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Canadian Cyclists Stay Over in Edina
By Crystal Howerton
Two cyclists from Manitoba, Canada found lodging in Edina at the home of Randy and Linda Parton on Thursday night, October 23, 2008.
Danielle Mondor and Sheri Glenwright were stopped at junction K one mile east of Baring looking over their map when Randy Parton stopped and inquired if they needed assistance. Because it was getting close to dark, Parton offered the two women a ride to Edina and allowed them to pitch their tent in his yard for the night. The Parton’s also took them out for supper to the Pizza Haus in Edina and served them breakfast the next morning, before giving them a ride to Quincy, IL.
The pair plans to be in St. Louis in time for the Halloween Critical Mass, a bike ride that starts every Friday night at 5:00 p.m. The bike ride is to support the fact that bicycles are traffic, too, explained Mondor. “It is a visibility issue, and we want to encourage bicycles are cars to get along while traveling.”
Mondor and Glenwright are on a 3-4,000 mile journey from Manitoba, which began on September 22, 2008, through Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico and Texas. Having already traveled approximately 1,500 miles, they expect to reach their destination by Christmas.
“We have met nothing but kind people so far,” said Mondor. “People stop and speak to us and give us directions or just wave as they drive by.”
“We usually start looking for a place to spend the night around 5 or 6 in the evening. We pitch our tent in a park or in someone’s back yard,” said Glenwright. “We’ve only had one person turn us down, so far,” they laughed.
This tour is a first for them, admits Mondor. “We have no prior experience touring. We just like to cycle and wanted to get away for the winter. It’s really cold in Manitoba this time of year.”
The women agreed that it has been a beautiful experience traveling slowly; there is so much more to see when you’re not driving fast.
“We tell ourselves that we don’t need a car to travel,” said Mondor. “We are not harming anyone by polluting the air with fossil fuels.”
Although, the women have had their share of flat tires and other obstacles, they are enjoying themselves immensely and are well prepared for their travels. They carry patch kits and materials for small repairs, as well as maintaining their bicycles at bike shops along the way.
“It is very important to have your bicycle in good, functioning order every day,” said Mondor.
In addition, the women carry a tiny, collapsible gas stove, on which they do all their own cooking, food, a tent, sleeping bags and mattresses, plenty of warm clothes, and books, weighing just under 40 pounds on each bike.
“It is amazing how little you need to be really self-sufficient,” revealed Mondor. “A lot of the stuff you think you need to survive, you really don’t need at all.”
Back home in Manitoba, Danielle is a small farmer, growing vegetables and waitresses occasionally. Her companion, Sheri, is a yoga instructor and also works with a beekeeper. The ladies said that their families have been very supportive, although their mothers are admittedly worried, said Glenwright.
When asked if they had plans for other tours, they said they might be interested in going a different route, possibly east to west across Canada, however there are no set plans at this time.