Getting a well-rounded story ‘across’ to the media with details based on facts is not easy and so I say ‘Bravo’ to Wayne Bishop from 2 Wheel Revolution for taking the plunge and interviewing with CBC recently about the process of getting GROOMED WINTER FATBIKE TRAILS in Manitoba Parks.
*Btw, CBC used lots of Gregory McNeill’s excellent pictures from a Fort Whyte photoshoot with Wayne and Adrian Alphonso.
Check out the CBC Article here:
*Btw, it is unfortunate that the CBC did not get a quote from someone at MB Parks or let’s say someone at Riding Mountain National Park, which now has designated and groomed (thanks to the ‘Dead-Ox Groomers) winter fatbike trails. Instead, they have a quote from someone at Windsor Park Nordic Center (a private ski location in Winnipeg) speaking of worry that fatbikers would “damage the trails” … hmmm, where to start in response to this ill-informed comment … well, let’s just say a quick Google search and one can quickly be educated to exactly the opposite.
Wide-soft tires + low tire pressure = floating on top of groomed skate ski or fatbike groomed trails = fun for everyone!
Check out this video from one of our weekend group fatbike rides at Grand Beach Provincial Park on groomed skate ski trails (which MB Parks gave us access to when they had stopped grooming in March) … notice how we float over the snow and can control our speeds (we have brakes).
Many of us have been involved with direct liaison, education, advocacy and coordination with Manitoba Parks over the last few years and while the process has been slow, they have recognized that fatbiking is growing rapidly in Manitoba (as it is in the rest of the world!) and that we should have access to some winter trails in Manitoba Parks.
That’s why most European XC ski locations are embracing fatbikes on their skate ski trails and welcoming the funds that the fatbikers bring with them (membership, shopping, eating, etc).
Now, even though basically all of Europe’s XC ski community has embraced fatbiking on skate ski groomed trails (I am going to Norway in January to race in the “Fat Viking 175”, which is all on joint ski/fatbike trails) …
The reality is that the situations vary from locale/city/province/state depending upon whether the place is private (money talks) or government (park, etc) and the mindset of the XC skiers in that area.
Check out what’s been going on at Cable, Wisconsin (home of the world famous ‘Birkie’ XC ski race), where winter groomed fatbiking trails are abounding (both specific and shared with XC skiers) and they have had a huge fatbike race there for the last four years … last year the Fat Bike Birkie had 1100 racers line up for the 24/48 KM race held right on the Birkebeiner Ski Trails. Btw, even after 1100 fatbikers racing on their skate ski trails, they were skiing later that day. 🙂
In the meantime and also to create ‘fatbike specific’ winter groomed trails, many places across North America and the world are getting into fatbike grooming using groomers like the “WildCat Groomer” made by a company in Wisconsin:
Here in Manitoba, there have been groomed fatbike trails out in ‘West-Man’ and RMNP thanks to the ‘Dead-Ox Trailblazers‘:
Hopefully, we can move forward with good, friendly and informative advocacy to establish access to groomed winter fatbike trails and support those who are making it happen … for starters – Wayne Bishop and 2 Wheel Revolution:
1. Consider making a “cost offset” donation to 2WR to support grooming costs
2. Consider being a 2WR supporter or member
3. Get out to one or all of the Manitoba Fatbike Race Series events and race or ‘take part as a rider’ and/or support.
4. Support your local bike shops and advocate through them for trail access.
5. Be friendly with everyone you meet on winter trails and yield to them all (you can steer and use brakes) 🙂