Day 27: Moosomin to Virden 64km
I was not aware of the excitement I was going to have on my bike today. It was a short ride so I thought I would start late to again catch up on emails. The first 500m heading West to get back to the highway was into the wind. I have never been so excited about cycling into the wind because I knew that as soon as I turned onto the highway, it would be in my favour.
At 18km I saw my mom standing outside of the car. I thought it was weird since I had asked her to stop at the Manitoba boarder but that was still a couple of kms further up the road. As I got off my bike to talk to her I saw another cyclists in front of the car with a touring bike. Once I was introduced to Will, he told me that he had been heard about my ride and campaign and was trying to catch up. He had been told a couple times at information centres that there was a girl biking East as well. I joked with him that he was getting frustrated that a girl was beating him and he couldn’t catch up. But my bike weighs less than half of his bike.
Will has been on the road cycling around the world since March 2012. It was such an honour to get to cycle with him for the day. I really enjoyed hearing stories of his adventures and comparing different parts of Canada that we had cycled through. Usually when I have the company of other cyclists, the pace is very fast as they are not continuing on for many days. With Will, we stuck to an endurance pace as we both have a ways to go and he has a lot of extra weight to push. The ride into Virden felt so short for both of us. We laughed at how our perceptions of long rides have changed. It felt as though we had done a short ride just to grab a cup of coffee, when we actually had done 64km.
The short ride did not get in the way of both of us eating a large meal for lunch and again for dinner. I told him how it was nice to eat with him as I felt normal with the amounts I wanted to eat. He totally understood what I was saying and we had a good laugh. We had a hotel room donated at the Jay’s Inn so I offered for Will to join us, so he could have a proper shower and a bed. This meant that I had a riding buddy again the next day too.
We also spoke about the gift and the curse of traveling. You get to learn about different cultures, meet wonderful people, learn about yourself and really the list can go on for a long time. However, experiencing so many choices and opportunities makes the choice of a location that much more challenging when you are not travelling and wanting to settle into an area. You almost feel like you will never find that ideal location that fits all your goals. That being said would I ever give back all the travelling I have been fortunate to do… not in a second. It has really shaped who I am today and taught me a lot about myself, different cultures, and societies.
As I tried to go to bed tonight my head was spinning with ideas for the future. Should I continue this ride once it is done? I will have already accomplished a huge amount of the distance. Should I switch to a touring bike and do it on my own to experience it in a different way? Do I move out West right after the trip? What kind of work should I do? Clinical social work or Advocacy? My mind would not shut off with so many ideas of what the future should hold.
I was also aware that these shorter days are making me feel antsy. When planning the route I could not fully know how I was going to feel on the road especially as I have never done a long distance tour before and really only got big into cycling in September. I know the schedule is important to keep as everything is planned around September 7 and it gives opportunities to create events. Now that I have adjusted to the landscape of the prairies I am finding the rides go by too quickly and my energy levels are too high at the end of the day. I may try and find a physical challenge on one of the rides coming up where I do not have an event.
For now I need to not worry about the future, rather, enjoy this experience I have been so fortunate to create. Time to calm my mind.