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:
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.
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.
- 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: