Posted by: Silver | August 6, 2011

Wakaw to Outlook

Wakaw to Saskatoon:
Distance: 90 km
Ascent: 281 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 50 minutes

Saskatoon to Outlook:
Distance: 111 km
Ascent: 326 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 8 minutes

The journey to Saskatoon was very educational. First, I learned that headwinds can actually almost be your friend – when you’re cycling in 32º heat and desperate for something to cool you down a bit… Of course, they make for very slow progress, as there’s a definite limit to just how much extra sweat you want to work up by pushing hard on a day like that, but a tailwind just wouldn’t cool your face off in the same way, y’know. Second, I learned that the human body can lose at least 5lb in a matter of hours, and yet still look exactly the same size – if the weight was all perspiration-in-waiting, that is… (I also discovered that it took less than 24 hours for my body to return to its normal level of hydration, despite my not actually feeling the need to drink that much more water than usual!).

The ride to Outlook, on the other hand, was a very timely and welcome reminder that this journey can be enjoyable as well as purposeful. 🙂 The sun was shining, but not as hot, the winds were light – and so was the traffic! Admittedly, the first hour was a bit less pleasant: Saskatoon is the largest city I’ve cycled into, and this is how long it took me to cycle out of it again – mostly along busy four-lane highways with no shoulder. 😦 It was, however, a useful reminder of why the majority of my route is taking me to smaller places… And once I’d escaped the city and turned south on highway 45, I frequently had the road all to myself. 🙂 It was quite amazing to feel just what a difference that made to my enjoyment of the ride: not especially because of the safety factor (one still has to remain alert at all times), but primarily just because it was so much quieter!

Since Saskatoon was, as previously mentioned, the largest city on my journey so far, I was particularly happy to see items about SOS Children’s Villages appear both on TV and in the large-circulation daily paper there – especially since the newspaper editor had originally given me the brush-off over the phone: “Oh, we get one or two people cycling across Canada for charity every single week in the summer,” she said, “we don’t consider it news unless you actually live in Saskatoon.” Earlier in my journey, I would probably have taken this as terminal rejection, but as a sign of just what an old media pro I’ve become these days, on this occasion I simply turned up at their offices anyway (with Ranger in tow, of course), and asserted that I was not ‘just another cross-Canada cyclist’ and they would be interested in my story really…! As the reporter I spoke to commented, tenacity is how they get many of their stories, so they could hardly blame me for showing the same grit. 😉

A lot of Canadian communities do seem to be very good at maximizing the potential of their river corridors: this was the very attractive view from the Meewasin trail, which meanders through the centre of downtown Saskatoon

As you know, I generally don't even mention my hosts by name, let alone post photos of them, but my host in Saskatoon specifically asked me to post this picture of her with Ranger, so that any other Muslims coming across my blog would know that SOS Children's Villages is a cause they should support 🙂

A typical outlook around Outlook: wildflowers, waving fields of wheat, and lines of trees

For once, a small town with a useful 'Canada's largest...': this is the Skytrail in Outlook, Canada's longest pedestrian bridge. Yes, I walked all the way along and all the way back, and the view was lovely 🙂



  1. Glad you got threw Saskatoon ok and had a interview

  2. Great job!!!! Keep up the good work.

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