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#1. The Plover has landed in Winnipeg, Tuesday Feb. 11th, 2014

#1.  The Plover has landed in Winnipeg,  Tuesday Feb. 11th
 
Your emissary to the International Winter Cycling Congress has arrived in Winnipeg. The 6 hour flight took 10 hours. I may as well have cycled here!

 

Actually, it was an interesting diversion (literally) for me. After two unsuccessful attempts to land the plane in a blinding snowstorm in Winnipeg, our pilot was instructed to turn the plane around as we were being diverted to Dryden, ON, where the weather was better. I have never been to Dryden. It looked like serious winter Canadian wilderness there. We had the airstrip all to ourselves, except for a parked water bomber and a couple of other Ontario Natural Resources planes. They were pretty and looked very cool. After an hour on the tarmac outside the completely deserted main terminal of the Dryden airport, we were cleared to take another shot at Winnipeg and this time were successful.

 

Jump to Shelley in a cab with a very pleasant Punjabi driver. The roads were horrendous, piled with snow. I asked him if many people cycle here in winter. He said no, and when I told him I ride my bike all year round he was delighted and shared some things about cycling in India. The good weather makes it practical, popular, and common. He remarked it's very healthy to cycle for transportation. He also pointed out the 4th city bus he had noticed that was empty. He said public transit is a failure here, only people on social assistance use it. Now, this fellow seemed an intelligent and reasonable man. I don't think these were just bilious complaints. I saw the empty buses myself. Very interesting that at first impression, Winnipeg is not that different from Sydney.

 

Now I need a decent meal (no food on the plane aside from what I brought myself (THANKS FOR THE TIP, ANDREE! I was also at the airport at 5 am, and it didn't seem to be too early) and a teeny sac of pretzels) and to find the congress venue. 

 

I was a bit alarmed to be instructed to contact the manager of sales at the hotel the moment I arrived. I thought there must be some issue with the reservation. As it turns out, the manager of sales at the Fort Garry is originally from Sydney! Long story, but essentially she just wanted to talk to someone from "home". Cape Bretoners - they're right like that.

 

Many thanks to all of you, I have your photos, the Velo and DCBA literature and am keen to bring our message to the world! 

 

Wear wool socks! 
 
-Shelley P.

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