Headwinds on the prairies

394km Vegreville to North Battleford

DSC_9119.JPGThey say the winds blow from west to east in Canada. Cyclist after cyclist told us this. “It’s just the way things are,” they said. With this knowledge in hand, our trip towards Saskatoon had begun with the expectation of nothing less than tailwinds.

Fools. What fools. Both them and us.

Murphy’s Law says that when you’re primed for a good push from behind you’ll get a face full of wind instead and that’s exactly what we got not long after leaving Vegreville. We put it down to the same meteorological phenomena that creates the bi-directional opposing headwind – a veritable gale which blows toward the cyclist both on the way out and the way home.

No matter which way the road turned (and yes, it does curve occasionally out here on the plains), the wind seemed to be working against us. Still, at least it was sunny and we plodded along towards North Battleford at a steady 13km an hour.

DSC_9115.JPGAlong the way we met Stephen, on his way home by bike to Ottawa after tree planting in the far north. Maybe he’d go as far as Moncton, he told us, before announcing that to get there in time for an August wedding he’d need to do 150-180km a day. Our jaws dropped at his ambitious and slightly foolhardy target but we wished him good luck and waved as he sped away to Lloydminster. He needed those tailwinds more than we did.

Our pace was, as usual, far more relaxed. In Innisfree we hooked up with Keith, a local minister and fellow cycling fanatic who rode with us to his home in Vermilion, treated us to milkshakes and an evening of chatter with new friends as the sun went down. Lashburn was marked by ice creams from the general store and our first night of Canadian free camping in a field of waist-high grass and wild roses just outside of town.

Just down the road in Maidstone, Friedel picked through some slimy produce at the supermarket, trying to find something edible, while Andrew chatted with a local man. “Great you’ve got the wind behind you,” he said. Andrew pointed out we were going east. “Oh. Well at least you’re ahead of the rain,” he replied, ever the optimist.

Our next stop was the nearly deserted municipal campground for a shower. We planned on taking one each but then had to make other plans when we opened our change purse to discover just enough coins for one shower. We aren’t telling who snuck into which bathroom! Our covert mission went unnoticed by the man mowing the lawn.

DSC_9110.JPGAll cleaned up and on the road again, we ran into Stephen for a second time not long after Maidstone. His energetic efforts had earned him a strained knee and he looked to be in a fair bit of pain, pedaling a few strokes, then coasting and pedaling again. We felt bad, tried to give a few words of encouragement, offered to let him draft behind us and then left him to get on with it. It’s a tough road out there alone and with an injured knee but he didn’t seem to want much company.

We were the opposite: grateful for the wide shoulders that let us chat the day away, riding side by side, with only a few bright yellow canola fields to distract our gaze from the busy highway and the omnipresent headwinds. There were no shops and few villages. The only business of note was one dodgy bar filled with drunks, framed by a sidewalk covered in broken glass.

It was incentive to push on and so we did until we spotted another good camping spot, just outside North Battleford. We rationed out the last of our water to make pancakes and a stirfry for supper and went to bed, knowing the next morning we’d have to bike into town to get breakfast. We had just enough to drink but not nearly enough to cook porridge with. We hoped at least for cloudy skies but instead we got rain, which added to the headwinds to make a miserable 20km into town.

Soaked and cold, we stopped at the police station to ask directions to the nearest Tim Hortons. The friendly officers were only too happy to point us down the right road and heads turned as we dripped our way inside the packed coffee shop a few minutes later and ordered our morning pick-me-up. Two mugs of hot coffee have never felt so good.


  1. NoraMarie
    8th July 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    I have been following your wonderful trip.To be young again.Gerry999 lives in Sask. I think.Kittencal also.Have you hooked up with anybody yet? NoraMarie

    • andrew
      9th July 2009 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi NoraMarie, no we haven’t been in touch with anyone from RecipeZaar. I rarely get on there anymore. We have relatives near Saskatoon so we will be seeing more family for the next week or so.

  2. Dad
    9th July 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Happy Birthday on the 10th, Friedel. May the wind be at your back. According to the weather forecasts the weather on the Prairies has been pretty mixed.

  3. Amaya
    10th July 2009 at 5:37 am #

    We’re traveling east to west across the US and have also been warned about headwinds on the prairies. Your post has given us hope that maybe we’ll get pushed along instead of having to fight our way across Kansas. Hope you’re not getting too much rain–we’ve also suffered through a few storms crossing the Appalachians. Stay safe and enjoy your last miles across Canada. Thanks for all the inspiring tales from the saddle.

  4. Shana and James Nunez
    11th July 2009 at 12:53 am #

    Hi Friedel and Andrew – the weather has gotten better for us but I’m sad that you were having a rough go of it. I hope that it’s let up a bit now for you. We are almost to Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean. Just keeping up with a blog is a lot of work after a long day – I can’t even imagine how well you guys must sleep. It we are ever out your way we’ll look you up.

    By the way, I really enjoy your posting. It’s very well written.

    I wish you guys clear skies and a good tail wind.

    Shana and James (the motorcyclists you met by the big sausage).

  5. Cliff and Bernice Sandeson
    18th July 2009 at 3:22 am #

    Dear Friedel and Andrew,
    Below is a message that we tried to send over a week ago but I used the wrong email address and the system administrator returned it. Sorry that you are receiving this so late but the message is still the same. Safe travels!!!
    We have been out of touch for a while but were happy to discover that you are back in Canada and heading home. We assume that once you left the Rockies it has been all downhill and you just have to let your bikes coast. After all Edmonton is 8000 feet higher in sea level than we are!
    Since one of you has a birthday today, we thought that this would be a good day to contact you. Happy birthday Friedel. We hope that the gods gave you lots of sunshine and the wind at your back for a gift!!!
    Things are fine here. We have had two days in a row of sunshine after almost three weeks of fog, mist and rain. Everyone is up because of it. However, clear skies brought frost to some areas (zero in Margaree yesterday morning) Frost in July makes you wonder about global warming!!!
    Not much other news. We’ll get caught up on everything some day in the fall when we get together for supper.
    Take care,
    Bernice and Cliff

  6. buy stocks online
    30th November 2022 at 2:09 pm #

    Blackjack can be played either working with a single or additionaldecks of cards.

  7. to read more
    5th December 2022 at 12:53 am #

    Ralph, después de una fuente de alimentación mal conectada a M + y M-, ¿funciona el controlador de su motor?

  8. Buy Bitcoin
    5th December 2022 at 6:18 am #

    Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

  9. Game Penghasil Uang
    5th December 2022 at 1:06 pm #

    This actually answered my predicament, thank you! jordans free shipping

  10. Kimball Graham
    6th December 2022 at 7:28 pm #

    Very interesting details you have observed, thanks for putting up. “What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.” by Pearl Bailey.

  11. Kymber Mann
    8th December 2022 at 12:25 am #

    Incidentally in our office there is a room in the corner

  12. how to do ecommerce drop shipping
    10th December 2022 at 5:59 pm #

    Cómo ver el tiempo de riesgo: país lejano – aparte próxima Internet – río El nuevo estimula ahora específico

  13. Electric Vehicles
    26th December 2022 at 12:58 am #

    Whoa. If you’re so good the fact that you’re so good right now. Your help woke myself up. Thank you quite much.

  14. Bluechip India
    26th December 2022 at 2:28 pm #

    natural remedies for ed problems vacuum therapy for ed – erectial disfunction

  15. Savannah Shepherd
    29th December 2022 at 1:56 am #

    Many thanks. Good information!how to write an essay essay homework allen ginsberg need an essay written

  16. ??????
    29th December 2022 at 12:24 pm #

    Mounting effuel reviews car and driver ECOOBD2 is not complicated.

  17. axiom america
    1st January 2023 at 11:36 pm #

    ivermectin argentina ivermectin for tapeworms in cats

  18. plastic injection molding
    2nd January 2023 at 11:33 am #

    I value the article. Really Great.

  19. to read more
    6th January 2023 at 12:15 am #

    [email protected]

  20. Blow Molding Machine
    10th January 2023 at 12:01 pm #

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  21. Edith Williams
    10th January 2023 at 9:16 pm #

    i’m fine good work mebendazole vermox side effects The common currency jumped 2 percent against the Swiss franc to 1.01 francs, after tumbling 17 percent last week.

  22. buy renalka online
    11th January 2023 at 10:33 am #

    comment3, buy doxazosin online, :[[[,

  23. tree trimming
    30th March 2023 at 2:44 am #

    Major thanks for the blog post. Great.

  24. development
    4th April 2023 at 3:32 am #

    There as noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made sure good points in options also.

  25. Roulette
    4th April 2023 at 9:26 pm #

    I didn’t believe it, but it came, I was shocked, it came like 2 3 thousand

  26. Thue Vest Ky Yeu
    5th April 2023 at 9:23 am #

    apartments in midvale utah rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised craigslist ma apartments

  27. read article
    6th April 2023 at 7:03 am #

    Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, placed the initial legal bet in his state June 5, wagering $ten on the Phillies to beat the Cubs.

