PARKS CANADA NEWS AND INFORMATION
Fat bikes are coming to Riding Mountain
by MARCIE HARRISON/South Mountain Press
Get ready – fat bikes are coming to Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) in the new year for the inaugural Winter MS Bike set for Feb. 7 at Clear Lake. Put on by the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society of Canada, Manitoba Division, the event is one of two new fundraisers announced for 2015, with the other being the Turtle Mountain Trail on July 12 at Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.
“We’re really excited to bring two new bike tours to Manitoba. The closed circuit Mountain Bike tour in Turtle Mountain was really a no-brainer given the prevalence of mountain bikes,” said Donna Boyd, President of the MS Society of Canada, Manitoba Division in a recent press release.
“For the Winter Bike, it’s a bit more of a niche audience and while there are several fat bike races in the province, this is the only tour event which really opens the playing field for winter cyclists of all experience levels,” commented Brown. “We chose to have different course lengths so those new to this bourgeoning sport wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the challenge itself.”
So what is a fat bike? As the name suggests, it has oversized tires, around four inches in width, and is designed for use on snow and sand. The wide tire width and low tire pressure (generally 8 to 10 psi) provide a steady ride on unstable terrain, which makes it the perfect mode of transportation on a course that covers lake ice and forest trails.
THREE DISTANCES TO CHOOSE FROM
As Boyd mentioned, participants in the Winter MS Bike can choose between three distances – 3 km, 8 km and 11 km. The shorter course is a great way to get familiar with winter biking, while the longer route presents more of a challenge.
The trails will be groomed by Parks Canada based upon recommendations from professional fat bike organizers, and depending on response to this year’s event, there’s a possibility that groomed trails may become a regular feature at RMNP, said Lori Bogoslowski, Development Co-ordinator/Fundraiser Speciaist for the Parkland Chapter of the MS Society.
“Winter biking is really big in the States and it’s a growing sport in Canada, and this event could open the way for groomed trails in the park in the future,” said Bogoslowski. Partnership with RMNP has been a solid commitment. She added that the event isn’t just about raising funds for MS research and support programs, it’s also about promoting winter activities in the park and surrounding area.
“We’re partnering with Friends of Riding Mountain during their Winter Festival, so there will be lots for participants and their families to do,” she commented, adding that the Parkland Chapter has a long history with the park. “The Riding Mountain Challenge (a bike tour from Dauphin to Clear Lake and back held each September) will be 19 (in 2015), so working with RMNP has been a solid commitment.”
In addition to groomed trails, the Winter MS Tour course will also feature warming huts to ensure cyclists have a place to rejuvenate enroute. Brandon’s A&L Cycle & Ski will be on hand giving fat bike demonstrations and cyclists are welcome to repeat any of the loops throughout the day. The event closes with a catered dinner by event sponsor Elkhorn Resort Spa & Conference Centre, and a shuttle will also be available for those who want to take in the February Frolic Social in Onanole.
In celebration of Global Fat Bike day on Saturday, Dec. 6, the MS Society will waive the $25 registration fee on that day. All participants in the Winter MS Bike are required to raise the minimum pledge of $150, with all funds raised being split evenly between funding research and supporting programs and services for those living with MS.
The Turtle Mountain Trail MS Bike takes place in Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, located 100 km south of Brandon. Cyclists will depart from Adam Lake and have the option of following a 10 km novice route, or a 35 km challenge route that circles James Lake. This is a closed circuit mountain trail that is perfect for those new to the sport, family groups, and expert riders.
More information and registration for all MS Bike tours is available online at msbike.ca
ABOUT M S
Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. It is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives.
The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.
Parks Canada has resurfaced all 4 North Shore circles!!
The RMNP Wishing Well Bridge is finally safe for vehicle traffic after ten long years!
It was closed in 2004 when an inspection report determined the bridge beams were rotten.
This Fall 2014, Park staff constructed a new bridge deck, incorporating the existing historic masonry arches, from an engineer approved drawing and today, October 17, 2014 the bridge is open to vehicle traffic.
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