Day 53 Souris to Glenboro, Manitoba: Blood on the Tracks (but OK now). - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

June 22, 2011

Day 53 Souris to Glenboro, Manitoba: Blood on the Tracks (but OK now).

We left Souris in the rain, leaving the good citizens to their fate - as quickly as possible.

The headwind had swung around to the NE, making it mostly a cross wind. Early on it was also not too strong and so we were making good progress. The road, however, continued with no shoulder, forcing us out to contend with heavy truck traffic, comprising tankers, grain trucks, and livestock trucks.

About 10 km East of Souris some train tracks crossed the road at an angle. Riding behind Dodie I could see that because of the traffic and lack of shoulder she could not swing out in the road to hit the tracks at right angles. Still, I thought she had a good enough angle to be ok. Wrong. The tracks caught her front wheel and threw her and the bike over to the left (further into the road).

I put my bike across the road to stop traffic and tried to find out where Dodie's injuries might be. She felt her shoulder was broken, and I and some people who immediately stopped could not lift her to her feet by any handy parts. Eventually she was able to get up by herself and stagger to the side of the road. It took some time for her to not feel like fainting and to straighten out the bike (except for the smashed mirror).

Blood on the tracks. A railroad crossing sends Dodie flying in the roadway. We credit her helmet for saving her head, and though her shoulder, leg, and elbow are bruised, so far we think they are OK.
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Hole in elbow.
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The tracks that did it. Accomplice no shoulder road in the background.
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One problem we have found when in some sort of distress is that while it would be easy to accept a rescue in a car, there is usually no way to transport the loaded bikes and trailers. That is a big disincentive to beaming out of a situation.

So we used some wet wipes to clean up most of the blood running down Dodie's leg, put lots of Ibuprofen into her, and sent her wobbling off down the road to Wawanesa.

The shock and pain seemed to distract Dodie from the wind, rain, and chafing (which are the normal bogeymen) and we made it to Wawanesa before noon. At least we sort of made it. In fact Wawanesa is on a bypass and we missed the turn because of dumb signage. Rather than go backwards at all, Dodie said she would press on another 40 km to Glenboro.

The Souris River near Glenboro. It ate that power pole!
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Here is a full size seeding kit. The parts look way big from close up. Some fields we passed later in the day were fully seeded and germinated.
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The trucks on the no shoulder road had been a problem from the beginning, but now they became thicker. They barrelled along, pushing a wave of spray picked up from the road, a blast of wind, and a loud roar. I put on a yellow glove for visibility and tried to make them slow down and pull over. I gestured 'slow down' and 'pull over', and I pointed my finger right at the drivers and tried to make eye contact. This rarely if ever had any effect.

When we left Vancouver Island, Arthur sent us off with, in part, a Subway credit card. We made our first use of it in Souris and stashed the sandwich in our pack. Here, that sandwich helps to restore Dodie after the loosing battle with the train track. She went on to put in another 70 km. Thanks Arthur!
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Meanwhile Dodie was frequently reduced to tears by the noise and buffeting. 'They are trying to kill me, and I haven't even held Amelia yet' she sobbed.

We did make it to Glenboro and checked in to the old, cheap, but clean motel. Here we applied the usual remedies: warm bath, hot meal, long nap. We also sent a pointed email to the deputy minister of the Manitoba Ministry of Transportation. When, we asked, would the shoulder be restored? Why were there no roadside shelters, tables, or even points of interest on the "Redcoat Trail" in Manitoba? For geeks, pointed emails can be as therapeutic as warm baths.

Today's ride: 78 km (48 miles)
Total: 3,050 km (1,894 miles)

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