All posts by Tom Kolesnik

I'm just a guy who has a passion for producing videos that capture the adventure of all forms of cycling (especially fat biking) and other outdoor endurance pursuits. “If It Was Easy Everyone Would Do It” is often heard from those who enjoy meeting difficult challenges and persevering when others might not. This is what motivates me as an endurance junkie and videographer!

Round up and looking ahead

Fat Ian’s Post:

Phew.  The last week has been busy.  Last Wednesday was a well-attended info night for the Actif Epica bike challenge (here’s the record on twitter, and CycleChick reports here).  More than 35 people attended, and Ernie, Hal and Lindsay shared their thoughts on winter survival and biking.  The summary version would be: know your limits & be aware of what you are doing, test your equipment as much as you can, and ride your own ride/don’t give up too easily.  Mixed in there somewhere was Ernie’s advice: talk to others who are doing what you want to do. To that end, feel free to drop a comment on this (or other) posts, or on the ManitobaFatBike blog.

On the weekend there were lots of things going on.

FatDan, FatDallas and I went and did a 100km fatbike ride (gravel road ride) in Grand Forks.  If you think we don’t have much snow, you should see GF – they have none.  It was a hard day in the wind, but we *did* reach climax.

…And that was good for at least 20km of risque jokes.  Never mind that Dallas met the Mayor of Climax.  Whatever that means.

And then on Sunday we had the “applied” portion of the info session: 9 riders showed up for an easy-paced group ride.
Group-ride-300x224
We headed out west on the Harte Trail, and then, via a detour that Serge spotted, headed further west on Wilkes to loop around via Hall Rd and the Grand Trunk trail.  The detour involves turning left/south off of the Harte trail just at the edge of that clearing close to the perimeter (maybe 1km or so from the perimeter).  Serge’s trail “zigs” south and east until it “zags” west again close to Wilkes.  It’s a nice off-road section that adds some distance and variety.  And it saves you from having to cross the perimeter if you go under the Wilkes overpass (yay, safety!).

Other rides this weekend included Guy checking out the Seine north of Windsor Park Golf Course (rideable) and Hal and Dan (and Lindsay, separately) riding the LaSalle between LaBarriere and the town and LaSalle (also rideable).  These ride reports were as of Sunday afternoon.  Keep in mind things (like ice) change, so pay attention unless you want wet feet (or worse).

Meanwhile FatAl was down in Tuscobia riding 75 miles.  I know he finished, and that he may have inadvertently ridden a few extra miles, but we’ll wait for his full report.  For now we can only speculate that it was awesome and that he rocked it.

LOOKING AHEAD:

This Wednesday, there will be the usual group ride at Assiniboine Forest at 7 p.m.  Neither Hal nor I can make it, but hopefully some others can.

Christmas weekend/week after: it’d be great to get some rides in.  If you’re heading out, why not drop a comment and find some buddies to ride with.

New Year’s Eve/Day: Jon L., FatSteve and others have mused about riding the Epinette loop at Spruce Woods Provincial Park (40km loop, with 3? cabins with woodstoves, hilly, fun).  I personally can’t ride those days, but it sure sounds like a fun idea.  If you’re interested, leave a comment or start your own thread for a New Years Ride (see also comments on the post below this one).

See ya out there.

Greetings from the lonely fatbiker in Westman!

Fat Steve’s Post:

Hey all,

Thanks to FatIan, I’m now up and running on this blog!  Name’s Steve, I’m posted to CFB Shilo out here close to Brandon, and I’m LONELY!

I’ve got a couple of other guys who are just commuting right now, but nobody has shown any interest so far in doing any group rides.  I’m the only one out here in WESTMAN with a snow bike, as far as I know, so few people are willing to take their Mountain Bikes off-road in the winter.

Anyway, I’d be quite interested in knowing if there are any other fat-bikers out here in WESTMAN and getting together for some WESTMAN group rides.  I’d also be interested in getting together with the bulk of you on this site whom I’m assuming are mostly from Winnipeg and area?!

I’m off between 17 Dec and 9 Jan, so hopefully I can find some time to get together with some other fatbikers over the holidays.

Talk to you all soon.

PS. Ian, I won’t be able to make the briefing at Olympia tomorrow night.  I have to drive in friends to the Airport on Sunday, so likely won’t have any room for my bike to participate in the group ride that day.  At the very least though, perhaps we can meet up somewhere and have a coffee.  I don’t mind the odd beer, but I do have to drive back to Shilo.

Actif Epica group therapy session…

Fat Ian’s Post:

Have you stopped shaving (everywhere) in an effort to capture every joule of warmth leaving your body?

Do you know which grocery store’s plastic bags make the best vapour barrier socks? (I’m looking at you, Dan)

Come talk about your issues with people who understand you…

Actif Epica Info Session

Whether you’re planning to ride the Actif Epica bike challenge or even just considering it, you probably have some questions about how to prepare for it and what kind of gear you might need. We totally get that. We also know that meeting some possible training buddies can help too, so we’re having a little get together to go over things and answer questions. Then, a couple days later, we’re organizing a relaxed group ride to try it out.

Get together: Wednesday, December 14th – 7 to 9 p.m. at Olympia Cycle and Ski, 1813 Portage Avenue.