  28. authentic watches
    6th April 2023 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of manualthat needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at theother blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best audio jack doc.

  29. pokies
    7th April 2023 at 7:55 am #

    Awesome stream this evening, not just for the gaming content but forhow much fun just chatting with stream wasNew camera angle added more variety and fun, maybe start dancing laround?Passed on the love to

  30. ivermectin gel: ivermectin – ivermectin syrup

  31. Bottle games
    8th April 2023 at 12:58 am #

    Very efficiently written article. It ill be helpful tto anyone who utilizes it,as well as yours truly :). Keep doing whast you are doing –looking forward to more posts.

  32. download TikTok mp3 with 123tik.net
    8th April 2023 at 11:04 am #

    ed treatment review – erectional dysfunction gnc ed pills

  33. Hoc pha che
    8th April 2023 at 5:43 pm #

    metformin prediabetes metformin 500 pill metformin how does it work why does metformin cause vitamin b12 deficiency

  34. Jethro Freeman
    10th April 2023 at 8:24 pm #

    Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

  35. Miley Humphreys
    10th April 2023 at 10:18 pm #

    chloroquine tablets side effects of plaquenil

  36. popular slots
    12th April 2023 at 9:16 pm #

    Appreciate it! Ample advice! how to write mba essays steps to write essay

  37. Marlene Shaw
    14th April 2023 at 9:09 pm #

    When compared with several other suppliers Rolex encompasses a huge global recognition.

  38. play blackjack
    17th April 2023 at 4:16 am #

    chloroquine dosage hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis

  39. Canadian players
    19th April 2023 at 3:21 am #

    Who’s calling? loperamide walgreens Speaking to journalists on Monday, Kucherena said Snowden is looking forward to his father’s visit and once he comes “they will decide together all the questions” about where he will live and what he will do.

  40. casino regular
    20th April 2023 at 9:43 am #

    Thanks. Good stuff.essay prompts for college help dissertation hire ghostwriter

  41. information
    20th April 2023 at 7:14 pm #

    canadian medications ed vacuum pumps – solutions for ed

  42. poker gamblers
    20th April 2023 at 8:44 pm #

    valsartan-hydrochlorothiazidehydrochlorothiazide used for

  43. chuy?n nhà tr?n gói tphcm
    22nd April 2023 at 6:19 am #

    Just what a man of power! You have the capacity to publish excellent things that you can’t come across at any place. to envy

  44. https://dlmodhack.net
    22nd April 2023 at 10:40 am #

    kaşındın sen amk çocuğu senin içinden geçecen sabırla otur bekle adam nasıl sikilir öğretecem

  45. Daman App Download
    24th April 2023 at 12:27 pm #

    Thanks so much for the blog post. Want more.

  46. Bluetooth speaker
    25th April 2023 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks for the blog post. Awesome.

  47. self-awareness
    28th April 2023 at 12:22 am #

    I appreciate you sharing this blog. Keep writing.

  48. embracing failure
    28th April 2023 at 1:47 am #

    I really hope they will inspire you to take action and improve this troubled world we live on. Thanks for writing this. You’ve made my day! Thx again. It’s like you wrote the book on it or something.

  49. alex been
    29th April 2023 at 11:52 pm #

    Senators Edwin Erickson and Bob Mensch introduced SB 1386 in June of 2014.

  50. Andy Pau
    4th May 2023 at 4:16 pm #

    i’m fine good work mebendazole vermox side effects The common currency jumped 2 percent against the Swiss franc to 1.01 francs, after tumbling 17 percent last week.

  51. Get A Relationship Back On Track
    4th May 2023 at 7:45 pm #

    Recommended and endorsed by multiple celebrities

  52. decorative possibilities
    10th May 2023 at 10:48 am #

    where can i get ivermectin covid 19 treatment

  53. combat sports
    12th May 2023 at 4:33 pm #

    Is anyone here in a position to recommend Extra Powerful Vibrators? Thanks xx

  54. préstamos
    23rd May 2023 at 8:47 am #

    You are my aspiration, I have few blogs and very sporadically run out from to brand.แมวเหมียว 070764

  55. Bette Davey
    28th May 2023 at 6:30 pm #

    only two thousand from the initial yr involving the starting

  56. Dentist Newtown
    1st June 2023 at 10:50 am #

    mla format essay headingcause and effect essay topicshow to start an informative essay

  57. ????????????????????????????
    1st June 2023 at 7:58 pm #

    We can no longer afford established veterans if they have interest in him than expected.

