Over the May 24th long weekend I tackled the route I’ve been calling “Irish Loop Off Road” or ILOR. If anybody has a better name let me know (Paul C?). Amy, Paul and I first tackled this route two years ago, that time riding it in a counter-clockwise direction and learning what worked and what didn’t. This iteration of the route is much better.
This ride has it all: 80% of it is on dirt, the majority of the paved sections are on quiet roads; single track, dirt roads, ATV tracks, 2 hike-a-bike sections; great vistas; wildlife (I saw caribou, moose and a snowy owl on this trip); resupply is easy; free camping; water is easily available.
I now have GPX files for this route – if you would like them just drop me an email: theslowbiker at gmail.com.
Easter fell during a prime time for fatbiking Gros Morne this year, so Darren and I made plans to go there for the week. We had a short, preliminary exploration of the park last year and knew that there was lots more we wanted to ride. We weren’t disappointed…
Western Brook Pond
Ten Mile Pond sits at the base of Gros Morne; anyone who has climbed to the summit has looked down onto this pond. We went looking for the chance to be on the pond looking up at the summit.
Logistically, this is an easy ride. Park at the Gros Morne Visitors Centre in Rocky Harbour. Ride up to Route 430 and across the road you will see a road that leads to Eastern Arm Pond. Follow the snowmobile tracks.
Link to the radio interview on CBC Corner Brook: click here.
I’ve got limited internet/computer access but I just wanted to post that Darren and I made it to Western Brook Pond (aka “The Gorge”) in Gros Morne National Park. Three days, two nights and 110 km total. I’ll update the blog with more pictures and details when I can.
S24O = sub-24 hour overnighter. The idea – get out for a quick trip – adventure doesn’t always have to be epic.
The plan was for us to head inland, to camp in the barrens. But nature had other ideas; it warmed up considerably on Saturday and our planned route was mud. So we headed toward the ocean, down the ever trusty Shoal Bay Road, where the woods keep the trail snow covered for longer.
This was a little dry run for Darren and I before we head to Gros Morne next week. Stay tuned.
Wow. Just wow.
Global Fatbike Day celebrations here in St. John’s just continue to grow and become increasingly popular. In fact, we didn’t just celebrate with a day, we celebrated with a long weekend. Here’s the quick version of how things went down here:
St. John’s, Newfoundland is a wet, windy and cold place. These factors combine to make riding here challenging. Over the years I’ve figured out ways to eliminate the excuses for not riding – proper clothing, for instance, or DIY tire studding when the trails turned to nothing but ice. Now I have eliminated one more excuse: “the trails are too wet”. Enter full fenders for fatbikes.
Big O Manufacturing fenders get strong reviews on-line so I took the plunge. They don’t come cheap: listed at $115 USD for the ones to fit my Pugsley they also charged a flat rate of $60 USD for shipping. Gulp. The good news was that after my order was shipped I was refunded $20 USD shipping overcharge. So, to my door the fenders cost me $225 CDN. They arrived in less than 10 days.
The quality of the materials is evident; the fenders are strong but flexible, the brackets are quality aluminum and the hardware stainless steel. The instructions could be a bit better, but that’s a minor quibble. The front fender requires you to drill two holes and the rear three. Start to finish for me was about 1.5 hours.
We had just been through a couple of very wet and cold November weeks so the conditions to put these to the test were perfect. I headed out for a two hour gravel grind on the back roads in The Goulds. The results were everything I could hope for. The fenders were solid, they did not rattle and I stayed very clean and dry.