The Gals

The Gals

Welcome to our blog!

We are three young women embarking on a cross Canada cycling trip! We will be starting May 5th from Victoria, B.C, making our way

East to St John’s, Newfoundland, spanning over >7000km. We are planning to stay mostly in campsites, but will indulge now and then in a roof over our heads (be it a hotel/motel/holiday inn, friends/family, or couchsurfing/warm showers). We will be carrying all our gear on our bikes, including tents and camping equipment.

This is by faaaar our biggest cycling adventure yet, and, after a LOT of planning and practice, we are so excited to get rolling!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments, and please check out our fundraising pages along the side bar!

Thank you!

Claire, Julie & Nina

Friday, June 17, 2016

Day 44-46: (June 17-19) Winnipeg Rest Days

 While in Winnipeg we stayed at Andrei's who offered his home to us. We got our bikes checked out at Woodcock Cycle and ready for the roads ahead (or in Nina's case for the flight to Toronto). We did some shopping at MEC where we indulged. At Boon Burger we shared a delicious meal and conversation with Esther, a friend of Julie's from a Winnipeg Winter Wedding. Jazz Fest was running at the time so we got to have a great night out with some lovely live music! The following day we explored Osborne Village and got some savoury Kawaii Crepes! In the area, we also stopped to check out Silver Lotus, a highly recommended jewelry store and perused. That afternoon we said goodbye to our friend Nina at the airport who had completed her trip as she had to return to work. Claire and Julie continued to explore the city with heavy hearts. :( The Forks was a fun place to explore and have dinner. The next day, Claire and Julie did some catching up with friends and family, letter writing and blog updating!!!
Dinner with Esther at Boon Vegan Burgers

Winnipeg JazzFest

Winnipeg JazzFest
Last Night as Three!
Kawaii Crepes

Goodbyes at the airport to Nina

New Wheels at The Forks
Julie at the Caboose
Forks Market
Evening in the Forks

The Orange Bench at The Forks

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 43: (June 16) Elie to Winnipeg 55.7km

Once leaving the trailer, we rode into town for a Timmy's breakfast. We continued along the 1 which did have a nice shoulder to ride on for most of the way. The wind was forcibly against us. We took shelter in the KOA restaurant/ store off of Hwy 1 for lunch. Determined to get to Winnipeg, we continued on our way stopping at the Winnipeg sign to snap some victory shots of Nina who was on her last day of cycling. Assiniboine park was a lovely park to cycle through on our way to our friends house where we would take our rest days in the city.
Nina's last day on the road with us!

Julie outside of Woodcock Cycle

Casual deer outside of a Winnipeg home

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Day 42: (June 15) Minnedosa to Elie 177.3km

We had an early start as we were getting anxious to make it to Winnipeg, and we knew that the winds would be on our side today. The motel had complimentary breakfast, so we were able to eat early and get on the road.

It was a hot day, so we took frequent breaks at gas stations along the way to pick up cold gatorade. We stopped for lunch in a cute little restaurant in Gladstone called Mumzz Kitchen. They had air conditioning, how could we resist! In the prairies, when the sun is out, there is little escape from the heat.

We continued on our ride when we ran into a couple, named Connie and Jeff, who were taking turns cycling to Kenora. One would ride and the other would follow in the car, then they would switch! It was an interesting way to do the ride.

We decided the best way to make the most of our day would be to stop in Portage la Prairie for a quick dinner (A&W), and continue as far as we could go before sunset. In Portage la Prairie we met a group of cycling girls who are also headed to St. John's! We hope to run into them again!

We stopped for the night in a small town called Elie. We asked at the town bar if there was a place that we could stay or camp, and were told that we could stay in the park in town. We were exhausted and it was getting dark. A lady at the bar named Angie had her trailer set up in her backyard and offered that we sleep in there. It was a beautiful trailer and we were so grateful! We spent the rest of the night chatting with her and her boyfriend over some beer in their garage.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Day 41: (June 14) Shoal Lake to Minnedosa 60km

We woke up in the campground in Shoal Lake to a fair bit of rain. We were lucky, because the bathroom area had a wide awning that we were able to cook and eat breakfast under.

On our way out of town we passed a wood craft shop! The wood craft shop is our favourite place at camp and is the workplace of a special Craftsman named Rafic Dagher, who we adore. Needless to say, we had to check out the shop. We met one of the craftsmen who worked at this shop, named John. John showed us some of his beautiful wood work.

