The garage band in Saskatoon did a nice cover of Four Strong Winds. I experienced one of them today.
I had a dilemma when I went to bed last night. I knew I'd have another full day of headwinds, so I had to choose between getting an early start, or getting a full night's sleep. I opted for the latter, knowing that sleep is the best performance-enhancing drug. So I woke up today at 6:30, hitting the road around 7:45. I was able to have a phone call with my kids while packing up which was great.
As I was leaving I noticed another bicycle tourist was staying at the campground. He or she was still sleeping, so I didn't get a chance to chat with them.
Once again the winds kept me crawling along at around 13–15kph, which often dropped to 10kph once you include all the breaks I needed. Once again I had to keep challenging myself to make it to the next town and reevaluate how far I could get today. I stopped for ice cream at Twisted Sisters in Chamberlain where I met some nice women who played bridge with someone I knew in Saskatoon. They, like half of Saskatoon, where on their way back from seeing the Roughriders game in Regina last night.
Low on supplies, I turned into Bethune to raid the grocery store, only to find it closed on Sundays. Fortunately there was a tavern in town that I hid from the sun in and had a tasty burger. Feeling much better after that, I hit the road. It was late afternoon, and I was doubting my ability to make to Regina on schedule, but I could feel the wind start to change. I hit 20kph for the first time! Woo!
As I reached Lumsden and the Qu'Appelle River valley I had a chance to get off the divided highway, so I took it. I could see a thunderstorm off in the distance heading my way (bringing that change in winds), so I picked up the pace and made it to town just before the heavy rains came (not before the lightning, though—that was a thrill). Though it’s been a difficult two days of riding, I’ve learned that I can stick to my schedule even when the world (or just the wind) is against me.
I'm staying with Tony tonight, brother of Henry Lau from Saskatoon. Tomorrow I'll taking another rest day to see what Regina is all about.
Today's Distance: 128 (tough) km
Cumulative Distance: 2324 km