Archive for category Off Road

Urban Biking





Some shot biking around whittier park

Ice Road Biking on Lake of The Woods

I went to the Lake Of the Woods for the weekend. The loggers and cottage community out there operate an ice road for the purpose of vacationing and hauling logs out of the forest. It’s just so much easier to move appliances out of the back of a truck, rather than out of a rocking boat. Many loads of lumber could be seen out on the shores earmarked for various construction projects like docks and cottages.

It only made sense to go for a rip on the ice road!

Others had the same idea, only they were fishing for delicious walleye pike. You can see the ice through a this layer of snow in this picture, but the road conditions did vary quite a bit. In some places it was bare ice, swept clear of snow. You could see that the ice was at least 2 feet thick by the cracks and fissures visible in the crystal clear ice. In other places snow drifts would move across the road, and despite the -25C temps, melt water would creep from the edges of the road. this is so counter intuitive,.

Beautiful vistas frozen right into he landscape. I’ve canoed past this island so many times in the summer, but it evokes  a totally different sentiment in February.

The drivers were all very courteous, or was it curious as we passed.

Sometimes the road has to portage over an island. The planning process for the ice road must be very complicated, as it seems to change routes every year.

Stunning cottages are completely visible now without the deciduous leaves.

Firewood ?

Totally the wrong bike for this kind of expedition. The tires were not studded and the Tioga DH were really squirmy and meant only for gravity racing, but I could not resist the urge to pedal out on the ice road.  The full suspension only made staying upright more challenging. Next time, I’ll bring the Norco Charger decked with studs.

LOTW Downhill DIY Helmet Cam Test

I thought I would share this short video I took using my DIY helmet cam. I took a Norco Six down the hill at the lake to test out my contraption. I’m not really satisfied with the quality, and it would certainly make more sense to purchase the real deal, but zip-tying a tripod and point and shoot camera to your helmet works adequately in a pinch!
I’m still glad that I got to record the memory for playback during the winter…

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.


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…


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.