We continued in the rain, against the wind for a shorter day. Claire had her second flat tire in two days! We stopped for pizza at a wonderful bakery in Minnedosa and decided to get a motel there for the night. Nina was having issues with her bike as well, so we spent the evening fixing our bikes and resting up! Minnedosa was a lovely town with a cute feel to it!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Day 40: (June 13) Russell to Shoal Lake 78.6km

After eating a yummy breakfast at The Russell in we packed our things and got ready to go, only to discover yet another flat tire! Now experienced and practices we fixed the tire without any problems. We hit the 16 and cycled, it was another challenging day against the wind, and beaming sun. We stopped in Kent for a pee break, the owner of the Kent Hotel opened his doors just so we could use the toilet. It was a unique place with a large collection of hockey memorabilia. We decided to stop in Shoal Lake. Lakeview Park Shoal Lake was our home for the night. We went to bed early to feel better rested in the morning.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Day 39: (June 12) Russell Rest Day

After cycling longer distances and making it to Manitoba we decided to treat ourselves and give our bodies a much deserved rest. The Russell Inn was a great place to do so! We were able to eat some good food, swim in the pool and relax our muscles in the hot tub. Although, I must say we had the most fun going down the water slide over and over again. We took the day to do laundry, write the blog, write some letters and postcards and make some phone calls to friends and family. The Stanley Cup Finals just so happen to be that night, we were lucky enough to see the results of the game!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Day 38: (June 11) Saltcoats to Russell, MB 78.2km

We woke up camped on the beach of the campground, only to discover that there were campsites right beside us. There was a fundraising walk organized at the campground area, so we got some funny looks. Since there was no potable water at the campground, and we had become a spectacle, we packed up camp and ate a quick breakfast at the gas station. The winds were once again working against us. We stopped for lunch in a very nice little town called Langenburg. Not far after that we were in Manitoba! We pushed forward with the dream of sleeping in a hotel. There was one large valley (descent preceding a big climb), and we battled some winds (and Claire's music speaker died), but we eventually made it to the Russell Inn. Wood ticks had been a concern, so once we arrived at the hotel we did a tick check. Sure enough, Julie had a tick on her arm! She was brave and pulled it out herself. We had dinner at the pizza hut and passed out in our hotel room, happy to be in a bed!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Day 37: (June 10) Wynyard to Saltcoats 183.2km

Today we took very few pictures, as this was our furthest day of riding to date! The winds were pulling us so we took advantage and covered some ground. We got up and had an early breakfast at A&W (our favourite). We cycled until close to sunset, stopping in the small town of Saltcoats. We ate dinner at the pub in town. After dinner it was dark, and we still had to find out way to the campground. The municipal campground was less than 2km from the pub but the road was not lit and neither was the campground. We ended up camping on the beach as we could not find the campsites. 
Only picture from the day!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Day 36: (June 9) Viscount to Wynyard 117.6km

Our start was delayed by a sharp piece of metal that punctured Claire's tire. With Mr. Koller's help we were able to change the tire in no time flat!!! Today proved to be an excellent day for riding and we took advantage. The wind was at our backs pushing us forward. We stopped for lunch in Usborn at a purple hotel where we saw 2 friendly dog one of which had a tick on his nose! We continued to cycle and cycle beating the dark to our destination for the night; The Wynyard municipal campground which was not yet in full swing for the summer offering no shower nor toilets but plenty of bugs including ticks!!!!

Spot the Tick! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Day 35: (June 8) Clavet to Viscount 58.1km

Following the 16 we battled headwinds all day, it was quite draining. Exhausted, we stopped in Viscount. This little village was pretty much closed for the night when we arrived. The bar was open at the time and so we asked where we could stay for night. A very kind older gentleman named Mr. Koller offered we stay on his lawn. We had a peaceful evening in his yard cooking fajitas with our camp stove which were so delicious!!! Mr Koller was very kind, he allowed us to shower which was much needed at this time to wash off all the dirt and sweat and sunscreen.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Day 34: (June 7) Saskatoon to Clavet 32.1km

Today we had a very slow start. We were tired from our night on the town in Saskatoon, and wanted to get some coffee and crepes at our new favourite spot, Drift. When we got to the coffee shop, we ran into Jonas and Steph, two cyclists who had been a day behind us since the beginning! We were very happy to meet them and swap stories.
loaded and ready to go after a great day off! 
meeting Jonas and Steph 

Bike rack in the prairies?

Ramona and Tim!

After a very leisurely breakfast, we headed to the grocery store on the edge of town to stock up for some more time in the prairies. By the time we headed out, it was late afternoon! We headed along 8th street East until connecting with the Highway 16. The headwinds were brutal, so we did not go far. We stopped for the night in Clavet, where we met Tim and Ramona. Tim and Ramona were two lovely people who offered their lawn for us to camp in, protected from the wind! We had fun meeting them! In the morning Ramona chatted with us and made us some delicious breakfast. We were very grateful!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Day 33: (June 6) Saskatoon Rest Day

We battled against our internal clocks and slept in a couple hours before heading to a most amazing cafe called Drift with creative crepes and good coffee. With recommendations from locals we explored the city. Our first stop was at Hard Pressed, a clothing company selling Saskatoon and Saskatchewan clothing. Next we walked to the garden in the art gallery, which had beautiful flowers. Walking along the water and across the bridge have us a nice view of the city. Saskmade, a shop selling locally made products was our last stop before dinner. Morgan, warm showers host, joined us at The Odd Couple for a delicious dinner. This was also our last evening with our cycling companion, Tristan. Later we enjoyed some live music at the Amigos Cantina by some folk bands.  
Gardens at the art gallery in Saskatoon
Beautiful old railway bridge

Our wonderful host Morgan
Our last night together with our cycling buddy, Tristan