Home > Day to Day > Zoom, zoom – Craik to Regina; In Regina – Eye-catching modern architecture; and the best bike store service EVER!

Zoom, zoom – Craik to Regina; In Regina – Eye-catching modern architecture; and the best bike store service EVER!

What a difference a day makes! Morning after the storm, everything is clean and fresh and tamped down by the torrents of water. I want to make a quick getaway – ideally reach Regina early and visit the bike store Bill spoke so highly about, in case they need to order parts. Landen agrees to go. We leave.

The shoulders are as bad as or worse than yesterday. But we have a new ally: the wind! We are cruising at about 15 kph faster than yesterday! There is less traffic, and the temperature has dropped by about 10C! We are in the groove. Sandwich #1 at the 40 km mark. Sandwich #2 around 80 kms, just before a huge drop towards a large bridge spanning a massive river. We guesstimate the distance to the opposite point: I say about 2 km, Landen guesses 3 to 4. He is correct. We rush down the incline at over 60 kph and reach the opposite crest, having covered just under 4 kms. What fun! No need to stop for a break. (I thought I took several photos at this point and along the route but they seemed to disappear. Not the first time this has happened. Is it me? My phone-camera? No way of knowing. And too bad.)

Pretty soon we are at the outskirts of Regina. The directions until now were a single line. Now we start into the city, turning left and right, crossing railway lines, passing through a poor neighbourhood and then better ones. Eventually we reach the campus. A bit of meandering and we locate our residence and the truck. Nieka and Chelsea are unloading the containers which we asked to have delivered to our rooms. They give us our plastic access cards. We head to the 9th floor pod. I am in room N912.3 – ninth floor of the North Residence, pod #12, room #3. Four bedrooms share a kitchen, sitting area and two bathrooms. These are decent accommodations.

Shower, change, pull out laundry. As I set out to head for the bike store Ric intercepts me: the store is closed on Mondays! Oh well, so much for good intentions. Tomorrow will have to do. So today is about other stuff, primarily catching up with email, blogging, sorting and repacking my cases and so on.

I am waiting for the first round of laundry to spin down. I am falling asleep on a comfy lounge chair just outside the huge Laundromat. Time for a nap? Back in our pod several of the folks are heading out for an early dinner – good idea. We find a terrific Greek restaurant within a 15 minute walk. Everyone loves their food and prices. One beer is enough for me. Back at my room I am asleep before my head hits the pillow.

IN REGINA

I wanted to be at the bike store when it opened. Jim and I arrived there a few minutes before 10 am and saw about eight people already waiting, including two of our comrades. Once in the store we each described our bike’s problems and needs and the team members emphasized that we only had this day in the city. The store staff were professional and exuded calm confidence. To me they said: “Go and do your other errands, have lunch and come back then. It should be ready. If we uncover anything serious we’ll call you.”

I cruised through the store and found a couple of items I needed. I left them and my helmet with the bike and headed to a nearby store, to buy a JimSuite. I named it that in honour of our co-rider Jim who emerged one mosquitoed day covered by a fine mesh jacket, totally covering his head and upper body and cinched tightly at the wrists and waist. And it seemed to work. I knew I had to buy one.

Back at the Dutch Cycle store, with the JimSuite in hand , I was informed my bike was nearly ready. The technician then proceeded to describe what he had found and corrected: a couple of loose parts, one key component out of alignment. “A minor repair, so…NO CHARGE!” I could not believe my ears! And to compound this remarkable gesture he proceeded to generously discount the items I purchased! I immediately told him that I would publicize the store in my blog.

I rode away and then turned back – the click was a bit more muted but still noticeable. The technician was unflappable: “Oh, that probably means…”. He checked the pedals and pedal arms, tightened a few things (and indicated they were too loose) and told me to “try it out again. If you don’t come back I’ll know we got it.” And still no charge. This time the clicks disappeared entirely and the bike felt great. And what more, the same guy had earlier solved a problem I had with my new GPS. All with a smile and easy banter and a sense of real enjoyment of cycling and the work.

Later on I learned that Dutch Cycle was being run by three brothers who were the third generation operating this business. The pride and professionalism and exceptional customer care were remarkable. I wish them success upon success!

I walked around the campus, enjoying the architecture. There are numerous buildings around here that really appeal to me. And then there is the matter of snow in 30C weather. Huh? What? The Poplar trees are shedding their fluffs, filling the air with snow-like tufts that over roads, cars and the lake water near its shore. (I took some photos which do not do this beautiful scene justice.)

More laundry, blogging, packing, dinner, blogging. Its getting late and we have a long day tomorrow. Bye for now!

imageOMG, no! They’re going to buy more mosquitoes! (Headline of today’s local paper).
imageJim’s helmet head. This is what happens when you don’t wear a cap under your cycling helmet!
imageThe best service I ever experienced at a bike store! If you are ever in Regina you must visit this third-generation marvel: 1336 Lorne Street, Regina S4R 2K1 (306) 522-0484. Speak to Fred or Freddie — and enjoy the experience!
imagePoplar trees’ ‘snow’ fluff covers the ground
imagePoplar trees shedding
imageNative University at the University of Regina Campus
imageNative University at the University of Regina Campus, #2
imageElegant lines of a church
imagePerforming Arts Centre
imageUniversity of Regina Campus
image

University of Regina Campus students relaxation area

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Categories: Day to Day
  1. Murray
    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Those Westerners are always a friendly and helpful bunch. It looks like we will see you in Toronto soon.

    Easy pedalling.

    Murray

  2. glenn
    July 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Ilan, if the ride across Canada thing doesn’t work out, I think there are a few comedy clubs that would appreciate your humor!

    I continue to applaud you and your riding team. This is pure leadership….stake set in the ground…moving forward.

    AHO!

    Glenn

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