Day 1 – Bicycle Touring Trip – Regina to Regina Beach
This trip summarizes a three-day bicycle touring trip from Regina to Regina Beach and back. Text only, no photos. Map at bottom of page showing approximate route travelled each day.
[The previous afternoon (Apr. 30) we put racks on Rob’s red Kona which I would borrow for the trip. Rob picked me up at 3 p.m. and I later cycled home from his place to load up the bike. Finished packing by midnight.]
Got up at 5:30 a.m. on May 1. Not sure why we seem to get up so early for this supposed “vacation”? 🙂 Left folks place in SE Regina by 7 a.m. in a light rain. Biked out of city on Arcola Ave, Ring Road and Highway 11 paved shoulder. Took rain pants off at the Hwy 11 & 6 overpass, Rob wore shorts. Worked through the initial body complaints to find the rhythmic groove on the other side.
Turned west on the “old Highway 11”, now a paved back-road into Lumsden (Highway 734). Took a rest and washroom break at an old abandoned school-house. Met a woman from Germany walking her dog along the road who excitedly told us how on the first of May in Germany everyone takes a holiday and many go on a bicycle pub-crawl through various rural towns, to actual “bicycle pubs”. Wished we were in Europe.
Continued into a NW head-wind and overcast sky. Flew down the Lumsden hill and stopped in at the Lumsden grocery for water. To our shock, they did not have drinking water available. We decided to conserve stove fuel and avoid boiling the water by waiting until we got to Regina Beach.
Found a Trans-Canada trail heading west of town, cycled it for 1 to 2 km but then realized it was going in the wrong direction. Large cumulonimbus clouds were building with sporadic visible rain below in the distance.
Cycled the old Highway #11 out of the valley heading north (Google maps shows as a dead-end, the road is not driveable due to barricades). Rob climbed the hill twice as fast as I did. Trail mix snack at top of hill. Shortly after my rear tire blew out. Changed out the tube in about 20 minutes, just as a large rain shower approached. Managed to bike out of the shower in 5 minutes.
Cycled north on Highway 54 just missing localized downpours, like navigating through sprinkler heads in a giant park. Occasionally hit with light drizzle. Ate lunch down in the road ditch somewhat out of the viscous wind. The vast space of the prairies occasionally overwhelms when travelling like this and the wind can become tiring (mentally and physically).
Stopped at a gas station in Regina Beach to use the washroom and refill water bottles. Biked down to a dock on Last Mountain Lake. Then west along the old railway bed (now a pathway) to an aspen grove on the shore of the Arm River just where it enters Last Mountain Lake (known locally as “Little Arm”).
Ate chocolate to regain blood sugar, set up tent. We cycled a 9 km off-road race track in the area without gear. Rob has raced on this track before. It included a vertical drop of about 2 meters which I chickened out on. Rob even decided against it, saying it seemed easier running on adrenaline during a race.
Rested in tent, made fire. Cooked smokies and ate as hot dogs. Went for walk, watch sunset, saw owl. Then to sleep.