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!
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!
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.
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.