A bicycle clinic that started with a bang

As we are about to set up our bicycle clinic on the legislative grounds in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, we hear a loud bang, coming from the vicinity of where Donald Street crosses the Assiniboine River. Kevin Celestino, a member of our event partner – The Wrench – quickly realizes a bicycle tire has …

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Warmshowers hosts have an equally warm spirit

Ross and Brenda Bond live on a small farm they bought in 1975 about an hour’s drive west of Winnipeg near the hamlet of Poplar Point. It’s an idyllic piece of tree-lined property located about a kilometre south of the highway. With all the green cover, passersby would never even know it was there. The …

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Cheap rural living enables brewery dream to become a reality

Jeff Allport isn’t into false flattery, so when he’s asked, he tells you straight out he started his craft brewery in Nokomis, Sask., simply because it was cheap to locate there. He didn’t move there for the small-town charm, or the clever strategy of being centrally located between Regina and Saskatoon in a province underserved …

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Out of the blue, an army of killers on the prowl

You’ve seen this movie before: picture perfect day, everyone in a great mood, things going so well you want to pinch yourself. We were having the best ride of our entire tour. With the first real tailwind since we left Kelowna more than six weeks ago, we were on track to complete 140 kilometres in …

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A sudden, frightening crash sidelines one of our riders

Cyclists have good reason to be hyper-aware and cautious on the road. Transport trucks sometimes barrel past too close for comfort (think lumber trucks in B.C.); motorists can be aggressive and road shoulders can be too small to ride on. Riders can mitigate all these risks. What they can’t prepare for are the unforeseeable, fluky …

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Sandra Mathison Rosetown

Antique store owner revives memories for bikepacker

There’s a leak in the roof at Riches Antiques that’s filling the bucket in the rear left corner of this old store in Rosetown, but Sandra Mathison is unperturbed. It’s hard to keep shingles on the northwest corner, she explains, because that’s where the prevailing winds come from. Today, those winds have brought in a …

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Pool party on the prairie: Neighbourly antidote to a heat wave

Canada’s prairies have plenty of big sky and sprawling fields of wheat and canola as far as the eye can see. What they don’t have much of is water and shade. This week has been a record-setting heat wave, and it has been a potentially dangerous for the ConnecTour bicyclists on a tour across the …

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Update: Our son-in-law gets the life-gift of a liver transplant

The call came out of the blue on a Tuesday afternoon. Our son-in-law, Dax learned there was a liver available and he was told to come to Vancouver General Hospital immediately. Within 36 hours the liver was declared a match and, just like that, Dax was undergoing the 10-hour surgery. This was thanks to someone …

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Banff tattoo business dream derailed by COVID reality

COVID-19 seemed like the least of his worries when Robb Syre moved from Vancouver to Banff in 2020 to work at a tattoo shop founded by his best friend Ronnie Giesbrecht and an associate, Leighton Gall. “Honestly, at first I thought it (COVID) was total bullshit. It was just the flu, rebranded.” But then life …

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Hotel Ymir

Ymir Hotel an unlikely sanctuary for great Canadian art

From the dated, wood-frame exterior, it would be easy to dismiss Hotel Ymir (pronounced ‘why-mer’) as just another ramshackle old remnant of British Columbia’s mining heyday, relying on income from the eerie glow of video gaming terminals to eke out a marginal existence. But stepping inside is a bit like diving down the rabbit hole. …

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