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Canada, Cycling Across Canada

Cycling Across Canada: Random Acts of Kindness on the Prairies

After a few days rest at the motel in Swift Current, it was an understatement to say that I was excited to get back on the bike.  Time to continue cycling across Canada – the Prairies were waiting!

It is amazing how liberating riding a bicycle can be.  After a few days cooped up, I poured all my energy into pedalling the Trans Canada Highway.  Storm clouds and headwinds challenged me, but I didn’t care – I felt invincible!  The road was mine to conquer and nothing was going to slow me down…..

After a while, I stared to feel like my energy and exuberance was just not enough to conquer that wind….the more I pedalled, the more backwards I felt I was going.  After checking my trusty map book, I could see Chaplin was not far ahead, and it looked like another motel was in the cards…with destination in mind, I pushed on…Chaplin, here I come!

On the road to Chaplin, Saskatchewan. Not many options on the bike.

It was my first sub 100km day since leaving the Rockies…but I knew it was the right decision.  With road signs showing a motel in town, I turned into the Nature Centre, looking for directions!  Little did I know that Chaplin was such a small town and I was soon to be told that the motel had been closed for years!

Chaplin Nature Center. Photo credit: Nature Center website

I was devastated!  What to do – the next town with a hotel was 70kms away!  At the rate I was going, and with the strong winds trying to blow me back to the Rockies, it would take me over 3 hours to reach that town!  It was like all the air was sucked out of the room as I sat there, unable to move.  Without even realizing it, one of the ladies at the Nature Centre (a summer student who lived in town) ducked out to the back office to make a phone call while the other lady called ahead to see if she could find me a room anywhere before I headed out.  It was a Saturday night and I swear, everybody must have been getting married that day as each hotel she called said they were full!  I was starting to panic – how far would I have to push myself til I found somewhere to stay the night!  It was the first time in the entire journey that this was a problem!

My salvation – the young lady came back and told me she had been on the phone to her parents, and I was welcome to spend the night with them!  I may well have cried on the spot – it was the best random act of kindness I had ever experienced.  She jumped in her car and led me the kilometre or two through town to her family home, showed me the guest room and shower and then returned to work.

Random act of kindness, photo credit: leadershipandselfdevelopment.com

I was elated.  Having been on the road alone for a while, spending a night with this family was more than just a roof over my head, it was a personal connection that made my day.  You hear about people reaching out and helping others, and I was so fortunate.  Just like the man who shared fresh sandwiches on the side of the road in my previous post, this random act of kindness while I cycled across Canada made me proud to be Canadian.  That evening, I shared a wonderful meal with the family, and they shared their home.  The young lady shared her experiences growing up in such a small town, and her dreams for the future.


Start Finish Distance (km)  Riding Time
Day 15     Swift Current Chaplin 95                     5h 7m

Random acts of kindness – something I will remember always when I look back on that summer of cycling across Canada.

About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

30 thoughts on “Cycling Across Canada: Random Acts of Kindness on the Prairies

  1. Lovely story, the world needs more people like this! I’m so happy to have found your blog, cycling across Canada was something I had never considered, I wasn’t aware people did this!! Maybe that is naive of me, but anyway, you have inspired me, and I am beginning to take in interest in cycling as a means of tourism! I look forward to reading more about your adventure, and good luck!

    Posted by agirlcalledemily | April 29, 2012, 4:27 pm
    • Thank you. This trip was a real growth moment for me – I discovered a lot about myself and what I can do. Cycling as a form of tourism has really become a big part of my life – a great way to get around and often an adventure is not far around the corner!

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 29, 2012, 4:50 pm
  2. That is wonderful! I would have also been panicking if I would have no roof over my head for the night. This is such an inspiring story – I love it! Now you know what you have to do: pay it forward.

    Posted by Livin' active | April 29, 2012, 4:56 pm
  3. As I read your story, I felt terrified for you at the thought of riding at night with no place to stop. How wonderful, then, that this young lady stepped forward and made such a lovely gesture. Your worst potential day instantly turned into one of your best. What a wonderful twist of fate – and kindness. It’s a great reminder to us all that a small gesture of kindness towards a stranger can become a lifesaver. I loved this post!

