Fat Tom K’s Post:
It was Cory’s idea of a good Actif Epica prep ride on gravel from in town and south via the Brady Road to the La Barriere area and back. Good plan, so I joined and we met up at the Duck Pond warming shack along with Serge (who was joining us for part of the ride to the Forest) and Charles (who lives down south and was riding home from work). Did I mention that the windchill was -35C with a NW wind of over 30 KMs? No … ahh not that important … not yet anyways!
Oh yah, a quick shout-out to Muddy Guy Anthony for the awesome job he did on the frame bag and gas tank bag he custom made for my Pugsley! Picked them up from Guy via Olympia Cycle & Ski on Portage.
My Pugsley all kitted out – thanks Muddy Guy!
So we rode south through the sheltered forest (see ya Serge) and then cruised south with the tailwind via MCCreary Rd and McGillvray to Brady Rd. We were smok’n along (yes, by fat bike standards), but already starting to notice the windchill. Did I mention that I was the only one with goggles on at this point? No … not important yet! So then it’s time to say good night to Charles as we’re 3/4’s the way down to the Perimeter (he rides this every day … hardcore!).
So we press on south past the Brady Landfill and start punching through our first snowdrifts across the otherwise solid gravel … more drifts … our first turn west (ohh … so that’s how strong the wind is!) … more south until we are abeam La Barriere … decision time!
It was only 20 kms back, but the headwind was going to be a factor and Cory had no goggles with him. Well then, hot drink and snack, put on yer best facemasks and giddy up … it’s the real ‘Grinding’ time. Yup, it was slow going and chest/lower-regions numbing cold … but Cory and I pressed on at a reasonable pace … the lights of habitation and shelter from the wind coming closer oh so slowly. No time for pictures, but it was actually a beautiful thing to see and yes feel! We rode steady back to the Forest pathway (except for the ridiculously long traffic light at Wilkes!) and enjoyed the shelter and pathway trails.
Cory – as we reached the shelter of the Forest
At his point, the ride was easy going with -25C type firm pathways. Seemed pretty fast, but once we arrived back at the park footbridge to split up, I realized we had ridden for over 3 hours and only one of those had been going south. Ah, wind … the great equalizer!
Now Cory says it wasn’t too bad riding back into that 30 Kph headwind -35C windchill with no goggles, but I figure he’s pretty tough, cuz it had to have hurt! Nice ride Cory!
Still hiding from the elements – thank you goggles!
Great riding with ya guys. Hope the forest trails were fun Serge and hope to see ya again at Actif Epica Charles.