Travellers' Tales: Riding on Ice

Ken Preston took a spin along a couple of frozen rivers in Canada
Cycling in Canada
Cycling in Canada

Travellers' Tales: Riding on Ice

Ken Preston cycles regularly on ice in Canada, here's his Traveller's Tale about riding around Winnipeg.
Yesterday was a beautiful winter day in Winnipeg: -7°C, with little wind. So I went for a ride. For several years now, our city has been building winter skating and walking trails on the two major rivers that pass through the city, the Red and the Assinaboine. These trails start at Forks, where the two rivers meet.
 
Every year, the trails vary in length depending on the temperature and the water levels at the time of freezing. This winter, we had a very cold December and early January, which with low water levels on the Assinaboine have made for some lovely trails.
 

Riding along frozen rivers in Canada
 
Cycling on these icy trails is wonderful. You get a view of the city that one does not normally get. You see people skating, walking, running, and of course cycling.
 
Many of the cyclists use fat bikes, but if you stick to the skating trails it’s not really necessary. I use a converted single speed, a Trek mountain bike with two-inch studded tyres.The trail down both rivers is about 6km.
 
This year, the Forks staff hope to have the length close to 9km once it’s finished. The trails are adorned with spruce trees and warming huts. The huts change from year to year, the designs chosen by an international competition. Yesterday they were building a pop-up restaurant on the frozen river, so there will be an even wider choice of post-ride food and drink than usual.

Do you have a tale to tell?

Travellers' Tales are first published in Cycle magazine, if you would like to share your cycling story email cycle@jamespembrokemedia.co.uk

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Comments

That's winter cycling? How about this then: 

On Sunday, February 3, my friend Pat Cooke-Rogers, a middle-aged woman from Hemington, Leics., will be taking part in the world’s coldest and toughest race for athletes, the 430-mile Yukon Arctic Ultra 2019, riding a fat bike.
The Yukon Arctic Ultra starts in Whitehorse and ends in Dawson City.
Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra with 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -50C and relentless wilderness, the YAU is an incredible undertaking.

Pat Cooke-Rogers after winning her category in the Yukon Arctic Ultra in 2015, said: “As night fell the temperature dropped rapidly (to -30C I discovered later). It was becoming harder to eat as my body started to declare it had had enough. A passing snowmobile guide told me I had 12 miles to go to the finish. My head-torch was fading again and I was riding less and less. It wasn’t the riding that was a problem, but the mounting and dismounting for the hills I couldn’t cycle up (or couldn’t see to cycle up). Because of the load on the back of the bike I couldn’t swing my leg over the back, but had to lean the bike towards me and thread my leg through over the crossbar – not too bad until you’ve done it hundreds of times. So I pushed on – muttering ‘keep walking keep pushing’ constantly to myself – and asking why the God who could still the storm apparently couldn’t remove a few miles from the trail! My cold-induced asthma had returned with the drop in temperature, and I was now also feeling very sick. I had taken myself to my physical limits.”
A devout Christian, Pat leads many prayers services prior to many triathlon events in this country and around the globe, having been nominated an official pastor for many triathlons.
Pat has competed in the world’s coldest and toughest ultra-distance race five times. In 2015 she came 5th with her fat bike, becoming the first woman from Europe to reach Dawson in the 430 mile category. In 2017 she was tracked for several days on the trail by two wolves.

For Pat’s current blog copy and paste this URL into your browser:
http://yukonpat.com/2019/01/31/arrived-in-whitehorse-including-bike-and-...

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