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: “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) …
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 …
Steven opted to bring the fly to his 2-Person light weight MSR tent (good call) …
Good thing his setup was roomy, cuz apparently Steven ‘transforms’ during the night! 😉
As it turns out the wet weather skirted us and we enjoyed fairly clear skies and only a bit of frost …
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! 🙂
Our quick pack up did afford some time for sunrise photos:
The ride heading east was on dry gravel and pavement was a breeze and scenic:
Nick’s Inn – a welcome sight and refuge of comfort! 🙂
Then it was off to the north and east on gravel roads back into Winnipeg …
Then onto the Silver ‘Yellow Ribbon’ Multi-Use Pathway …
… 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 …
My route took me to the Assiniboine Park Footbridge …
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! 🙂
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! 🙂
So ended our little ‘micro adventure’ Fatbike BAM Challenge response from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – Eh! 🙂
Thanks Steven for getting us out for a little BAM adventure! Good fun! 🙂
Super casual group Fatty Fun Times were had out at one of our favourite group ride locations … Grand Beach Prov Park, Manitoba! Now that we have experienced a full winter of Fatbike-specific groomed singletrack trails at GBPP (thanks to Dave Cushnie, Marty Roy, Erich Enns, Kurt Lehmann, Wayne Bishop and many more), we are full of enthusiasm for the future! So today we rode, posed for pictures (and drone views), BBQ’ed and had fun socializing as a community of fatbike lovers! 🙂
Enjoy these pics (a bunch are Gregory ‘GMac’ McNeill’s of course):
Posted for Nicolas Robitaille (Woodcock Cycle Works Fat Bike Club Ride Leader):
Spotted a wild herd of fatties tonight! They had to set those tire pressures lowww this evening. The monkey trails were still mostly passable… with effort. A bit of a walk-a-thon in spots but we did get a lot of mount/dismount action! Great gang, perfect weather, and good times!
Posted for Nicolas Robitaille – WCW FB Ride Leader:
“Had another great WCW fatbike ride tonight! It was sub-tropical today, so you might expect the trails to be quite icy/muddy/slushy, but no! They were super hardpacked with minimal ice! So long as we avoided roads and sidewalks it was perfect, so we stuck to the monkey trails.”
Posted for Dan Lockery and the Actif Epica Trail Crew:
Sunday, February 11, 2018 – Final Recon Ride for Actif Epica 2018
Six of us convened in St. Malo and were met with moderate winds (20km/h from the NW) and a reasonable starting temperature of about -15C (5F) at the start. The forecast was calling for the winds to pick up from the North West later in the day and cool off.
Gravel road conditions have changed somewhat since our last visit to this section of the route. The surface still has ice on it but some of the snow that has fallen since has collected, providing a bit more traction.
The trail sections have blown in and not seen any traffic, so we walked the majority of those. Closer to the Senkiw bridge, the field still has some strong ice-crusted surfaces where riding was possible but nearer the trail that leads to the suspension bridge was soft and deep, similar to last year.
We went as far as the suspension bridge and marked the route on our way back with pink flagging tape. Upon leaving the protection of the treed areas the wind had indeed picked up and was somewhere between 40-50km/h sustained and gusting. Gearing up for the return trip we took a slight detour to avoid more walking and made it back to the vehicles after about 3.5 hours of riding time.
Thanks again to those that came out and joined us for a bit of excitement this past Sunday! Trail conditions are shaping up nicely with more snow in the southern sections and closer to Winnipeg having a bit less. There are minimal flurries in the forecast between now and next weekend so we don’t anticipate much change before race day.
Had a pretty great Fatbike club ride tonight … until I snapped my chain… twice in a row! 😦 Besides that, all the trails were in great condition and we gave the singletrack in the Royalwood Forest a good shred! Another cold one, but this group doesn’t let it stop them!
Posted for Nicholas Robitaille of Woodcock Cycle Works:
Another great Woodcock Cycle Works Fat Bike Group Ride! The trails were fast and hardpack, but not too icy. We avoided the rivers for the most part and rode the monkey trails, and hit the Seine right at the end … 10 riders braved the daunting -3c conditions this evening! 😉
Meeting in St. Pierre-Jolys this morning, six of us set off to scout a bit of new trail for this year, along with some favourite stretches that we don’t get to see often enough. Temperatures were mild again at -7C (20F), with a light wind from the North East.
The recent warm weather with temps above freezing and the previous extreme wind conditions left the fields and roads scoured with minimal snow/ice cover except for spots with shelter where drifts tended to accumulate. That made for a mix of mostly ride-able surfaces for wider tires and the odd stretch where the crusts were thin, finding us punching through and walking for a bit to break up the ride.
One of the usual roads near St. Malo (Goulet Rd) that has been un-plowed in years past appears to now be included in regular clearing. This happened last year as well and racers might find this to their liking as it certainly sped up travel from St. Pierre to St. Malo and back for us today.
On our return trip we opted for a slightly shorter route to be respectful of everyone’s time. That left us a chance to revisit the short section of new trail that is being used this year on the dike around St. Pierre-Jolys. The approach to the dike is off Parenteau St. In St. Pierre and it wraps around town, crossing highway 59 and Provincial Rd 205, before turning in toward the checkpoint location at the Museum (Cabane a Sucre).
