Thursday, 15 July 2010

Strong tailwind. Oh happy days.

14th July: Glenboro to Carman

Odometer: 117 km, Start: 9.15am, Finish: 4.15pm, Avg: 24.4 km/h,
Weather: Sunny after early storms, Temp: 16-24°C
Mosquito Bites: 73, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #2 to Rathwell (55km). Gravel shoulder, light traffic. Road good surface. #244/#245, Gravel shoulder, extremely light traffic, good road surface. Regular small service towns on #2. Cafe at Notre Dame de Lourdes on #244 (72km). Ascent: 320m/380m.

I sat and ate my breakfast to the accompaniment of thunder, lightening and the noise of the rain smacking into the ground. It was very dark and foreboding outside. Not a promising start. Storms had been blowing in from Alberta since very early morning…

The remnants of the storm clouds over trees. I like this one.

Miraculously, I witnessed the rain abruptly stop and the skies brighten rapidly from the west just as I finished eating. The sun came out as I loaded up the bike and after waiting a further half-hour, the road was barely moist when I set off. It remained mostly sunny for the rest of the day and the wind was the strongest yet… and in my direction. Unbelievable!

Of course, I had a very pleasant day :)

Hay bales

My plan was to dash along the #2 for a while before taking a couple of provincial highways (like UK B-roads) to Carman. It worked well, with the main road #2 lightly trafficked and the provincial roads pretty deserted.

Windmill... in Holland, MB… of course

In the town of Holland there was a windmill for some reason. There was also a horse racing track. Harness racing seems to be popular in this part of Manitoba. (There is a summer long racing season taking place on tracks in many of the surrounding towns). A couple of gents were lapping when I passed by after buying some fruit in town.

Harness racing practice in Holland

After turning off the #2 I headed south to Notre Dame de Lourdes. This was my first “French” town. I had a beef sandwich and some ice cream in the café. "Merci beaucoup, madam. C’était bon".

Violet coloured crop

The side wind along this stretch was getting stronger and stronger. It was difficult to keep the steering straight with the wind catching the panniers from the side. Eventually I turned west onto the #245. I’d been waiting for this for an hour…

Horses grazing

What a tailwind! I was able to just about COAST at about 30km/h. I ran out of gears at about 45km/h. It was a glorious 40km run in to Carman… in just over the hour.

Nice old truck on the run in to Carman

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