< Day 9 Home Day 11 >

Praries ahead!

July 3, 2019

Getting out of the city was difficult. I tried to get on the highway immediately, but there was no shoulder within the city limits and I was forced to walk my bike on the grass for a bit. I ended up taking a side road and eventually made my to a Costco. After leaving the Costco, I got a flat tire. Usually you don't really see what got your tire even during tire inspection. However, this time I did see the big pile of glass shards, but it was too late.

Biking out of the city was nice. The sun was shining and I was enjoying the clouds and views. Sometimes in the prairies when you are biking and see cars at the horizon, it is hard to tell if you're going uphill or downhill.

At one point I saw a few deer ahead and 200 meters to the right. As I got closer I started shouting to get their attention. To my surprise they started running parallel to me for about a kilometre until a farmhouse forced them to veer away from the highway. Shouting at animals is always fun. The most common animal you'll see across Canada are the crows on the side of the road. Usually they fly away when you get near them on your bike. Sometimes they don't and you have to make sure you give them a good shout or whistle to show them who is boss. Very rarely are there crows that don't react.

You feel more alone while biking here as there are no trees, hill climbs or anything. However, for me this is not a negative feeling. I enjoy this feeling as there is lots of time to think. When biking with people (and I had the opportunity to do this a few times during the trip) you're focused on if you're biking too fast or too slow compared to the other person or debating where to camp or eat (there is no debate when you're alone). The distractions reduce the meditation/thinking time. Perhaps this would be different if you're not biking with someone you've met for the first time.

I used to do a lot of long distance running throughout my undergrad and highschool and was familiar with the runners high - positive feeling where you lose track of time. It's the same here. You can get lost in thoughts or just not really be thinking and instead absorbing the views while the time just flies by you. Maybe you'll spend two hours practising a new accent you've been working on and laughing at yourself the entire time. You might sound a little crazy...who cares - no one is there to listen. One moment its 1300 and next time you check your phone its 1500 already.

Sometimes when the weather is crappy all day it is easy for the annoyance to creep in and hijack your mood. Throw in a flat tire...and now you're swearing out loud. Listening to podcasts downloaded over McD's wifi will lighten the mood. I prefer to listen to stuff that makes me laugh and think at the same time.

When I was in highschool, my bike was an opportunity to get away from home wherever I wanted to and explore the town. I lived on the edge of Waterloo, so I could always bike out into the country for 50/80km bike trips and bike over the hills to check out the farms and menonites.

The car is disapearing over the horizon. Now you tell me...is it a slight uphill or a slight downhill. You might say it's just flat. However, sometimes it seems that the cars are disappearing way too quick for that to be the case and your mind can't figure it out.
The storm ahead. It did catch me a little and rained a bit during the night as well.
Clouds are so beautiful here. I have never seen clouds that are this smooth.
More rain ahead.
Stopped at Bassano for the night. A poor looking town.