All posts by gregorycharlesmcneill

Sunday Afternoon Rides with Olympia Cycle

Last Sunday we met at Whittier at 1 p.m. for a combo skills ride/regular bike ride with Adrian Alphonso leading. We traversed South through the trails around the Seine River, East along Fermour trails – stopped for some jumps in Papoose Park, then kept going West to the St. Vital Bridge, and then North through the Churchhill drive trails back to Whittier. Stay tuned for more postings about rides in your community. olympicacycle.com

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Thursday Night Fatbike Rides from Woodcock Cycle Shop at 6:30

Everyone had a great ride last Thursday night! We left the Woodcock shop at about 7 p.m. (after showing up for 6:30), rode North shadowing the Seine (because the river is not frozen yet), through Whittier heading East, over Esplande Riel, to the Forks, then back south on the East side of the Red River to the St. Vital Bridge, and back to the shop on St. Mary’s. Check with Woodcock Cycle, but there should be consistent rides every Thursday leaving the Shop at 6:30, with varying routes. woodcockcycle.com

Ice Cold Adventures

Photos from our fellow American Fellow Fatty, Bradley D Paul, when he visited Winnipeg last spring. He loved riding and exploring out in our vast cold wilderness 🙂 (all photos courtesy Bradley D. Paul) 

Satellite image of Lake Winnipeg - courtesy Bradley D. Paul. Bradley is a physicist who works on imaging for Google Earth.
Satellite image of Lake Winnipeg – courtesy Bradley D. Paul. Bradley is a physicist who works on imaging for Google Earth.
Bradley D. Paul and Gregory C. McNeill, hanging out on the bridge!
Bradley D. Paul and Gregory C. McNeill, hanging out on the bridge!
Bradley D. Paul and his pulk, just about to embark on the overnight trip organized by Fatbikemanitoba!
Bradley D. Paul and his pulk, just about to embark on the overnight trip organized by Fatbikemanitoba!
Bradley D. Paul and Tom Kolesnik posing for a truely ‘Winnipeg’ picture – in front of the ruins of the St. Boniface Catholic church and the grave site of Louis Riel.
Bradley D. Paul posing in Gimli during one of our course recces.
Bradley D. Paul posing in Gimli during one of our course recces.
Bradley D. Paul's Ice Cream Truck and pulk crossing the ice and at a fissure.
Bradley D. Paul’s Ice Cream Truck and pulk crossing the ice and at a fissure.

You get what you give

Over the last few years, Wayne Bishop has worked hard to bring to the community a club that instills the ideology ‘Give Love – Get Love’.

All of the monies generated from Two Wheel Revolution (2WRVLTN) through sales of hats, mugs, shirts, memberships and race registrations get put back into developing new course venues and events.

Wayne has gathered like-minded individuals into his club and is constantly recruiting locals to join. The members are doing it because they love what they do, and people who love what they do are willing to sacrifice. This allows 2WR to lean towards being inclusive with the community, rather than exclusive.

With all of the volunteer power and the non-profit approach to capital, 2WR can give lower entry fees for racers, again expanding the possible number of people who will be able to try out a race. This also results in more spectators with family and friends coming out to cheer.

Even Wayne’s beautiful wife Kim and their two sons, Ryder and Chase, work hard in their free time to keep the machine running. Ryder, who is eleven, has the awesome responsibility of being the club’s secretary.

“Being secretary, there is always some challenges but nothing that can’t be done.” says a positive Ryder. “Sometimes tasks are frustrating but I overcome it and try to get the task done. I really enjoy what I do and it is fun to open up my laptop and have a surprise in my inbox. Every day is enjoyable, even with challenges.”

Well get ready because 2WRVLTN has a good show happening on Sunday January 15th, at Falcon Ridge in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.

Veteran Provincial racer Ken Stojak rode the course last weekend, and was very impressed. “The Falcon Ridge Trail has it all and more.  There are climbs, single track sections, downhills, switchbacks, all with out of this world scenery. There are epic views with the ‘On Top of the World’ loop and when crossing the lakes.”

Another long-time sportsman who has raced inline-speed-skating locally for decades is Greg Carrigan. He was out with Stojak and Paul Lapointe doing a pre-ride last weekend and this is what he had to say, “There is something of everything for everybody. Plus there are real nice people running the Chalet and a good burger! I believe if new fatbikers are doing the 10 km after the first tough climb (where they will learn how awesome a fatbike climbs (with the correct tire pressure), they will have a blast!”

Bishop finishes with describing the course, “The course is a 10km loop comprised of a complimentary mix of wide open coastline lake ski trails, tight single track with amazing views and some flowy Fatbike groomed trails that descend back to the chalet!”

