Posted by: Silver | August 31, 2011

Dauphin to Brandon

Dauphin to Onanole:
Distance: 75 km
Ascent: 748 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 13 minutes

Onanole to Minnedosa:
Cycling distance: 36 km
Ascent: 220 m
Cycling time: 2 hours, 31 minutes

Minnedosa to Brandon:
Distance: 39 km
Ascent: 101 m
Cycling time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

Well, this was a bit of a bumpy ride – in so many ways…

The first bump came when I had to change my planned route – for the very first time on my journey – as I could not find a single person in Neepawa who was willing to take me in. Neepawa’s loss, however, turned out to be my gain, as my revised route took me right through the heart of Riding Mountain National Park: a hillier route, for sure, but a beautiful one too. 🙂 I also had the possibly unique experience of rolling up to the entrance gate to the park and being given money, rather than giving it (cyclists don’t have to pay to drive through the park, and when the lady in the booth heard what I was doing, she immediately handed over a donation!)

And then, another first: I had to use a chunk of my emergency budget to pay for a B&B in Onanole – because of what turned out to be nothing more than a very expensive breakdown in communication! 😦 Apparently, someone in Erickson (only a tiny bit further south) had offered to host me, but that message never got through to me… Fortunately, I only had to stay there one night though, before heading on to Minnedosa. Unfortunately, my departure was greeted by strong winds, which were once again blowing in an uncharacteristic direction (the prevailing wind would have been at my back: no prizes for guessing which way they were actually blowing…). I made it as far as Erickson, where the local Lions Club handed over a cheque for SOS Children’s Villages, but I will confess that more valuable to me personally was the fact that the Lion who gave me the cheque (along with a very kind donation from himself personally) then mentioned that he was about to drive his truck into Minnedosa and would be happy to give Ranger and me a ride… 🙂

So that meant I was able to make it to the Minnedosa Rotary Club meeting on time, despite the continuing headwinds, which is just as well, since their main speaker had a minor accident on the way to the meeting and was unable to attend, so I was instantly promoted from two-minute squeeze-in to twenty-minute main programme! More unexpected bumps in what I thought was my schedule, but another good bump for SOS!

The final leg of this section of the journey was perhaps the bumpiest though, and this time, literally! The road surface on highway 10 south of Minnedosa was truly quite bone-shakingly awful, and with the heavy traffic and lack of shoulder – oh yes, and a sizeable stretch of roadworks too – this is not a ride I’m anxious to repeat any time soon, but at least it was fairly short!

Most of my time in Brandon was spent trying to catch up on admin, so not much to write about, but I do want to send out a huge thank you to the guys at A&L Get Active on Rosser Avenue. They not only very kindly replaced a worn bearing in Ranger’s front wheel free of charge, but, perhaps even more importantly for my spirits, when I first brought Ranger into the shop, they exclaimed, “Oh my god, it’s Tron!”: when guys who work with bikes every day of their lives think your rig is cool, you know you’ve got somethin’! 😉

Now I just need to find some glow in the dark trim for my fairing…

Not being able to find a host sometimes has its compensations... This was Clear Lake, in Riding Mountain National Park

The little town of Erickson is very proud of its Scandinavian roots

Just a little something for everyone who thinks that the prairies are flat, boring and unattractive...

And another wildlife pic for my friend, Amy 🙂

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Responses

  1. Enjoyed meeting you and having you speak at Minnedosa Rotary. Good Luck on the rest of your journey.

  2. I’m glad you continue to disspell the myth that the prairies are flat and boring…once a prairie girl, always a prairie girl.


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