The land changes completely as soon as I pass into Manitoba, smoothing and leveling. The trees become round and leafy, the jagged woods turn into farms and golf courses, cars multiply and the highway becomes two lanes in both directions. We’re feeding into Winnipeg, a city of 800,000.
The fields in Manitoba are yellow. I don’t know what the crop is, but it’s a brilliant, luminous yellow lying in great panels across the earth, a vast colorful monoculture.
I have a decision to make. There’s a BMW service place in Winnipeg, so if I want a professional to get my electrical system working, this might be my last chance in a long while. It would be great to have this resolved.
But it’s a beautiful day, and the bike sounds great, so I put all my chips on fuck it and keep riding. Whether it’s actually fixing the problem or just settling on a charging schedule that works, I have the tools, it’s time to stop whining and make my systems work.
Route 16 northwest from Winnipeg is a beautiful prairie highway, flat and smooth across the farmland and with no one else on it. As the day grows late, the yellow from the fields starts to bleed out into the grass, the trees, the road. Everything becomes golden. The sky swells and grows deeper, and the clouds build palaces, peninsulas, ranges.
The day before I’d been fighting the wind all day, but now, with a light tail wind, I go faster and faster, skimming over the pavement. The bike runs smooth and true, no wobbles or shakes. I am a jet-age spider hurtling down a perfect strand of silk. Not only is my battery charged and electrons, for the moment, dance around me doing exactly what they should, but my soul is on fire. I could go full Ghost Rider at any moment.
500 miles today. Tomorrow I’ll ride for Saskatoon.
I fall like a dagger of light across Manitoba, plunging toward the sun.