“The day will start with a racer check in and tire pressure verification. Some schmoozing and a race start at 11:30 with 5 minutes between classes.” he adds. “Spectators can experience the resort, tubing, live music and all things falcon. Racers will get a meal and beverage, trophies and some Prizing for special efforts, sportsmanship and just general awesomeness! Ideally the outcome from this race is to promote Fat Bikes in MB parks and at Venues with the purpose of creating opportunities for future riding locations!”

https://squareup.com/store/2-wheel-revolution

Fatbikes For The Win FFTW

Greg Carrigan was showing us how it’s done at BHP

It was a great Saturday to be at the Bur Oak Trails at Bird’s Hill Park. There were almost 10 fatbike riders out there, navigating the soft snow freely given to us by Mother Nature over the last week.

Mike Vandale from the Woodcock Cycle Club loved it! “ (it was) The perfect day not too warm! (the) Trail was a little soft but it will be awesome once it sets up.”

The soft conditions had the riders dial in their pressures once on the course. It is easy to deflate in the cold, rather than inflate, so deflating a higher pressure is the norm out on these winter rides.

“I think most of us were running 4 or 5 psi.” states Mike.

Many local people were out there today, including Greg Carrigan, Gilles Paquette, Steve H., Tim Woodcock, Mark Kleinholz,  Jon Letkemann and finally Mike Vandale. Tim even convinced a few snowshoers to ‘come to the dark side’ and try out some fatbikes to see how they are. These park adventurers looked interested and seemed to want what us fatbikers already have – fun!

Today’s ride on groomed trails could not have happened without the steady work of Pete Romeo and others like John M. (who was snowshoeing today – packing the trail). Many thanks goes out to these people.

And for those who cannot make it out to BHP (Bird’s Hill Park), there will be a weekday ride this Thursday starting at Woodcock Cycle on St. Mary’s. Vandale finishes with, “The Thurs night ride starts at WCW 6 PM, usually head straight for the Seine River. (it) Sounds like we’re going to head south on the Seine this coming Thursday.”

Contact Woodcock Cycle for more details.

Fatbikes For The Win FFTW

The Day After

Local outdoorsman Allan Gilleshammer joined me in an early ride around Winnipeg’s downtown and Forks area Wednesday morning – helping push vehicles out of the snow while we were on our way.

“The winter won’t be around very long, and before you know it, Winnipeg’s frozen beauty will be gone” said Allan. “I like riding my fatbike. It’s invigorating, and the scenery is spectacular.”

Allan wished he had more time to enjoy the outdoors, whether running, snowshoeing, skijoring, or riding his bikes, but he says he is grateful that he could get out at least one fantastic morning.

Tuesday was a miniature ‘snowapocalypse’ in the southern Manitoba area, and as of Wednesday morning there still were many vehicles stuck and even more that will be trapped in snow for many days.

Fatbike For The Win FFTW

 

The right people

One year is all it took.

Wayne Bishop and his 2 Wheel Revolution have done many things in the past and been involved in many different types of racing, from mountain bike racing to scramble motor cross and fatbike racing.

One year ago, a few local fatbikers got together for a ride at the Grand Beach Trails. Bishop’s name came up, and a few of us had good things to say about him. ‘He is a good man’ was the common theme. The group then decided to support him as best they could from then on.

Today, many local racers and enthusiasts appeared at Bird’s Hill Park’s Bur Oak trails, to pack down the trails with snowshoes, as per Bishop’s request. Sunday, 8:30 a.m., ‘be there’ – was understood.

After the snowshoe people (snowshoers) did their ‘thing’, more fatbikers appeared, to do their part and ride the trail, further packing the snow down as per Bishop’s request. Some of the snowshoers had family commitment and other commitments for the afternoon, so the torch was passed on to the cyclists.

Wayne thanked those he could today, but it is we in the community who thank him. Without him, this would never have happened.

A lot can happen in one year. You just need the right people. 🙂

Sunday afternoon rides at BHP

During the summer, whether they be trail runners, hikers, or dog walkers, local people enjoy the Bur Oak trails at Bird’s Hill Park.

Last Sunday was no different, with a friendly invitation sent out via Social Media for fatbikers to meet-up at 1 p.m., and take it from there.

I was there, Pete appeared after seeing my car, and we just started riding the trails and talking. Nice easy pace, talking about everything. With fatbiking, you can go as fast or as slow as you wish, and it’s so quiet in the wilderness that you can have a conversation with someone even if they are in front or behind you.

Dave from Stony Mountain appeared, proudly riding his new Rocky sportin 4.8 tires, and the three of us continued around the course.

There was light snow cover, so the large tree roots were still exposed in some areas, and these can be slippery and tricky to go over. I just prepared myself to put a foot down and took my time. No rush out there. I still wiped out a few times.

