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To The Narrows

July 11, 2019

I woke up early at Dauphin, but needed to hang in town to fix my bike. The bike shop opened up at 10 so I killed time at McDonalds where I talked to an interesting but a little paranoid individual. I also went to Canadian tire to purchase a new wrench. I used an adjustable wrench to take off my back tires, but this ended up damaging the edge of the nuts. I ended up purchasing a 20 dollar wrench which I returned later when I got a multi-wrench on amazon back in Waterloo. The lady there kept telling me how every time at Canadian tire someone comes for a refund/fix of a specific part of a toolset, the store gets out a new set and gives the client the specific part they need. The new set with the missing piece is now just given to employees for free. Thus, the lady had dozens of the wrenches I was looking for - I didn't bother to wait till after work.

Overall, my bike tool kit was bloated. I had heavy wrenches and extra inner tubes. My bike's back rim and front rim required presta valves of different lengths and so I had to carry extra inner tubes. I was carrying a lot of useless stuff in general. Once I got to Waterloo (where I lived) I optimized my baggage...more on all that later.

Yesterday I noticed a clicking noise and traced it to the spokes. I had no idea how to fix it and did not have the tools for it anyways. The towns up north are small and sparse so I took my bike to a repair store to avoid being stranded with a broken wheel in the middle of nowhere. The owner was very surprised by my CCM. He told me that I should have invested in a TREK 520 and that my Brooks bike seat is worth more than my bike itself. I agreed and mentioned that I didn't have the money and went with what I had. He gave me a disapproving look. He fixed my spokes as well as adjusted my bearings in the back wheel all for 40 dollars.

I hit the road after 1200 and thus lost 4/5 hours worth of biking. In between Ochre River and Sainte Rose du Lac, the road was very busy and the road had no shoulder. I was spending a lot of time on the gravel and was a little annoyed. This was one of my least favourite stretches of road in all of Canada. However, soon the road became empty and calm as I headed to The Narrows with cars appearing maybe once every 10 minutes. At The Narrows, the campsite cost 20 bucks, yet for the bathroom I had to sneak into another campsite ...

On my way to Ochre River.
Cows in the woods.
More clouds.
The Narrows is just across the bridge. The true contrast between light and dark colours (not fully captured here) was breathtaking.