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Day 6: Thursday 19 July, 2018

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Catch up on Wednesday's stats:
Wednesday distance = 409.4 km / 254.4 miles
Cumulative distance = 2,158.3 km / 1,341.2 miles
Moving time: 17 hours 16 minutes
Total time: 18 hours 23 minutes
 
I've noticed a mood change overnight. On Wednesday, Reid seemed to be in a relatively good headspace, interacting with the crew at stops and either feeling better, or simply getting better at masking the pain. In his 'end of day' video, he didn't look as shattered. (Sorry for the delay in uploading these, we don't always have internet reception at our rest stops).
 
The sleep time was shortened to 3.5 hours overnight. The first 75km this morning was quick and efficient. We waited at the inital meet point, but he just slowed down and said "iced coffee and banana in 5 km please". Knowing what he needed, we were able to race ahead and have this ready at the side of the road to let him consume and keep going.
 
The most encouraging part of the day was for Reid to meet Arvid on the outskirts of Winnipeg. Arvid Loewen holds the current Guinness World Record (13 days, 6 hours, 13 minutes) and has been wonderfully supportive and encouraging of Reid and his mission. It was a special moment to see them meet and chat. It was also the biggest smile we've seen on Reid's face for a couple of days (maybe Hedgy's jokes need work).
 
Arvid and Ruth came with Paul, Janette and their three sons. They also brought gifts for the group in the form of freshly baked choc chip cookies :-) Thanks for your support, guys! It was a unique honor to have Arvid sign the witness book and log book that are supporting documents for the Guinness World Record submission.
 
Not long after this, we arrved in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Compared to the open highways, city navigation has it's challenges. With less room to pull over, multiple traffic lights, navigation points, parked cars, and pedestrians it is a 3 person job. For Winnipeg, Mike was driving, Dan was navigating and I was in the back, looking out the rear window to keep Reid in view. "Confirming, I have a visual... Go go go, he's on your tail." It feels a bit like a low-speed car chase.
 
Around midday we saw the sign for the longitudinal centre of Canada. It's not the technical midpoint of this Guinness World Record attempt, but it was a cool milestone to see. Then at 5:30pm, we crossed the border into Ontario. This is now our 5th province en-route. The scenery has changed, we are off the praries and coming into the lakes and forest area. In the afternoon, there was a large storm front just behind us, heading east. It was creating a tailwind (yipee!!) and moving just a bit slower than Reid's riding pace. Reid just waved the support vehicle on at each stop, "gotta keep goin".
 
The rain did catch up to us, and it bucketed down pretty hard, but then further along, the road would be dry. This contined off and on until dinner time.
 
Tonight, we didn't eat in a carpark, instead we had a beautiful spot on the edge of a pristine lake - this is living!
 
After dinner, Reid got flat #4 (bummer), and then due to the darkness, we agreed that the van would take the shoulder and roll behind Reid, with lights and flashing beacon on. This provides:
- added protection for Reid, with our larger visibility
- ability to light up the road ahead, so he can judge the terrain (through rolling hills)
- we're close by if he needs anything (food, water, mechanical).
 
The one disadvantage is the toll it takes on the driver and lookout. It requires 100% concentration and awareness of all that's going on around you. We had to take it in 10km stretches, just to keep the drivers fresh. I also resorted to making an iced coffee from Reid's supplies, for myself. Whoops.
 
Day 6 finished in the Walmart carpark of Dryden around 1:30am, with a total day distance of 503.8 km (312 miles).
 
This blog post is going up Friday morning (Canada time). The sleep time was cut again, to just 3 hours overnight. The order is in for a strong iced coffe at the first stop of the day.
 
Reid should be crossing the 50% distance point today (Friday). It would be so encouraging to see the donations keep pace. What are YOU up this weekend? Is there something that you can go without, some luxury, a trip to the movies, dinner out, that extra coffee/beer, meat pie at the footy, eggs benedict after your Saturday cycle, etc. Find those savings and jump on over to the donation page. We'll give you an update on Monday.
 
Enjoy 'dot-watching' over the weekend :-)
 
Cheers,
Nat.