a guest post: garnish to point rosie

Long time friend Guy Ridler and his girlfriend Ruth Lloyd visited Newfoundland in October and ventured down to the Burin Peninsula, with fatbikes, to ride the Garnish to Point Rosie Trail. I asked them to pen a few words about their experience:

Ruth

It was a 25 kilometre ride through landscapes like I have never seen; from wind-carved trees to rocky headlands over sandy bays populated by perfect Monopoly houses – tidy rectangles with square windows and translucent curtains.
We rode fat bikes – wide, low-pressure tires rolling easily over piles of loose rounded stones and sand.
We stopped to take photos so often we began to realize we would run out of time, were we not to get moving and put the cameras away for a few kilometres. Riding over bridges, up and down headlands, across empty beaches, meeting the occasional four-wheeler or ATV in the unseasonably warm late October sunshine, it was hard to keep the cameras tucked away.
I feel as though I could have done a photo project on just the trees. Such a foreign forest for a British Columbian like myself, the stunted trees no higher than one story of a building appeared to be a garden of sculpted Bonsai fir. Some were silver skeletons, as though they were sandblasted by the harsh Atlantic weather, stripped to their wooden bones of all skin and flesh. All of the trees were bowed away from the weather, clinging to the rocky headlands defiantly, and making the relatively windless and sunny late October day seem all the more miraculous.
Arriving back at our vehicle in the dark, seeing the lights of Garnish across the water, I was cold and tired, sore from nearly 50 km of off-road riding, but I knew it was very much worth the effort.

Guy

I’ve known The Slow Biker for 25 years. Despite the title of his blog, The Slow Biker, he is a very fast biker; he coached the provincial road racing team I was on in the 80’s. We’ve remained friends and I’ve been following his bike adventures through this blog since its inception in 2012. Blog post 12 Aug 2014 was irresistible:

“Drive, don’t run, to Garnish as soon as you can to ride the 24 km (one way) trail to Point Rosie. This gem of a trail should be ridden by every person with a mountain bike in this province and every person who comes to this province for a visit.”

This was the inspiration for myself and my girlfriend Ruth to follow The Slow Biker’s tracks and ride from Garnish to Point Rosie on the Burin Peninsula in October 2014. The varied terrain and the intrigue of the “resettled village” Point Rosie, looked like a great intro to fatbiking in Newfoundland. After some logistical discussions with The Slow Biker, we made a plan to borrow fat bikes and head out to Garnish for a long day trip.

Stats:

  • Depart Garnish 10:56 am.
  • Arrive Point Rosie 2:30 pm.
  • Return Garnish 7:00 pm.
  • Total Distance 48.4 km.
  • Elevation Gain 895 m.

Here’s what we saw:

Leaving Garnish on the first beach section.  The 4-inch tires floated over the loose sand.

Leaving Garnish on the first beach section. The 4-inch tires floated over the loose sand.

Around mid point to Pt Rosie.  One of many bridges along the route.

Around mid point to Point Rosie. One of many bridges along the route.

Pt Rosie.  About a dozen well kept cabins remain as summer homes.

Point Rosie. About a dozen well kept cabins remain as summer homes.

A small replica of the original church in Point Rosie watches over the community.

Wild blueberry’s red fall foliage.

Wild blueberry’s red fall foliage.

global fatbike day 2014

Facebook_Global_Fat-Bike-600x222Global Fatbike Day was a rip-roaring success here in Newfoundland; not only did we have more participants than last year but we had events in two locations in the province.  The sunshine, blue skies and moderate temperature also helped to make a memorable day.

Here in St. John’s we had more than 20 people show up for a ride in Pippy Park with an after-ride social at Bitters Pub.

GFBD 2014 046

The crowd gathering for the ride in Pippy Park.

 

GFBD 2014 048

GFBD 2014 051

There were lots of fatbikes to drool over. Here’s a new 2015 Beargrease 2…

GFBD 2014 052

Cychotic Bike Shop provided some Norco Sasquatches for people to demo…

GFBD 2014 054

BLING! BLING! Fun ‘n’ Fast showed up with some demos as well including this full suspension Bucksaw.

GFBD 2014 058

Greg riding one of the Norco demos past The Wisdom Tree.

GFBD 2014 064

The trail conditions were ideal – firm, dry and fast. Here the pack waits to regroup.

GFBD 2014 066

A group shot up on Three Pond Barrens.

GFBD 2014 072

Chris strikes a pose on Ridgeline.

GFBD 2014 074

Mel and his Bluto equipped Mukluk. I took it out for a spin and the suspension fork is impressive.

GFBD 2014 077

Fatbikes just make people smile. Robin on Ridgeline.

GFBD 2014 078

Darren sporting his finest t-shirt at the social. And yes, the shirt matches the frame.

GFBD 2014 083

Ross, Julie, Robin and Ray at the social.

Many thanks to:

Cychotic for providing demo bikes;

Fun ‘n’ Fast for demo bikes and food at the social;

Bicycle Newfoundland and Labrador for food at the social;

Canary Cycles for promoting the event on their website; and,

Bitters Pub for allowing us to put some bikes on display.

I personally want to thank Ray Gosine for doing all the heavy lifting to make this year’s event so successful.

 

Central Newfoundland

Gander held its first ever Global Fatbike Day celebration.  Paul and Derick rode 50 km in 3 hours.

IMG_20141206_105943858IMG_20141206_110938055IMG_20141206_115514221_HDRIMG_20141206_121411795_HDRThanks to Paul for providing the pictures.