  58. injection mold
    1st June 2023 at 11:26 pm #

    Very good article.

  59. ps100
    5th June 2023 at 6:29 pm #

    how long does it take for cbd oil to work on pets

  60. arqit ARQQ
    7th June 2023 at 11:13 am #

    OBJECTIVE: To assess Danish obstetricians’ and gynecologists’ personal preference and general attitude towards elective cesarean section on maternal request in uncomplicated single cephalic pregnancies at term.in more detail

  61. Evan Carr
    11th June 2023 at 4:16 am #

    #BEOGAMING #BEO777⭐️ สวssค์สำหsับuักลงทุuคaิกเลย👉 ADD LINE 👉👍 สมัคsง่าย ฝๅก-ถou โouไว 24ชม.👍 เว็บตsง กาsเงิuมั่นคง ไม่มีประวัติโกง

  62. invest in indices
    19th June 2023 at 1:48 pm #

    Could I ask who’s calling? olmesartan amlodipine hydrochlorothiazide brands “Not a single penny hasbeen saved for the taxpayer,” said Labour’s shadow financeminister Ed Balls.

  63. about his
    26th June 2023 at 3:49 pm #

    Im thankful for the blog post.

  64. Du lich My
    27th June 2023 at 7:18 pm #

    You carry a valuable skill. Your creating skillfulness are simply excellent. Many thanks for promoting content on the net and informing your subscribers.

  65. act now
    4th July 2023 at 12:30 am #

    way of funding their free to skip the middle

  66. Christopher Heath
    5th July 2023 at 1:39 pm #

    I am interested in more info. How can I contact you?

  67. Best Cheap Wireless Earbuds with ANC
    10th July 2023 at 1:25 pm #

    I love looking through an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment.

  68. www.rickyspartyrentals.com
    11th July 2023 at 5:48 am #

    I cannot thank you enough for the post. Cool.

  69. Customized promotional shirts
    14th July 2023 at 2:21 pm #

    Best chauffeur drive experience across the UAE Our well-trained drivers with range of sprinter and premium cars are available 24×7

  70. 7 segment LED display
    15th July 2023 at 11:30 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the blog.

  71. privitannya
    17th July 2023 at 1:28 am #

    ivermectin and praziquantel ivermectin orally

  72. Nelson Norman
    17th July 2023 at 4:09 pm #

    australia vs new zealand cricket live stream

  73. Priscilla Fernandez
    20th July 2023 at 11:35 pm #

    Hello everybody , can anyone recommend where I can purchase Calm CBD Mints By Lucent Botanicals?

  74. Ruby Boyd
    21st July 2023 at 5:16 am #

    ncov chloroquine chloroquine stock hydrochlorique

  75. brown cowboy boots for women
    26th July 2023 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks again for the article. Will read on…

  76. Telegramim
    9th August 2023 at 1:57 pm #

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  77. custom lighting
    13th August 2023 at 9:13 pm #

    Thanks so much for the blog.Much thanks again.

  78. mold upender
    20th August 2023 at 11:25 am #

    Im thankful for the blog. Great.

  79. email hosting
    24th August 2023 at 11:16 am #

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly

  80. Fandachem Fanda Hangzhou Fanda Fanda Chemical
    28th August 2023 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks so much for the blog. Much obliged.

  81. magazin lanterne pescuit
    4th September 2023 at 6:08 am #

    forcing them to compete in every game There can be many negative effects. Physical exhaustion, pressure, lack of motivation, or lack of creativity in the game it’s all possible

  82. Bulk Extreme
    4th September 2023 at 7:54 am #

    ivermectin iv ivermectin oral – ivermectin 500ml

  83. Real Estate in Visakhapatnam
    5th September 2023 at 11:08 am #

    clonidine side effects clonidine for adhd clonidine side effects

  84. Myrtis
    19th September 2023 at 7:11 am #

    lusting after someone while in a relationship

  85. drug discovery lifetech company
    29th September 2023 at 8:15 pm #

    Thanks again for the blog. Fantastic.

  86. descargar musica
    3rd October 2023 at 12:53 am #

    It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  87. 黑料网
    3rd October 2023 at 6:01 am #

    Great article. Much obliged.

  88. Sandra Carr
    3rd October 2023 at 6:14 am #

    I understand that is truly dull and you’re missing to the next remark, however i simply desired to throw a large many thanks – a person solved some things personally!

Leave a comment