Thanks to those that came out and joined us! Not to worry if you were unable to make it out, we have plans for a couple more scouting trips yet. That being said, next week we are taking a break again as another of the triple crown events is happening (the Arrowhead 135). Good luck to all taking part!
Posted for Dan Lockery and the Actif Epica Trail Crew:
Compared to the recent cold spell, riding this past Sunday was far more comfortable and forgiving. When we arrived at the South side of the Senkiw Bridge the temperature was reported as -7C (20F). There was a light wind from the North West but once we found tree cover it was hardly noticed.
Setting off from our meeting point we took our bikes for a walk. The snow was soft and sugary due to minimal or no traffic and recent high winds that brought whatever little snow there was to collect in the sheltered areas. Conditions were warm with cloud cover and flat lighting so it was a pleasant day to wander through the trails along the banks of the Roseau River.
We walked all the way along the trail as far as the road entrance and met up with two more of our group (bringing us up to 8 riders) and then proceeded to head South toward Ridgeville. The day before had seen wind speeds gusting up to around 70km/h (~40mph) which scrubbed most of the fields/roads clean leaving minimal snow in the open areas.
Due to walking and the corresponding slow progress, when we reached the turn toward the final mile for Ridgeville we opted instead to make a more direct return trip back to be respectful of people’s time on such a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Thanks to those that joined us for this one! Not to worry if you were unable to make it, there will be a few more yet to come. That being said, next week we are taking a break as Sunday is the first in the 2WR Manitoba Fatbike Series events at Falcon Lake. Good luck to all taking part!
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 PM (or 6:00 – check with them), with varying routes. woodcockcycle.com
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!
Our “Fatty – Not So Frozen – Dozen” took on the “2017 Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover” on 25-26 Feb 2017 and ROCKED IT! 🙂
We rode from Grand Marais, Manitoba 35 Kms/22 Miles across to Gimli (for lunch of course – thanks to Jeffrey Badger for the free drinks at Kris Fish & Chips) and then back to the middle to camp over night.
We rode on the “Closed for the Season – early due to recent snow melt” snowmobile trail that was still marked and providing a roughened icy tread remnant with some old and new thin snow cover.
Those with studs were better able to ride all of the surface, but with lower tire pressure those non-studded faired fine (a few spills happened early on with the icy close to shore section covered by a wisp of fresh snow that made it hard to see what was really icy). After about 4 Kms the trail was much better with snow pack.
Thankfully, our recce ride the day before the weekend confirmed the trail conditions and the ice pressure ridge gaps that had developed just out from the Gimli Harbour and likely further out! With that info, we had Kevin Champagne step up with his brother Peter to join us with two quads and foldable ramp to allow safe gap crossings!
Kevin & Peter also transported some firewood for us … added bonus! We enjoyed a night around a bonfire, complete with special beverages, snacks, tall tales and entertainment (Ken’s fireworks – Just little ones – no SAR or 911 callouts).
After our morning ‘boil offs’ for breakfast and water bottle refills Gregory arranged our group photo shoot and then we rode back to Grand Marais for lunch (okay – a few speedsters enjoyed brunch :-])!
Wakey wakey time in my Big Agnes 6-Person tent. Only five of us slept in it and that was perfect actually. Pete McAdams is in the back and L-R was Gregory (already up), Alfred Barr (Para Rescue toque), me and David Ristau (that’s him smiling cuz he’s so warm).
As Gregory put it when we were chatting after sunrise:
“This is AWESOME – look at that [view], that’s what we came here for – it’s beautiful!”
Thanks for joining in guys: Gregory C. McNeill, Alfred Barr, Keith Holm, Jonathan Letkemann, David Ristau, Lindsay Gauld, Paul Lapointe, Pete McAdams, Bradley D Paul, Ken Stojak and Tony Kinal. A great group of fellow winter adventurers!
It was a terrific adventure for all and a lot of fun ‘ta boot’!
A big shout out to Wayne Bishop who had offered to groom a track across the lake for us, but the recent melt off made that not required. In normal conditions, our trip would have been difficult to impossible without his Wild Cat groomer!
Big Sponsorship thanks to:
– Rick Shone and Garrett Tremblay at Wilderness Supply Winnipeg (assistance with Base Camp Tent)!
– Ken Berg and Alisa Mayberry at Mountain Equipment Coop Winnipeg (camping meals)!
It was a terrific adventure for all and a lot of fun ‘ta boot’! 🙂
Cheers, Fat Tom K
* These pictures were added later in Post Edit … in Memory of RCAF SAR Technician Alfred Barrwho died during a training parachute jump from an RCAF C-130 Hercules aircraft (that I used to pilot) … just 10 days after he had adventured with us as a member of our ‘Fatty-Not So Frozen-Dozen’.
Alfred – you are not forgotten!
Next year we will return to again to “Camp Barr” on the middle of the lake during the “2018 ‘Alfred Barr’ Lake Winnipeg Fatbike Crossing & Campover” adventure!
Always a SAR Brother – RESCUE!
Major Tom Kolesnik, RCAF
Former 435 Squadron C-130 Hercules SAR Pilot