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Day 57

We woke up this morning, fully rested, in the motel room. We got all our gear together, and hit the road sometime between 8:30 and 9am. We were pleased to see the weather turned around a full 180 from yesterday! It was a bit chilly, but other than that it was nice! The wind (although not ideal) was pretty good, the sun was shining, it was a nice day! We were flying, until we heard a noise. It sounded like Michael ran over a rock in a way that sent it flying, or maybe even gave him a flat. At this point we were only like 15km out of town. Michael stopped, and I figured it must have been a flat. Turns out I was wrong. He said after the sound, he thought it was a rock as well until he heard/felt "thump thump thump." His rim broke (the metal actually split and was jutting out!). It was gone! We had no other option but to hitch hike to Thunder Bay (Dryden didn't have a bike shop. The closest was in Thunder Bay). My bike was fine, so technically I could have kept cycling while Michael hitched, but it really wasn't safe (or at least I didn't feel safe doing that. I know there are a lot of people who tour on their own, and a lot of women do as well, but I would rather not). It's safer to hitch hike in pairs, and it's much safer to cycle in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (there was NOTHING between Dryden and Thunder Bay) for two days with two people than on my own! So, while Michael was checking out his bike, I stuck my thumb out. A bunch of cars passed us by without stopping (obviously! We were hitchhiking, which can be sketchy as it is, but we also had 2 bikes loaded with gear! We would need a pickup truck or van or truck to realistically pick us up!). Before we got a ride, a cop car drove by without stopping. We were really surprised. We were far from anything, and CLEARLY were in some sort of trouble since we had BIKES and were trying to hitchhike (clearly there was something wrong with our transportation!). The cops didn't stop at all to make sure we were alright, maybe give us a taxi contact or SOMETHING. Not cool OPP! But we were picked up in the end by a really nice trucker! He was so nice to us and drove us all the way to Thunder Bay! It was only part way out that we found out he was a member of a Hell's Angels. At first it weirded us out, but he was so nice, and after dropping us off, he shook our hands and wished us all the best! We asked around and finally got directions to the nearest bike shop. Michael insisted we try and cycle because it's much quicker than walking. That didn't last long. We hard a loud pop, and his tire came off, and the inner tube was gone! So, we walked down to "Rolling Thunder." It was such a good bike shop! The three guys working there were very knowledgeable, very friendly, and didn't charge for anything that didn't need fixing (they quickly looked at and fixed up my bike and didn't charge me!). And they did a really good job! We bought everything we needed for the next leg of the journey (new chain, new tubes, new wheel for Michael, etc) except a new tire for me because they were out of stock of my sized tire! So I had to go to cyclepath. Cyclepath was also good, but not as good as Rolling Thunder. If anyone is touring and passing through Thunder Bay, I highly recommend that shop! But after finishing our errands, Michael called Dave (Steve's brother). When we were in Beausejour, Steve said to give his brother a call. We felt it would be imposing to call and ask if we could crash there, but since he does live in Thunder Bay, we figured he would be able to recommend somewhere. Turns out he offered us his garage, which was amazing! We didn't care where we crashed really! Before heading to his place, we went for dinner at Mad House, a place recommended by the guys working at Rolling Thunder. We ordered the burger (as was recommended). It was REALLY packed (esp for a monday night!), but the burger was really good! It took a while though because it was so busy, but we finally made it over to Dave's. We had this image of pitching our tent next to his parked car in his garage, but turns out, he had the most amazing, ideal-man garage! In the front was a lounge area (with a TV and beer fridge of course, and a bunch of really cool decor (ie. retro coke posters and products)), and in the back was a workshop. It was better than we could have imagined! Dave and his wife Cindy were lovely! They were both so nice (they let us shower and do laundry, and put us up last minute!). And Steve and Dave's dad was there as well, and he was so nice and funny ( a really good way! He was such a cute man!). But it was a really fun night and we had an amazing rest!