  • 7:00 – Introductions from Ian Hall, Actif Epica coordinator
  • 7:10 – Ernie Whelan* – Cold weather safety/survival
  • 7:40 – Hal Loewen – bike prep and clothing/gear advice
  • 8:00 – Lindsay Gauld – mental toughness and mental preparation
  • 8:15 – Q&A

*Ernie Whelan (Air Force Sergeant), is a former member of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron in Winnipeg andSearch and Rescue Technician (SAR Tech), who is now a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Instructor at theCanadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training (CFSSAT) at 17 Wing, Winnipeg.

You likely heard about him in local and national news last year during his ‘Gliding Thru Barriers’ winter skiing trek on Lake Winnipeg. Check out coverage of his trek HERE, HERE and HERE.

If you can’t make it in person, we’ll be tweeting the meeting (#ActifEpica) and taking questions from the virtual audience.

***For those who are keen, the Wednesday night fatbike ride (skinnies welcome) will leave from Olympia at 9 p.m.)***

And then:

Group ride: Sunday, December 18th – 9 a.m. at the Assiniboine Forest parking lot (meet at Grant Avenue at Chalfont Rd) for a 2-3 hour group ride. Experienced ride guides will lead the ride at an easy pace (we’ll go as fast as the slowest rider) that will head out the Harte Trail and tackle some open prairie sections.  This should be a good simulation of what one of the sections of Actif Epica will be like.

An Actif Epica teaser – Checkpoint #1:
Cabane1

Almost Wednesday

Fat Ian’s Post:

How about the usual meeting spot, then south through Assiniboine Park and west into Woodhaven/Sturgeon Creek area?  Other ideas?

And – for the following Wednesday (the 14th), since there will be an Actif Epica info night at Olympia, could we bump the ride later (start at 9 from the shop)?  Even if you’re not sure about Actif Epica, I hope you’ll attend – it’ll be an informal chat about winter biking that should be interesting.  Multi-time Arrowhead finisher and soon-to-be Iditabike racer Lindsay Gauld will be a guest speaker.

The other 4:30

Fat Dan’s Post:

This past Sunday was another occasion to discover a time of day that I’m normally unfamiliar with.  What better excuse to do that than for an Actif Epica recon ride.  After stumbling down a few flights of stairs and stuffing everything in my car I met up with Dallas, Hal and Ian before setting off towards the floodway to investigate the route.  Once the sun came up and the snow started to fly I remembered that my camera was handy so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

As promised, the route was pretty open and it will definitely be interesting to see what happens when we get a little more snow out there.  After around six hours of riding we made it back, good times!

Grand Forks Century – December 17

Fat Ian’s Post:

Details are emerging on the Saturday, December 17 Grand Forks metric century ride.  From David Sears, as posted on Fargo FatBikes Facebook group:

“start 8, maybe 9 am, primarily gravel, halfway & three quarters way along route chances for beverage/food….well, at the 3/4 check point anyways….for the most part you are on your own, directions/map provided….full detail will be posted early this coming week.”

Who’s interested?

Fat Bike News: Grand Targhee Resort Embraces The Fat

Fat Ian’s Post:

“Grand Targhee Resort has become the first ski resort in the country to promote snow biking. Beginning this ski season, Grand Targhee will allow snow bikes on their groomed Nordic Trails as long as riders purchase a Nordic ticket for $10 per day or a Nordic season pass for $115. Grand Targhee is also hosting their first snow bike race on Sunday, January 15th to coincide with Teton Valley’s Winter Festival.”

Read more (and see some nice pics, like the one below…)

Grand Targhee

So… is there somewhere in Manitoba where a similar shared trail situation could work? (even on a trial basis?)

Four Fatties Forage For Fun

Fat Tom K’s Post:

Finally got my butt (and my Mr. Pugsley) out to a WNR tonight.  Met up with Ian, Hal and Serge (hey there ‘Chief’ [it’s a military thing] – it was good chatting with you on the trail).

Four Fatties …

Four Fatties Ride 1

We linked up at the Assiniboine Forest and Hal gave us the route plan:  Forest – Harte Trail to Perimeter – South to Wilkes-ish – ‘look’  for a good connection west to Hall Rd and then north back onto the Harte Trail to return.  Giddy up …

Four Fatties Ride 2

Turns out all the narrow Forest paths and wider trails were hard packed snow and the Harte Trail was like a highway (for fatties that is). Conditions were pretty nice at -5C for a night winter ride and only the northern breeze out in the open made me glad I brought my ski goggles. The two hour pedal was just what I hoped for … a good blast with some fellow  fat tire enthusiasts … with just an element of uncertainty …Four Fatties Foraging For Fun … in the Fields … Good Times 🙂

Wed Nite Ride Report

Fat Hal’s Post:

4 of us , Al, Liam, Adrian, and myself, decided to brave the warmth and we met at Ass Forest parking lot 7:00 for another 2hr ride (counting the travel time to and from the parking lot). We bombed the paths in Ass Forest and then headed off to Assiniboine Park for more trial riding. Unfortunately we got separated and lost Al part way through the ride. We spent some time chasing red blinking lights on the Harte Trail thinking it was Al only to discover that they were the tail lights of cars passing by on the roads further down the trail.

Looking froward to next week’s ride and hopefully colder temps.

Hey it’s Wednesday again

Fat Ian’s Post:

Who’s up for a ride?

I can’t be there tonight (still on the mend; count me in for next week), but here are some suggested topics of conversation:

1. Are you game for a 100km fat bike ride in Grand Forks on December 17th?  Should be about 15-20 yankees there…

2. So, what’s the deal with this Actif Epica thing?  130km, are they serious?

3. Can you really call going for fatbike rides with your significant other a duel?