Strap On Your Watermelon, This Sky Is Alive

Powerballs, is the name I gave to the mixture of Sharon’s delicious cookies and Shanda’s tantalizing peanut butter bars. These were two parting gifts from Brandon along with some great memories and they all helped fuel me to my greatest day of riding to date of somewhere around 190 Km. It also got me out of the inner tube graveyard that was Manitoba and into this guy:

Tough to spell, easy to draw

Tough to spell, easy to draw

My second day out of Brandon put me into Regina where I was to be staying with a friend of a teammate’s ride share organized by twitter. Or put more simply, Julia, my host in Winnipeg email connected me with Will my new host in Regina. My arrival was a day earlier than expected so Will was out when I pulled in. I had no qualms with that and settled into the parking lot behind his building to enjoy some chicken and beer. A nice guy took pity on me and offered me a cigarette and some money figuring I down on my luck, I thanked him and said even though I am without a home I am doing all right.

Parait-il qu’il y a des francophones a Regina. Or at least CBC seems to think so as Will and his roommate Vincent for work for the French CBC. Vincent eventually cruised through the parking lot and picked me for who I actually was and we went up to their apartment for some more beers. Will eventually rolled in and we spent a night repairing his bike tire, sipping beers, and chatting.

I took advantage of my day off the next day poking around the city of Regina, logging some time in the library, and of course finding an ultimate game. Thursday night league in town started with a few forfieted games so I just did some tossing with some pretty cool ultimate folks and then the second round of games came along and the TestEagles found a spot for me in their lineup. It was a solid night only to get better when I got back to the apartment Will and Vincent were playing a game of bananagrams with their co-worker Kim.

The following day was Game Day in town for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and I had decided to stay another day to see what the Rider nation was all about.

Vincent’s friends were coming to visit on that day and I had to give up my claim on the couch. Luckily Kim, who does sports for French CBC in town, had a couch I could crash on and she was planning on going to the game too. Rider nation is as crazy as advertized and not wearing green in town on game day was almost a sin. And yes people actually do wear watermelons on thier heads.

Will ended up going to the game as well and we grabbed some pre and post beers then I went with Kim back to her place where I met her roommate Mark. The next morning was a late one and Mark made me some delicious breakfast and I was on my way again at around noon.

I made it as far as Moose Jaw, with a couple of Prairie storms under belt, when my tire went flat on the West side of town after chatting with some hitchhikers. When I was checking out the damage I noticed that one of my spokes had broken. I found a bicycle repair shop on the internet that was in town and claimed to be open until 9pm. I made some calls and hauled my bike the 8 Km back into town to see if they could help me out. The mechanic that came out to meet me told me he had been working pretty hard all day so he wouldn’t be fixing my bike that evening. He was actually pretty nice and after we talked back and forth for a bit he suggested that I could just pull the spoke out when I repairing my tire and keep going as long as she didn’t wobble too much.

I decided to take his advice and dragged my bike back up to the highway, witnessing a beautiful Prairie sunset along the way, and set up camp in a church parking lot. I fixed my tire and pulled out the broken spoke in the process and I appeared good to go the next morning. I usually find church properties are great placed to camp because they are often unused and friendly if you do happen to run into someone. This particular night was a Saturday so I wanted to get going early the next morning before I got pulled intosermon in an effort to wash away my sins, that was my plan as I drifted off to sleep.

Three AM was when the automatic sprinkler system started to hose down my tent. The sound became quite soothing after the initial shock although did nothing to alleviate my need to urinate. I did get my early start to the day though. The spoke was no issue just a slight wobble that I barely noticed and it took me all the way out of the province.

Six days is all that it took for me to clear Saskatchewan and things are really starting to look and feel like summer. There are many more people out on the highways: I see about 3 cyclists a day now heading West to East and the shoulder outside of a town is a good place to find hitchhikers. It is not only those of us who occupy the shoulders with our unwashed bodies who are out for adventure there are plenty of people driving this way and that way picking up on journeys of their own. All of us taking the ups, downs, and turns of the road as it comes, cashing in on opportunities of the past to create opportunities for the future, but probably enjoying the best opportunity of them all: the one of the present, the road beneath you.

Land of Living Skies, they got that one right

Land of Living Skies, they got that one right

There is a lot of ultimate going on these days best of luck to everyone playing: may your hucks find their mark. I will be playing a little hat tournament in Edmonton this weekend.