Throughout this trip I’ve been keeping in touch with Eman from MTS. Eman is a Community Investment Specialist and has being faithfully reading my blog every day. Today he set up an interview with me for a local MTS Allstream publication called The Source. Eman is a blogger himself and he really appreciated the challenges of maintaining current, up-to-date and original content. He sent me some of the questions beforehand and they weren’t easy to answer. Eman has been keeping in touch with me daily anticipating when I would reach Winnipeg. He’s a real fireball and he’s a good catch for MTS. (PS – Eman, I opened a fortune cookie at lunch and it said “Good things come in small packages ;-)”.
After the interview I met with Kelvin Shepherd, the president of MTS. I was really impressed that Kelvin found the time to meet with me, I mean, he is the president of MTS! We spoke about my experiences so far, the small towns in Saskatchewan (Kelvin is originally from SaskTel), and he gave me much appreciated advice on the road ahead.
Just hang’n out with MTS president Kelvin Shepherd
MTS is a great company and I really like working with the people there. They have a very special culture and are really proud of the what they’ve built, and for good reason.
Last night I attended a retirement party for Gord Keith. He really appreciated that I came out out but he needn’t have. When I found out that I happened to arrive on the day of his retirement party I was thrilled to be invited. Gord’s many stories of time spent working with the folks at MTS and Allstream were a hoot. I was amazed by his story of falling through the ice wearing heavy equipment and as a result his boss being peeved at him making them late for their next install. I don’t think there was a single person he neglected to thank! I wish him the best in his retirement.
On the way to Gord’s retirement party I crossed the Red River and passed through St. Boniface, the second largest French speaking population in Canada. It’s a completely different part of Winnipeg and very interesting. The ruin of la Cathédrale de St-Boniface is spectacular and took me completely be surprise. I can just envision how beautiful it was before the fire destroyed it in 1968.
la Cathédrale de St-Boniface (Source: Wikipedia)
I made a trip to Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC), the second best company in the world, to restock on supplies. Also my cycling gloves went mysteriously missing. I spoke to Jerod in the cycling area about different routes to Thunder Bay. I’ve been debating taking the Trans-Canada or a southern route that takes a short stint through the United States. He was very familiar with the southern route and I’ve settled on that. Besides, what would a cross-Canada cycling trip be without the time-honoured Canadian past time of crossing the US border for a pack of smokes (sans the smokes).
If you’ve been reading my blog you probably know by now that I like my beer, especially locally brewed beer. I faithfully Googled the place to go to in Winnipeg for beer and the King’s Head came up on top with 30 beers on tap.
Enjoying a locally brewed beer at the King’s Head.
The other thing I wanted to try while in Winnipeg is Bison. Bison is heavily promoted in Manitoba and there are many bison farms. It’s a very lean meat and purported to be more heathy than beef. Apologies in advance to the vegans, but I’m a carnivore and always will be.
By the way, don’t mix up bison with buffalo. Bison in America resembled the buffalo of the old world (Asia and Africa) so much that explorers also called them buffalo. Actually, the word buffalo is believed to have been used by English settlers. But let’s just call them bison from now on, shall we? (note 1)
I asked the folks at King’s Head where they might serve good bison and they told me to check next door at the Peasant Cookery. At the Peasant Cookery it wasn’t long before I was surrounded by four waiters/hostesses trying to find out for me where the best bison was. It seems that not that many restaurants actually serve bison. But the attentiveness of the staff at the Peasant convinced me that the heck with bison, I need go no further than the Peasant Cookery!
The Peasant Cookery feels like Europe
The next 90 minutes turned out to be one of the most exquisite meals I’ve ever had. I started with steak tartare which is a family favourite. You need to make sure the tartar is freshly ground, and the waiter explained that their tartar was hand chopped. It was amazing.
Next came the beef bourguignon. I never thought anything could taste so good. So tender I didn’t need to use my knife. Moreover the waiter recognizing my taste for unique dishes brought a sampling of camel curried sausage which melted in my mouth. Topped off with Pinot Nior it was truly a meal to remember. Sorry bison, I guess you’ll have to wait until next time.
As I was enjoying my meal I watched in amusement as a driver tried to parallel park a car in a spot that was clearly too small. The owners of the both vehicles rushed out to educate the driver on physics.
There’s no way that car’s going to fit. But he tried anyway…
I’ve been to Winnipeg many times on business and never before experienced the culture and sophistication of the various neighborhoods. It’s definitely a city to return to.
I don’t know what this is but it’s cool
I love the architecture of these buildings
Don’t forget that I am raising money for the United Way of Toronto. I’m still a long ways off from my goal of $1 for every kilometre cycled, or $4500.
The United Way is about helping others in our community to have a better life. I hope that my journey will serve as inspiration for others, that if you sent your goals big and overcome challenges you can do great things. The United Way gives people in our community the support they need to overcome their challenges.
Please consider making a donation here. FYI, all the donations are collected through an organization called CanadaHelps through a feature called GivingPages, which enables people to raise money online for the charities they support, such as the United Way of Toronto.
Note 1 – that reminds me that someone told me Savona is pronounced Sa-va-na and not Sa-vone-a. I think if they pronounced it Sa-vone-a (like Sanoma) they would get 22.3% more visitors each year, but only if they got rid of the mining equipment graveyard (just say’in).