    Posted by NanaBread | April 29, 2012, 5:12 pm
    • I couldn’t agree more – it was a wonderful twist of fate. I will forever be thankful for their help. It is just one of the random acts of kindness I experienced along the way and made this adventure something so special and memorable!

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 29, 2012, 5:22 pm
  4. What a wonderful twist of fate and a lovely act of kindness! It’s exactly what all of us would hope for if we were in that situation. What a wonderful, thoughtful family. Hugs to them. We should all be more like them, don’t you think? I loved this post, Anita. Best wishes for many safe & happy miles ahead.

    Posted by NanaBread | April 29, 2012, 5:17 pm
    • Thanks. I only hope to be able to extend such a huge act of kindness to someone else in need. I believe in paying it forward and try to make kind acts on a daily basis. Opening and holding doors open for people will never add up to what this family did for me – they had such a huge impact on me.

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 29, 2012, 5:24 pm
  5. Like you, I always ride alone on long expeditions……and I have a theory (amongst many!). The lone cyclist (traveller) will always attract ‘random acts of kindness’. Why? Because you are alone and have a need. When you are with others……it is a different story. My pilgrimage routes to Rome and Santiago de Compostela were littered with such acts of selflessness.
    Thank you for sharing that experience.

    Posted by Frank Burns | April 29, 2012, 5:56 pm
    • You are so right! We recently spent a weekend in Barcelona with a friend. As a threesome, we had no interaction with others. After we left, she met all sorts of people and really had a great time! It is always easier to meet others when alone – a group really does signify that you don’t need anyone!

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 30, 2012, 2:28 pm
  6. I really believe there are a lot of kind people like these folks in the world. What an amazing experience. Continued safe travels.

    Posted by Alaska Girl at Heart | April 30, 2012, 2:26 am
  7. I love random acts of kindness like that. People always say “there are no good people out there”, but it’s things like these make me more excited to travel. I love the picture of the field of yellow flowers! Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by ashleypaige4 | April 30, 2012, 10:02 am
    • I think the world is still full of good people – which makes it so fun. I love having the opportunity to meet people from other places, and share their experiences. I only hope I brought as much fun to the table to this family who got to share my travels as they brought to me by sharing their home. I think I did.

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 30, 2012, 2:31 pm
  8. Another great post of your cross-Canada journey. It’s nice to know that they are still people out there willing to open their homes to strangers in need of refuge.

    Posted by theplaceswevebeen | April 30, 2012, 11:26 am
    • Thank you, and thanks for following my journey. I love the fact that there are such wonderful people out there. I only hope I can return the favour to another….the world is such an amazing place, we all just need to pay it forward.

      Posted by Anita Mac | April 30, 2012, 2:32 pm
  9. You are so brave to embark on a journey like this! I am a runner with dreams of running half/full marathons in far off destinations but I doubt I could ever *run* to those far off places to get to the races. I always fear for the cyclists I see riding on the side of highways, it takes courage to do that! Good for you.

    Posted by cmweichel | May 1, 2012, 1:07 am
    • Thanks. My father thought I was nuts – I live brave much better! No need to fear for the cyclists – for the most part, I find being on the road fine. The cars tend to be predictable, especially when the visibility is as good as it was on the Prairies. I find cycling in big cities to be more of a challenge – there tends to be an animosity from the cars to the bikes that you can feel. A shame really – perhaps they have forgotten the pleasures of their childhood bike riding adventures! Good job on running marathons – I am impressed by the people who run those distances as I am not a runner! Will be doing a 5K this summer – the color run – should be good fun.

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 2, 2012, 5:12 pm
  10. Awesome story!! It’s good to hear there are still kind hearted people out there!

    Posted by skittles189 | May 1, 2012, 2:51 am
  11. This is a wonderful story! It is always a treat to hear of humanity’s greatness (when so much of what we hear is the opposite). Thanks for sharing and pedal on :-)

    Posted by f-stop mama | May 1, 2012, 7:30 pm
  12. amazing what a small gesture can do! great read.

    Posted by emeralds82 | May 2, 2012, 10:56 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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