Day 23 – Moose Jaw to White City, SK – 91km

Today was my second partial rest day. Despite the winds, I’m actually slightly ahead of schedule as a result of partially sacrificing my Regina rest day. Always plan to get ahead and the worst thing that can happen is that you fall behind to be on time.

I stayed up until 3am last night catching up on 4 days of missed blogs. I think some people were rather worried that they hadn’t seen a blog post in 3 or 4 days. I slept in late, had a morning stretch session, ate lots of granola, ham, several oranges, and got on the road. For once, the wind was being kind to me. Perhaps it had some remorse for being so rude to me the last week. There was a gentle cross wind from the south so I was making good time averaging about 27km/hr. About an hour and a half into my ride I caught up to a cyclist who was travelling with some extra weight. I only travel with my water bottles, a spare inner tube, a pump, and some food, so I don’t have a lot of weight to drag with me. As a result, I travel faster than the other cross-Canada cyclists who have all their clothing and camping gear. This difference in speed has allowed me to meet a fair number of other cyclists
which has been fantastic. It’s always amazing to hear other people’s stories—almost everyone cycling across Canada has some internal motivation driving them—I suppose that without that flame of motivation there is no reason to cycle through black fly swarms, tuck into headwinds, and endure discomfort. Don’t get me wrong though, there are many positive times cycling too.

Today I met Darrell (but he goes by Kaz). He’s cycling from Vancouver to St. John’s. He has also started his own charitable campaign. One of his close friends, Viola, struggled with leukemia for over a decade. She had limbs amputated and kept fighting. She endured multiple bone marrow transplants. Kaz started organizing his campaign. Tragically, Viola passed away before Kaz began his journey. Kaz considered calling the campaign off, and had an internal debate of whether or not to go through with the ride. Like Viola, he’s a fighter. He went through with it. You can check his website out at: www.Vitour4cure.com .

Kaz and I just outside of Regina

Kaz is a Regina native, so it was lucky that I happened to run into him on the day I’d be cycling through Regina. Normally when I go through unfamiliar cities and towns I stick to annoying arterials so that I don’t get lost. Kaz knew the best bike route, so I got to go down a beautiful boulevard in Regina shaded by a canopy of trees. I went right through the middle of the city—much better than taking the Trans Canada around the city and not seeing everything. So far I’ve gone right through the downtown core of every city and town I’ve gone near.

As some of you may have read, I decided to have a little bit of fun with a recent blog post. This would have been my 242km day blog post; except I titled it 16 point something kilometres and I ranted about how extremely tired I was for an entire paragraph. I made up an elaborate, yet somewhat believable story about a 16km ride where I went on an excruciating quest for a Starbucks in the middle of Saskatchewan, and then a little further down in the post, I said that I was just kidding. Then I posted my real post
below the joke one. My dad subscribes to my blog. I posted my blogs at 3am mountain time, about 5am Toronto time. My dad normally wakes up around 5:30am, so when his phone gave him an alert just after 5 in the morning, he tried reading my recent post, blurry-eyed and half-asleep. He truly believed that I was trembling after a 16km ride. He was terrified for me—that I would be in such bad shape after a 16km ride, that I would give up on a day and get behind schedule, and that I’d have 75% of a country to still cycle across. I got you Dad.

It’s been a trip of a lifetime. If I just pedaled, listened to music, ate, and slept, it would not be a trip of a lifetime. I’m thankful for my ability to communicate. Without my words, I would not be able to meet the people I’m meeting, hear the stories I’m hearing, and do what I’m doing.

I just wanted to thank everyone who has been following this blog, commenting, emailing us, liking the Facebook stuff, tweeting,
arranging events, sending us photos and stories—you guys are turning the wheels of this campaign. Often Gail and I are swamped with an endless to-do list, so we don’t get a chance to reply to all of our blog comments or keep up to date with some of the other social media, but we do read and see almost everything. It motivates us to get up every day. We really appreciate it.

Ok, that’s today’s post. Tomorrow I’m starting to do real distances again. No more half rest days. It’s time to make tracks. As well, a friend and former Cyclepath employee, Aaron, will be riding with me for part of the day tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that. Time doesn’t seem to matter when you’ve got a companion on the road.

-Skye

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