Category Archives: Fat Bike Bivy Camping

Fatbike “Bivy A Month (BAM) Challenge”: Westman Steven & Fat Tom K

So if you haven’t noticed that Fat-Bike.com has been doing this “Bivy A Month (BAM) Challenge” thing on their website, where they challenge fatbikers to get out for an overnight fatbike camping outing – Bivouac (Bivy) style; then check out this link to their website BAM blog posts (complete with videos):
https://fat-bike.com/category/bivvy-a-month/

Anyways, a few days back I get a call from my bud ‘WestMan’ Steven Sloat who lives and rides out west in the Shilo-Brandon area saying:ย  “Hey Tom, I’m going to be out in Winnipeg for a few days working at the 17 Wing Air Base (he’s an Army Officer) and hey if you’re not to busy at work (I’m an Air Force Officer at 17 Wing) and stuff, let’s go for a ride and a bivy”.?

So giddy up, we met up on fully loaded fatbikes and rode west of the city to a perfect wooded camping spot (not far from Beaudry Park), cooked up some grub and set up camp (in the dark of course) …BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 0a

Since the forecast had a good percentage chance of rain-snow mix, I decided to go with a classic bivy sac with a hooped area at the head area – all I needed and cozy …
BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 1

Steven opted to bring the fly to his 2-Person light weight MSR tent (good call) …
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Good thing his setup was roomy, cuz apparently Steven ‘transforms’ during the night! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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As it turns out the wet weather skirted us and we enjoyed fairly clear skies and only a bit of frost …BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 6

We had decided to forgo a full campsite breakie, in favour of an early rise, pack and ride into Headingly to Nick’s Inn (a cyclists’ favourite) for a hot and hardy breakfast! ๐Ÿ™‚

Our quick pack up did afford some time for sunrise photos:
BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 7

BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 8

The ride heading east was on dry gravel and pavement was a breeze and scenic:
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Nick’s Inn – a welcome sight and refuge of comfort! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then it was off to the north and east on gravel roads back into Winnipeg …
BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 12

Then onto the Silver ‘Yellow Ribbon’ Multi-Use Pathway …
BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 13

… to Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg (17 Wing Air Base) to drop off Steven (he had meetings) and then I had a nice ride across the city ahead to get back home …
BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 14

My route took me to the Assiniboine Park Footbridge …
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and too the AP Duck Pond for a pitstop to catch up on Steven posting pics all over social media – because sharing is all part of the fun! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Of course, two can play at the social media sharing ‘game’, so I made sure Steven got a good view of my last pitstop … the Bridge Drive Inn Ice Cream Shop!ย ๐Ÿ™‚
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So ended our little ‘micro adventure’ Fatbike BAM Challenge response from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – Eh! ๐Ÿ™‚
BAM 30 Sep 2018 - Steven & Tom - 17

Thanks Steven for getting us out for a little BAM adventure!ย  Good fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers, Fat Tom K

 

Fat Video Time: Bivy A Month (BAM) Challenge – South Snowdon, UK

Check this Bivy A Month (BAM) video from South Snowdon, UK that I picked up from Fat-Bike.com’s MAM Challenge:
https://fat-bike.com/2018/07/bivvy-a-month-challenge-7/

Here’s a few photos from the Fat-Bike.com BAM post:

BAM - 1 Aug 2018 UK - 3

BAM - 1 Aug 2018 UK - 1

BAM - 1 Aug 2018 UK - 2

There you go, more motivation to get out and adventure with your fatbike!

Cheers, Fat Tom K

ITI Fatbike Winter Training Camp in Geilo, Norway: Fat Tom K Reports

Thanks to Nina Gassler (Fat Viking Race Director in Geilo, Norway), who I met last year when she was winter fatbike training on Lake Winnipeg near Hecla Island, Manitoba; I became aware of her plans to put on the 2017 Fat Viking Fatbike Race and also partner with Alaskan Iditarod Trails Invitational (ITI) Race Director Kathi Merchant to put on a connected “ITI Fatbike Winter Training Camp” in Geilo the week before the race.

ITI FB Winter Trg Camp Norway 2017 - FBook Banner

So with all that fatbiking fun happening in the space of a week in beautiful Geilo and my friend Nina hosting … well, I just had to go for it and sign up for both! ๐Ÿ™‚

The ITI Fatbike Winter Training Camp is over now and it was a memorable experience training with and getting to know a terrific crew of Europeans (Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain & Great Britain) and one South African fatbiker adventurists.

As we are now preparing to race the FatViking 175 (Kms) Race, I will just postย some pictures to tell the story of this past week …

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – yup, used them all from Winnipeg to Montreal to London to Oslo to Geilo to our cozy Trg Camp Cabin (as our base locale).ย  Thanks Nina and May-Britt for being to pick me up as I got off the late train arriving in Geilo! ๐Ÿ™‚

Our crew of ITI Trg Camp participants and Kathi connected quickly over our first hot meal (and one of the few we had indoors) and then geared up to get riding right away on the nearby Geilo trails and pathways that Nina knows so well and was happy to share.

ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - B
Geared up and ready for our first group picture.
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Out on the trails with Kathi and Nina as our guides.
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Here Nina (Germany – now Norway), Stefan (Slovakia – now Norway) and Jarmo (Finland) leading the way.ย  We often rode on XC Skate Ski trails and it was a pleasure to see the Europeans embracing the ‘Multi-Use’ concept!
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 12
Conditions were unusually mild (an icy factor I was prepared for with fully studded 45N Dillinger 5 tires – thanks Olympia C&S shoppe for the quick ‘stud-up’).
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Stopping to practice an impromptu bivy mid ride.ย  Thanks for the pic Nina. ๐Ÿ™‚
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - Jess
Here’s Jess from South Africa (an experienced cyclist – but first time on snow – cool!)
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Here’s Patrick (a very nice British chap who lives in Sweden) eating his hot lunch!
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - Andrew
Here’s the always smiling Andrew (UK) – an already accomplished winter ultra fatbike racer.
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Here’s Jarmo (Finland) andย Alejandro (Spain) conferring.ย  Our training days finished with us either riding back to the cabin in the dark or bivy camping at a wooded or lake-side location.
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 8
Here’s the always positive and excellent local guide Nina leading us back to camp!
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Here’s Ben (UK) leading … the hilly terrain and our loaded bikes definitely made for a few pushed hills and good training.
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This was the steepest hill (a ski run) we pushed up and it is part of the FV Race Course – yikes!
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - Andrew Riding
Here’s Andrew riding a nice skate ski track toward an upper alpine route.
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Here’s Ben pushing again … due to the mild temps, even some of the upper alpine areas were icy.
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But the higher we rode the more snowpack there was and more challenging trails.
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - A
Mind you riding up into the higher terrain had another benefit … a great spot for a group shot!
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Riding back in the dark.
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A welcome sight … the main Geilo ski hill and our cabin nearby.
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Comparing our personal bike packing gear.ย  Here Nina’s kit is on display.
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Here’s mine (with my sleeping bag still on the bike).
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Comparing parkas.ย  I left my North Face parka at home due to the very mild conditions, but it was nice to see Patrick Stevens (left) proudly wearing his.ย  Stefan, Jarmo and Nina were also wearing very nice parkas. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Our 2nd overnight bivy location was lower alpine and I found a grassed spot under a tree.
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Boiling water is always any early ‘order of business’ when camping.
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I had no idea my bivy spot was so scenic until the morning.
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - Alejandro Bivy
On my ride back to the cabin I found Alejandro’s bivy spot and we chatted as he packed up.
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - Alejandro Riding
Alejandro and I rode in together and the experience was a bit different for each of us.ย  My tires were fully studded, but Alejandro’s tires were not (he is studding them now for the FV Race)!
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 17
More upper alpine riding and fun as a crew! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Here’s a beautiful picture taken by Ben Shanson (adventure-photographer with a world-wide following) of me riding some single-track into the sunset!ย  Thanks Ben ๐Ÿ™‚
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Another ride back to the cabin for ITI Race discussions and then out for our 3rd overnight bivy.
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Mind you our 3rd bivy location had a wooden lean-to in the area (always good to recon) and it made for a cozy hangout before tucking into our sleeping bags spread out nearby!
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Good conversations (we spoke in English mostly) and time to discuss upcoming adventures ๐Ÿ™‚
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More well marked XC Ski trails (multi-use for us locally).
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 20b
One of my favourite ‘Pano Pics’.ย  During our training camp we got to know that Constantijn (Netherlands) had a fun-mischievous sense of humour and his ‘alter-ego’ was ‘Connie’.ย  Here I have caught on camera … Constantijn on the left and Connie on the right! ๐Ÿ˜‰
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 9
Our last bivy had us riding up into the hills in the dark to this ‘Bivy Hill’ and picking our own spot alone.ย  I almost didn’t join the crew on that night due to getting a nasty migraine headache, ‘losing my food’ and getting dehydrated (my own fault for eating a packaged camp meal loaded with MSG – my personal migraine trigger).ย  But, with a little help from the crew (electrolytes/rest) and a lift up part of the hill in a van (with my bike), I was able to follow the crew who had ridden out earlier.
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 46a
I rode through a ski hill tunnel following fatbike tracks and then zigzagged up a hill until I saw a few lights moving in the distance … yes – the ‘Bivy Hill’.
ITI Trg Camp at Geilo Norway Jan 2017 - 46
I surveyed the snow slope, the gusting winds and chose a spot to dig in and make a windbreak for my sleeping spot.
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I really like my MSR WhisperLite (International) stove – very reliable.
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I wasn’t able to eat much food yet; but a few caramels and some hot coco helped.ย  I also boiled enough water to fill a thermos and two 1 Litre Nalgene bottles that tucked into my armpits for the night.ย  Result = warm water in the morning ๐Ÿ™‚
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I packed up my bivy before sunrise after a fairly cozy sleep … except for the gusting winds that were whipping down the slope and just over my otherwise sheltered spot.
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My reward for waking early! ๐Ÿ™‚
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I was still not feeling well and riding rather slow on my way back until I crossed paths with Tobias (Germany) and Daniele (Italy).
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We linked up and I appreciated their company as we rode back into the cabin.
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ITI Training Camp week complete – time for a selfie.ย  Thanks for the photobomb Ben! ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s all for now.

Time to HTFU and give the FV175 Race a go!

Fat Viking Winter Endurance Race - Geilo, Norway - Banner

I came all this way to train and also to RACE!ย  ย I may not be at my best, but hey “If It Was Easy – Everyone Would Do It”.

Giddy up – Carpe Diem.

Cheers, Fat Tom K