Overcoming Inertia: Day 32 - Winnipeg to Prawda Manitoba - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

July 4, 2015

Overcoming Inertia: Day 32 - Winnipeg to Prawda Manitoba

It was tough leaving today. We had a great time staying with Leslie and Paul in Winnipeg, but the road eventually pulled us out of the comfortable cocoon we were in.

Eventually was 11:30. 

We really didn't have a destination planned. Kenora, and Falcon Lake given the time we left, were too far to be viable options for today, and there didn't seem to be that much in between. We decided to just get going and see what happens. Things generally work out, and they did.

We left Winnipeg heading east on highway 15. We were following the advice of the friendly folks at Woodcock Cycle Works in Winnipeg. We went there yesterday to pick up a mirror for Kirsten's stoker bars. A mirror is essential equipment for anyone biking in Manitoba! The guys at the bike shop said to take hwy 15 to Elma, about 90 km east of the Peg and then turn south on hwy 11 for about 30 km where it meets up with the Trans Canada. Neither of these roads has a paved shoulder but they said they were quiet and that they use them for training rides. Good advice. The ride was just as described.

Nothing to scenic today, if fact is was still quite hazy from the forrest fires in Saskatchewan, so there aren't many photos today.

When we stopped for a drink and some lunch at the 60 km mark, we started looking at our route in more detail on both pocket earth and Google, and discovered that there was a campsite about 10 km east of the hwy 11 and TCH junction. Perfect. There was also a country store at Elma where we could pick up dinner and breakfast supplies. We were sorted.

Even better when we got to Elma we found the country store to be very well stocked (even single 500 ml cans of Stella, Sleemans and Keith's). Also the very strong south cross wind had abated some what. We were going to be turning straight south at this point so our head wind wasn't  too bad.

All was looking good, and then we hit the TCH. This was our first encounter with this highway in Manitoba, and it was not good. 

Warning..... Potentially worn out rant coming ..... 

The MAIN hwy through the province. Four lanes, divided by wide grass median, pavement in decent shape, lots of truck and car traffic, but you know what's coming. No paved shoulder! Even worse, very soft dirt and gravel, impossible to ride through and a gauranteed wipe out if you go into it at speed. About 3 km's of this and then 50 cm of paved shoulder appeared ...... completely covered in rumble strips!

Come on Manitoba Highways Dept, do you guys hate cyclists? This is beyond ridiculous. I'd go so far as to call it criminal.

We just heard that another one of our community was killed two days ago near Portage on this highway (hit by a semi). Something has to be done.

Our savings grace was the late start we got, therefore it was late evening before we reached this road and traffic was light. We are not looking forward to tomorrow. The TCH is the only option to Kenora. Riding this hwy in BC, Alberta or Saskatchewan is not an issue, why does it have to be like a game of Russian roulette here?

We safely arrived at the very nice Pine Tree camp ground, got our tent set up, showered and then the heavens opened. Luckily there was a sheltered cooking area (screened for mosquitos too) and we managed to move our tent inside this after the campground turned into a swamp. Once again, we are the only tent in the whole place so we have the shelter to ourselves. Everyone else is in their 6 tonne steel sarcophagus's, aka motorhomes.

Ontario tomorrow. Hope the highways are better.

Leslie and Paul, we had a wonderful time at your place and in Winnipeg. The majority of the riding we've done in Manitoba was been wonderful, it's just been marred by some pretty poor stuff that you are more or less forced to take to get through here. This is fixable if the folks who live here want it done.

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Song of the day:

Ballad of John and Yoko by The Beatles ...

I had this running around in my head this morning and I just put on a random shuffle this aft and voila, about 10 songs in it came on......

 "They look just like two Guru's in drag, 

Christ you know it ain't easy ...." 

I'm sure that's what the motor homers are thinking when they see us pull into camp!

No historical moment today .... The overflow from Ft. Gary and The Forks will have to suffice.

Great little store in Elma. They had everything we needed for a pretty good dinner. Even cold 500 ml cans of Sleemans for me and Alexander Keith's for Kirsten
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Flag standing at attention. A good sign when it's going your way, not so good if it's not. Today it was not! Good thing we're on The Prairie Slayer, it's pretty good into head winds
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I think these are pea plants ( if they are not I'm sure Callum will correct me by the time I wake up in the morning!) I like the pattern of the rows and the contrast of the green plants and black earth
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We hit the MAIN highway through the province. Come on Manitoba, you can do better
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Try hitting this on a loaded bike at 25 km/hr. Everyone in the highway department should be made to try that with a 35 tonne semi blasting past them
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Today's ride: 128 km (79 miles)
Total: 3,191 km (1,982 miles)

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