Friday, June 5, 2015
Michael chose to overnight at the motel, while Dave and Sann accepted an invitation to go to sleep in a camper. Today they have to cycle quite a lot:
"After a good night's sleep and a nice shower I have breakfast at the motel. It is very delicious and I get into a conversation with the owner. She indicates that Winnipeg is indeed not the most friendly and safest city in Canada.
While we talk, there is a call for me. It is Dave. He and Sann have had an accident. Sann suddenly stopped and Dave could not avoid him. Dave is angry at him because he was so stupid to suddenly stop. His bicycle broke down. He now has to wait till the bicycle shop in Brandon opens up.
Sann and I meet up shortly after 9:00 AM. He is subdued and clearly not happy with the incident. I tell him that I've already spoken with Dave. I order a coffee and we talk a bit about bicycle safety. The owner of the hotel told me that a cyclist, who had stayed in her hotel last year, later was killed on this road. Bad news. But it is important that the guys realize this and take it to heart. I'm the only one who is clearly visible ...
Dave returns around 11:00 AM and he is happy. They took care of his entire bicycle and he did not have to pay. Obviously, Dave was lucky. He said that he did not mention anything about my journey. Which is not entirely true. It is clear to me that he is not honest about this. Actually, it does not matter to me, because he more or less is now part of my endeavor and support, but he should not lie to me. I decide to let it go.
We contact the hospital in Brandon and ask whether we can visit cancer patients. Dave calls and the response is clearly different here than in Winnipeg. However, we have to call back later, because our request has to be cleared with management first. After half an hour it turns out that this cannot be arranged at a short-term notice.
Dave lost his cycling gloves somewhere and he likes to buy new ones, so we go to a bicycle store in the neighborhood. However, they do not sell these, so he will have to return to the bicycle shop in the center of the city. Dave indicates that he wants to do this. We just continue our bicycle ride, and he will catch up with us later. I tell Dave that it is already 12:00 noon and that he still has time to make it to Virden. Therefore, I say that is better not to do much shopping in the morning as we have done in the last couple of days. Dave wants to go to the bicycle shop. In the mean time Sann and I will go to Virden.
We make good time and things go well. Yet it is a pity that Dave is not with us. We regularly look over our shoulders, but... no Dave. In the middle of nowhere we take a breather around 2:30 PM. Sann and I see large, dark clouds slide past, and I think when the first drops fall that we are still able to escape the storm...
We continue our ride. Later we are overtaken by a motorcyclist who stops further down the road. He rides a 1200cc BMW for 'Doctors Without Borders' (see www.rideofsmile.de). We talk with him and he really is a nice guy. We also understand from him that Dave is not so far away. Moments later, Dave is coming, but he does not stop, says nothing and just keeps going. Yesterday, he also just rode away and now this. I do not understand him. We talk a little more with the motorcyclist and then go again.
After an hour we see Dave talking to a runner who has a stroller with him. He is Jacob, who for a charity runs from the West to the East Coast. He really has a lot of followers on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/8000kmAcrossCanada). He started in January and hopes to finish in St. John's sometime October. I thought we were crazy, but this really beats everything!
Dave talks with Jacob, but not with us. He leaves earlier than us and blasting off. We cannot find Dave when we arrive in Virden. Sann and I go for a meal at a local restaurant. A moment later Dave arrives and without saying anything goes to sit apart from us. After a while he finally talks. Dave is angry with me because I am so selfish that I did not even want to go with him to the bicycle shop. He has totally misunderstood my words. He is angry and genuinely sad. I'm surprised that he completely understood me. I offer my apologies, and after a while he seems alright again. I'm really surprised that he cycled around with this all day!
The three of us go look for a place to camp. At the first house where Dave walks up to, which is nestled among trees, we see Dave returning with his hands up walking backwards. Sann laughs and says Dave makes jokes. Immediately I see that something is wrong here. At one point Dave starts running and we all leave in a hurry. Really... this is ridiculous...
Moments later and quite down the road, we ask at another house whether we can camp there, which we can. The people are very friendly. Within a half an hour we sit down with a hot meal. After dinner we have a nice conversation and Olivia, their daughter of ten years old, prepares a treat for us. She is a nice girl who plays soccer with us and she always has a reply. She keeps talking and thinks it's great that we are there. At 11:00 PM I go into my tent, write my blog, and... oh yes, RAIN!!!!"
Han Schomakers, editor
Translation by Albert Dijkstra