Archive for October, 2009

Lake Of The Woods Deep Forest Cycling

I spent this last week end at Lake Of the Woods tearing up a private single track on an Island. For those who haven’t been out this way, LOTW is one of the largest lakes in Canada second only to the Canadian Great Lakes. The scenery is truly unbelievable and will leave  you feeling like you are traveling through an undisturbed prehistoric landscape.

From LOTW

You have to ride with some reserve back here. Even though you can pedal into top gear in some portion of the trail, you have to remember. One endo and you could easily disoriented, in some spots it looks the same in every direction. There is plenty of technical stuff, lot’s of high speed slalom that is reminiscent of the speeder chase scenes on the moon of Endor. Oh and course enough torquey low speed climbing to make your head pop!

Sometimes you have to take the easy line rather than turn back and start to session some skinny log or monster cliff drop, after all the nearest hospital is a forty minutes away by boat, and that’s if the wolves don’t find you first. Seriously…

From LOTW

There was all forms of scat on the trail. That bone fragment was about the size of my thumb and surrounded by deer fur?, I’m told it’s from timber wolves. A neighbor on the island has captured them on a wildlife camera, but he claims you will never ever see one in person. It seems the wildlife use these trails to get around the forest too, and why not, I’m sure they could crank out some serious speed on the well groomed single track portions.  I have had near a collision with a doe on this trail already.

It was strange to go through the different types of forest on this trail. Some times you were in a poplar scrub with a dense underbrush, other times in a forest of Red Jack Pines with their limbs forming a canopy countless feet above. At one point you enter a pocket of old cedars dubbed the Cedar bog.


The Cedar Bog lies below a large stone ridge carved by glaciers during the last ice ages.

Everything is covered in a thick layer of moss and pine needles, making nearly every climb a lesson in traction.

A small crystal clear creek flows down the ravine,  draining all the rain water from the surrounding area into the bog. The cedars must love all that moisture as you don’t see many anywhere else on the island.

It’s not a “North Shore” caliber stunt, but this wooden bridge doesn’t detract from the the natural beauty either.


This is truly a magical place, the photo proves it. Is that a pixie flying home? This un-touched picture was just a fluke but it turned out quite interesting.

Next time i’m out , i will take more pictures of the trail. I hope that by then i will have the replacement batteries for my GPS. (AAA just don’t compare to the Lithium brick) and i’ll be able to post some numbers.

Friday Commute

Good thing it was so cold this morning… With the puddles all iced over it was a nice dry ride. With the minus seven windchill it was time to break out some ear protection. It’s going to take a few days for my face to get accustomed to that cold wind again. First case of cold face this year! Now I’m ready for winter!

Thursday Commute

It’s getting nasty out there!

The Forecast as per www.weatheroffice.gc.ca

Cloudy periods with 60 percent chance of showers early this evening. Clearing this evening. Wind northwest 30 km/h becoming light early this evening. Low minus 5 with frost.

This means it’s probably 100% chance of being miserable out there all day and night. Definitely time for toques.
Decided to wear the Schoeller pants today. I’m glad I did. The misting rain never made it through the pants. The seamless gusset is super comfortable to ride in, certainly no discomfort due to chafing, and the lightly fleeced interior is as cozy as your favorite pair of sweats! Watch for a review of these pants coming soon!

Wednesday Commute

~~~~~~~Tail wind!>
Tail winds are to be savored and lusted after. You feel empowered by nature herself to push your limits. In a place like Manitoba, there is no downhill, the best we can hope for is the wicked prairie wind to propel us to top speed. But make no mistake…it is wicked, more often than not bringing ice and snow from the what ever direction you are heading.

Unlike today I rarely get the tail wind going to work, and it seems that by the time I leave the wind has done a 180 degree turn and I’m fighting the headwind home again. We’ll see if the same is true on the way home tonight. (keeping my fingers crossed for tailwind home)