Our Grand Beach Prov Park Group Ride & BBQ yesterday (26 Mar 2017) was Oh So Sweet!
Our large group of guys and gals took advantage of the last remaining snow covered trails (mostly … except for some puddles, icy and mud … other than that perfect)! 😉
We rode, chatted, laughed and then returned to the Ski Huts at the parking lot and BBQ’d up a Potluck Smorgasbord! Great times indeed! 🙂
Lucky for us, Gregory ‘G-Mac’ McNeill joined us to ride and take tons of pictures … which is AWESOME! Thanks again G-Mac for snapping, processing and sharing.
Check out G-Mac’s GBPP FB BBQ Flickr Album and here are some beauties below:
Here it is folks, probably our last chance to gather the Fat Bike Manitoba ‘Herd’ for a group ride on what remains of the groomed winter ski trails at Grand Beach Provincial Park. Btw, we have access because grooming has stopped for the season, but some skiers may still be on the trails. We have ridden there in past years at the end of March with similar weather conditions and had a great time (even when it was a bit soft snow or icy conditions).
Our chat at Birch indicated this Sunday works for a bunch of us.
So, giddy up Fatties – who’s in?
WHO: Anyone with a Fat Bike. Minimum 3.8 inch tires. Maximum 10lbs of air pressure. Be prepared to reduce tire pressure to maintain float.
WHAT: Fat Bike Group Ride and Potluck BBQ
WHEN: Sunday, 26 March 2017. Meet: 10:00 AM to start riding at 10:15 AM and finish 11:30 to 12:00 (then BBQ)
WHERE: The Grand Beach X-Ctry Ski Trails Parking/Trail Head on the East side of the park (see Map link below)
POTLUCK BBQ: We can use the warming shacks and potbelly stoves to cook fireside food, smokies/bacon/scallops,potatoes etc in frying pans (bring one) and/or bring a portable stove.
Bring some food and drink share. There are a couple picnic tables, but a few lawn chairs would be handy.
PARK PASS is needed!
Well conditions have been mild for a fair while now in Manitoba and most all of the snowpack on Lake Winnipeg is gone. But that didn’t stop Jeff Badger (long time organizer of the Polar Bear Run/Bike annual event from not only organize but also ride across himself. It was in fact a very ‘Icy Treat’, but Jeff and few other fatbikers made a go of it and survived to share the images. Good adventure fun!
Having fun again … we raced our fatbikes on the sweet flowing trails at Birch in the beautiful Pembina Valley … paused after the race to remember Alfred in silence and raised our glasses in his honour … then raised more glasses and enjoyed the spice of life!
Thanks Gregory ‘G-Mac’ McNeill for this great picture and all your support bud!
Here’s G-Mac in action as viewed from my GoPro:
Birch Fatbike Race was awesome today! Excellent flow, well groomed and yes, steep trails; along with great folks and good fun times! Thanks Wayne Bishop, 2WR and all the volunteers for making it a success … just what we all needed after a week plus of sadness after the tragic loss of our friend Alfred.
My heart is still hurts, but my lungs and legs feel better and my soul is uplifted! Thank you all for being such a great fatbiking community and terrific people!
Today many of us were able to take part in MCpl Alfred Barr’s Memorial Service at 17 Wing Winnipeg Air Base, to share our sorrow with Alfred’s family, his fiance Steffi Hempel and her family, his many close friends, his 435 Squadron mates, members of SAR Tech Course 49 (the course he graduated with June 2016), members of 1 RCHA (his former unit), members of the greater Canadian Armed Forces, the greater SAR community, and most personally with a group of us fatbikers who rode to the service.
We fatbikers were there to show our respects and share our stories of how much Alfred was a valued member of our Manitoba Fat Biking community, who had touched our lives in many wonderful personal ways. He was such a wonderful young man, who always made rides and adventures more fun, who lifted others up and made us smile … as he always was himself!
