Day 28: Virden to Brandon 78km
We decided to plan the day around the event I was having with some of the local mental health agencies in Brandon at 3pm. It was another short ride today but I was looking forward to having the opportunity to ride with Will again. The ride felt very smooth sailing as if we were just out for a walk to get coffee. I shared how I feel so comfortable and happy when I am out on the bike.
Cycling with Will ,with his panniers, I got to experience the awareness it creates to the long distance ride he is doing. Unless the car is around me most people think I am just out for a cycle that day and live in the area. So it was a lot of fun to experience that and get more positive honks again. We came across another touring cyclist travelling from Montreal to Banff. It was great to have a couple minute conversation on the side of the road sharing tips of what is ahead. The cycling community is also so welcoming. The guy instantly told Will that if he needs a place in Montreal he is welcome to stay with him. Through hearing Will’s stories and my own experiences I have been able to witness how many generous caring people are in this world.
Will and I parted ways once we got to the grocery store. I needed to continue on to my event. It was sad saying goodbye in that I really enjoyed his company and the rides flew by. We also had great conversations. When out there on the bike it can be hard to stimulate your mind when you are cycling so much on your own. When starting this ride I thought I would pass a lot more touring cyclists but we both agreed that we are pretty late in the season so might not pass a lot more. I am grateful for the stops in the towns when I have events to meet great people that way.
The Brandon & Area Suicide Prevention Implementation Network hosted an ice cream and lemonade event for Ride Away Stigma. It was great meeting mental health workers from the various programs around Brandon. We shared stories, laughed and had a great time. When I attend events like these they inspire me on days when I am struggling and also makes me feel at home in a place I have never been. The people in Brandon are lucky to have such wonderful individuals in the mental health field.