The trail is getting better groomed with the fatbikers. We met one trail runner, who was friendly and helped us take some pictures of some newcomers to Bird’s Hill Park (BHP). Igor and his friend were curious about what we do, and I let him ride my bike – I think he’s hooked.

One lap down, and Steve H. and Dave Bartel appeared back at the parking lot. Steve was using 5 p.s.i. front and rear on his CAAD with 4.8s, and he had no problems with the roots. Dave was happy he finally got to ride his new Salsa in the snow!

10-15 cm of snow is predicted for the next few days, but this will benefit the trail. Wednesday night’s 6:30 ride will be interesting with all of the snow – the fast people will be forced to slow down for a bit 🙂

The three main organizers to look for tomorrow during Global Fatbike Day

Fast riders need apply

Last night there was an invite from Wayne Bishop at 2 Wheel Revolution for people to go ride with him in the evening at the Bur Oak trails in Bird’s Hill Park. There was light snow on the ground and it is assumed that it would be fat tires only, but there was no requirement. 4 of us attended, all riding fatbikes with tires from 3.8 to 4.8 inches, 2 Specialized Fatboys (1 carbon), 1 Trek Farley 27.5 (carbon) and 1 Salsa Blackborow (mine).

The trails were relatively hard packed, with some loose ‘corn’ granular snow in the berms and some small areas of water and no snow cover. There was an overcast and there was almost no light at all, so strong front lamps were mandatory.

I tried to stick with the elite riders, but after a few kms I just waved Pat Burr by so he can join his fast friends at the front. It is a closed loop course so riding by myself was not a problem for I just followed the tracks made by the other three, and I could follow their lights for the majority of the time. It was very peaceful and I rode at my own pace. If I got lost, I know they would not leave me out there. Mark Seel, maybe, but not me. 😀

We were out there for 1.5 hours, and left close to 8:30 p.m. Be sure to be dressed before you go so you don’t get heckled by your friends and given an ultimatum of not being invited anymore!

Wayne has informed me that there will be an effort to have Wednesday night rides at Bur Oak at 6:30 from now on led by 2 Wheel Revolution. Of course situations and conditions may not permit these events from being continuous, but there will be effort made so local people can come out and experience the beautiful peaceful park at night. If you want to ride with the leaders, pack light and leave all of your extra gear in your vehicle – these people don’t screw around 🙂

the Local St. Norbert Trails did not disappoint

If you live in the Winnipeg and surrounding Manitoba area and have the means to get to ride the St. Norbert trails, I hope this post will encourage you if you haven’t done so before. Selflessly maintained by local MTB racer Kevin Braun and friends, the combination of intense serpentine singletrack and off camber ungroomed riverside trails provided the Fatbike Manitoba “Masters of Mud and Snow” a great training area for the skills building clinic last Sunday. Along with local Fat Levels rider Liam Mohan, a special appearance by 2 Wheel Revolution’s David Hamm completed the ride. Local Monster Truck Builder and fatbike rider, Richard L’Heureux, led us through some spectacular scenery. What a great day to spend the afternoon 🙂

Another fantastic Sunday!

Liam and ALine Alphonso held another great day of skills development last Sunday. Riders met at the Forks and rode up the Churchill drive trails learning how to tackle steep climbs and general riding through wooded areas. Some of the group went home and others continued back to the Forks via the trails by the Seine River and Whittier Park. Next week’s training will take place at the excellent St. Norbert trails, selflessly maintained by Kevin Braun and friends.

Check the rest of my pictures on flickr:  HERE

A nice Sunday afternoon ride with Good People :)

Adrian Alphonso took today’s Nov 13th Fatbike Free Clinic riders through skill building techniques and shared his lifetime of experience of riding safely and correctly. Adrian, Tom Kolesnik, and Wayne Bishop from Two Wheel Revolution were on hand to talk about coming events this winter and how we can participate and support the local Fatbike scene here in Manitoba. It was a glorious day weather wise, and the trails in Whittier Park did not disappoint this large crew. Many happy faces out there 🙂

A Dozen or So gettin ready for Winter

8-1-of-1Fatbike Manitoba’s Tom Kolesnik and Jason Carter organized a Sunday afternoon skills education seminar with local trials riders Liam Mohan and Adrian Alphonso. Liam and Adrian took us through skill developing assignments involving handling the bikes at low speeds, trackstands and balance drills, how to safely dismount from obstacles when things go wrong, and other confidence inspiring tasks including tackling large drop offs. The event was free, and was a great way to spend the afternoon and meet some new local people interesting in riding the local trails this winter. To top off the day we stopped for a cafe by Assiniboine Forest.