I was honoured to speak on behalf of our fatbiking community to express my and our communities’ memories of Alfred.
Today more than 20 fatbikers and friends of Alfred Barr gathered at my home and we rode to the Forks and back to my home again to Honour Alfred, pay Tribute to his many wonderful qualities and join in mourning his tragic loss!
I give thanks to all of you who joined me on this ride and an special thanks to Robert Paige of Xtreme Sports Medics who met us at several points in the ride with refreshments served from his Medic Ambulance.
These Badges are Special:
LEFT – is mine from my flight suit when I flew C-130 Hercules aircraft and was a Pilot on 435 Squadron based in Winnipeg flying Search and Rescue missions for over eight years.
CENTER – a badge made in Honour of Alfred by his SAR Tech Training Course Mates
RIGHT – Alfred gave me one of his SAR Tech Course 49 badges when he first arrived back in Winnipeg after he graduated and was assigned to 435 Sqn. I recall giving him a big high-five and he gave me a big hug in return!
This Picture Collage was made for me by the RCAF Graphic Designer at 1 Cdn Air Division HQ at 17 Wing Air Base in Winnipeg – much appreciated:
I am in SHOCK and SADNESS to hear of the tragic death of my good friend Alfred Barr and member of the RCAF SAR ‘Team’ who was actively training today as a Search and Rescue Technician at 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron (my former squadron) based at 17 Wing Winnipeg!
There are many positive things I could say right now about this wonderful young man that I know as a fellow fatbiking and adventure friend, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his fiancee Steffi, his and her families, his friends and squadron mates … but as a former member of the RCAF SAR Team I reflect on the motto that he and his fellow SAR Techs adhere to and are committed to: “These Things We Do So That Others May Live”! https://www.facebook.com/…/rpp.61263506…/10154191884061237/…
NEWS RELEASE: Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue Technician dies in training accident
A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Search and Rescue Technician (SAR Tech) based at 17 Wing Winnipeg died in an accident during training near Yorkton, Saskatchewan on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
Master-Corporal Alfred Barr was a member of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The RCAF’s Directorate of Flight Safety will be investigating the accident and no further information will be released about the incident while that is ongoing.
Colonel Andy Cook, 17 Wing Winnipeg Commander:
“On behalf of all 17 Wing Winnipeg and the entire RCAF, I would like to express my condolences to Master-Corporal Alfred Barr’s family, friends and fellow service members. Master-Corporal Barr was a valuable member of 435 Squadron’s Search and Rescue team, and he will be deeply missed.”
Alfred Barr – together with our Fatbike group on Lake Winnipeg just 10 days ago …
My friend and fellow fatbiking adventurer Alfred Barr riding just before sunset as we and ten other members of our “Fattie-Not So Frozen-Dozen” ride back to the middle of Lake Winnipeg on 25 Feb 2017 to camp-over on a -25C night … yes we stayed warm, had a blast and Alfred revelled in it all!
We will miss him in all our future adventures! We will miss his genuinely true character, his zest for life and adventure and his caring for all those he interacted with.
These qualities lead him to strive after and succeed in becoming an operational RCAF SAR Technician with 435 T&R Squadron at 17 Wing Winnipeg Air Base. It was during a routine SAR training parachute jump that he died – in the service of being ready to take risks to save other’s lives.
We, his fatbiking and adventure friends will miss him greatly, but his fiancée Steffi, his and her families, his many other friends, his squadron mates, members of the RCAF, CAF and Canada will of course miss and mourn his passing in different and no doubt more heartbreaking ways!
Thank you Gregory McNeill for this and many other beautiful pictures you have taken of us adventuring over these many years! It helps to clearly recall the good times we had together!
This beautiful picture of our “Fattie – Not So Frozen – Dozen” enjoying some bonfire time at our campsite on Lake Winnipeg last weekend is courtesy of our very own fatbiker friend and photographer extraordinaire Gregory ‘G-Mac’ McNeill.