The Winnipeg Free Press newspaper on 31 Mar 2018 included an article called “A Reason to Ride” using some of Blake Anderson‘s excellent pictures he took during our “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover“.
The 17 Wing Winnipeg Air Base “Voxair” Newspaper 21 Mar 18 Edition has an article called “Fatbikers Ride to Remember SAR Tech MCpl Alfred Barr” based on the reporter Martin Zeilig interviewing me and using a few of my pictures.Among the quotes he used were references to our excellent Leaders Team (including our British friend Patrick Stevens from Sweden) and key supporters Robert Paige of Xtreme Sports Medics and Dave MacDonald of ICSOS.
He did not quote my mentioning of how important was Kevin Champagne‘s snowmobile and sled support for transporting key supplies out to our camp and back! He also mentioned our American friend Thomas Woods who joined us, but obviously misplaced your specifics Thomas).
The Voxair also included a colour picture with a double line of fatbikers riding across the lake. They mistakenly mention in the caption that “Major Tom Kolesnik ‘leads’ the fatbikers …”, when in fact at the lead of the line of riders is Kurt Lehmann and Rick Shone.
Check out Gregory ‘G-Mac’ McNeill’s wonderful collection of photos from this weekend’s “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing and Campover” adventure weekend … over here at his Flickr Account Album:
Today is a tough day for many of us! One year ago we lost a friend and fellow fatbiker adventurer, who died training as an RCAF SAR Technician, so that he could be ready to answer the call to respond to any dangerous mission to rescue his fellow Canadians in distress! For many, losing Alfred was the loss of a loved one, family member and a person they respected and looked up to!
Today we remember with sadness, but also with thanks for having known such a kind, compassionate, brave man who shared his strong ethical character ‘on his sleeves’!
After last weekend, when we rode in tribute to Alfred during our “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover” adventure, it somehow does not hurt quite as much to face this day …
Here’s a link to our CBC Radio-Canada ‘le tele journal’ TV story about our Lake Winnipeg Fatbike adventure (in French and some interviews in English including Keith Holm, Jeff Hobden, Kathryn Adams, Patrick Stevens and me):
After a truly EPIC day and evening of Fatbiking adventure and Memorial tribute to Alfred on Saturday, our main group of 20+ hardy fatbikers and Xtreme Sports Medics still on the lake, enjoyed a cozy -15C campover; all snug in our 4-Season dome tents and our double insulated tent complete with Field Kitchen and Medic’s station!
So much more to be said, more pictures and videos to share and media reports pending (CBC was waiting for us when we rode into Grand Marais).
Alfred – you have not been forgotten and we have continued on what we had discussed about getting fellow Manitoban fatbikers out on more adventures and passing on skills to allow people to not just Survive, but also Thrive! RESCUE!
WOW!!! Yesterday afternoon and evening was an EPIC adventure as our main group of Lake Winnipeg Fatbikers rode from Camp Barr to Gimli (for supper at Kris Fish & Chips – thanks Jeff & Candy Badger for the free drinks) and then back out to camp starting at dusk and finishing in the dark!
It was a real trek and had a few obstacles enroute (pressure ridge ice cracks); but well worth the challenge and it was safely completed, thanks to good ride guides (thanks Keith, Jonathan and Patrick) and support from Robert Paige and his Xtreme Sports Medics! Here’s a few pics to tell the story …
WOW!!! This was a wonderful day in so many ways for our “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover”! We had another 20+ fatbikers join our already 16 active fatbikers and Leaders Team today as we rode out from Grand Marais – with additional escorts from RCAF 435 Squadron (three SAR Technicians on snowmobiles – with a couple dogs) and made our ways to ‘Camp Barr’ on the middle of the lake. There we held a Memorial Service to honour or lost friend, fellow MB Fatbiker and RCAF SAR Technician MCpl Alfred Barr!
So much to say, but for now here are a few pictures and some drone aerial views of the adventure today (more on the crossing to Gimli and back during the night later):
Good morning from the middle of Lake Winnipeg and a cozy ‘Camp Barr’ Leader’s Team and hardy fatbikers who slept over with us last night! It was a clear and crisp -20C over night, but we were all snug in our 4-Season tents and we awoke to a beautiful sunrise.
Here’s a few pictures taken by a few of us:
That’s all for now. Heading back into Grand Marais.
Today’s trip out from Grand Marais to our Lake Winnipeg Fatbike campsite went really well! We overcame a few challenges (quad and sled issues), had a fun bike and snowmobile ride out to the pre-chosen site and our little ‘Tent City’ on the lake is all set up, well provisioned (yes, there will be KFC leftovers for those of you coming out to join us tomorrow) and cozy!
So much to say, but I will let the pictures speak for now …
Thats all for tonight!
See you tomorrow at the Sand Bar Inn at 9:00 AM for breakfast and then our large group ride out to camp (should be 35+ of us)!
Robert Paige (President of Xtreme Sports Medics and our weekend Safety manager) got called away from town yesterday, so it was just me (and my Mr. Moonie) being interviewed by John Sauder doing a weather intro and talk about the 2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover event, Fatbikes, the Alfred Barr Memorial part and how we will deal with any snow forecasted for the weekend (no biggy).
CBC’s John Sauder is great interviewer, a gentleman, a supporter of the RCAF (he has been an Honorary Colonel of 402 Sqn and 2 Cdn Air Division) and he appreciated the importance of the Alfred Barr Memorial aspect of the event.
Very interesting and successful Lake Winnipeg Recce! Huge thanks to Kevin Champagne and his wife Louise, who arranged for a third snowmobile for me to ride as we rode out from Grand Marais toward Gimli.
We had to find an initial crossing point just west of Grand Marais through a field of ice chunk pop ups and minor pressure ridge – no problem.
Pretty good conditions on the lake with plenty of snow on otherwise clear ice and sections of snow drift but not too deep.
Found a nice campsite with a bowl of snow surrounded by big and small ice chunks sticking up and one large one at the ‘entry’!
Good track made all the way about 85% across and then we came to a large and long (NE-SW) pressure ridge that was dicey to cross without a ‘ramp-plank’ (we can arrange that for Saturday). You could see the harbour area in general but it’s still about 4 Kms.
Anyways we cruised back over our same tracks and hopefully the mild conditions this week with overnight -10C ish temps will bond the snow to the ice and firm up the track we made.
Big Picture – looking good! We will need to monitor the weather and make a few provisions, but the basic plan still looks fine!