say more?), the legislature building and Fort Gibraltar (a fur trading post for the Northwest Company). Winnipeg is quite larger than I expected and the streets are pretty lively.

Tonight my hosts treated me to a wonderful supper at a small french restaurant. My stay in Winnipeg was great, I will surely come back some time. Thank you to the Girard family for everything it was nice meeting all of you!

posted by alex on Jul 7

posted by alex on Jul 7

For me, this trip is all about being out there, living life to the fullest and meeting wonderful people along the way. I have witnessed all the good and kindness that Canadians across Canada have to offer. It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Daniel Hurtubise and Robert Carrier, two cyclists who were tragically killed west of Winnipeg while raising money for juvenile diabetes research. I rode with these inspirational men on my way to Golden, BC and chatted with Daniel. I could sense the goodness in the man’s heart and he, without a doubt, has touched me to continue on my ride. The story of his life is also an inspirational one. Daniel has been fighting type 1 diabetes since the age of 15. He succeeded in doing great things with his life.

I would like to give my condolences to the families of both these men and my thoughts and prayers are with Daniel’s two children who are recovering from their injuries sustained during the accident.

If you would like to donate in support of juvenile diabetes research please visit:

https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/donate.aspx?EventID=17379&LangPref=en-CA&SPID=1997648

The ride of a lifetime website:

http://www.jdrf.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&page_id=0E4918A1-CF4C-B9A2-390C85CC1DC1EADF

posted by alex on Jul 6

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Winnipeg. It’s such a relief to have made it here, the roads are just awful in Manitoba. There are literally no shoulders to ride on. I had to hit the shoulder about 50 times because cars would come too close. On the other hand, Highway 2 has very little traffic for the most part. It might have something to do with it being the weekend and all. Unfortunately I lost sight of Dave today during lunch, I was having a hard time with the 10 o’clock wind and traffic so he was riding much faster than I was. Right now I am at my friend Paul’s house in Winnipeg. I was treated to a filling supper and tomorrow I will get a better look at Winnipeg.

posted by gavin on Jul 5

Holland, Manitoba, that is. Alex is free camping next to a windmill, after cycling a personal best of 190km today. He stopped for a big steak dinner and gobbled it up in no time. Earlier in the day he met some super-long-distance cyclists who were biking 600km today on road bikes!

He’s noticing that the landscape is starting to include more trees and lakes as he gets closer to Ontario –  Winnipeg tomorrow!

posted by gavin on Jul 4

Alex and Dave have just crossed over into Manitoba after cycling about 120 km from Stoughton. They’re cycling along Manitoba highway two, which has less traffic than the Trans-Canada. Earlier today they stopped over in Carlyle, Saskatchewan for a swim in the local pool, and are now camping on the side of the highway just before Sinclair, Manitoba.

posted by gavin on Jul 3

Alex and Dave cycled 142 km along Highway 33 to a village campground in Stoughton. It was another uneventful day, so they started playing “guess how far away that grain elevator is” – Alex’s GPS batteries are dead, so I guess they played that game a lot :).

They’ll be in Manitoba tomorrow. Alex says he’s considering biking around Manitoulin Island for a while once he gets to that part of Ontario. His revised estimate for getting back to Ottawa is in about a month from now.

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