fatbike gros morne

From R-L: Darren, Ross and the writer go on an exploratory mission to Gros Morne National Park to see what the potential is for fatbiking.  We are happy to report the news is all good.  (a Darroch W photo)

From R-L: Darren, Ross and the writer go on an exploratory mission to Gros Morne National Park to see what the potential is for fatbiking. We are happy to report the news is all good. (a Darroch W photo)

We stayed at Old Lincoln Cabins, seen here.  We arrived to 30 cm of fresh powder on top of the 400+ cm that had fallen in previous months.

We stayed at Old Lincoln Cabins, seen here. We arrived to 30 cm of fresh powder on top of the 400+ cm that had fallen in previous months.

On Day 1 we left from Rocky Harbour and headed up the town's water supply road, following a fresh snowmobile track.  We were soon rewarded with great views of Gros Morne.  We had to turn back at this pond as we lost the track due to drifting.

On Day 1 we left from Rocky Harbour and headed up the town’s water supply road, following a fresh snowmobile track. We were soon rewarded with great views of Gros Morne. We had to turn back at this pond as we lost the track due to drifting.

Pro tip: Replacing lost fluids after a ride is critical.

Pro tip: Replacing lost fluids after a ride is critical.

Ross demonstrates proper fluid replacement for those of you new to this sport.

Ross demonstrates proper fluid replacement for those of you new to this sport.

Daytime highs were in the minus teens while we were there.  We woke up to -26C one morning.

Daytime highs were in the minus teens while we were there. We woke up to -26C one morning.

Fatbikers are a cultured lot; we attended this artsy evening of poetry and music at the old cottage hospital in Norris Point.

Fatbikers are a cultured lot; we attended this artsy evening of poetry and music at the old cottage hospital in Norris Point.

This is Tom Dawe reading some of his poetry - I liked him a lot.  The highlight of the evening, without a doubt, were Sherman Downey & Matthew Byrne.

This is Tom Dawe reading some of his poetry – I liked him a lot. The highlight of the evening, without a doubt, were Sherman Downey & Matthew Byrne. Yes, that is an old hospital ward room we are in.

Day 2 we left right from our cabin and headed to a feature called The Sinkhole.  We followed high traffic snowmobile trails.

Day 2 we left right from our cabin and headed to a feature called The Sinkhole. We followed high traffic snowmobile trails.

The sections through the trees were lovely.

The sections through the trees were lovely.

Some of the open areas were a bit more difficult, even for our motorized friends.

Some of the open areas were a bit more difficult, even for our motorized friends.

Ross looking boss.

Ross looking boss.

Lots and lots and lots of snow.

Lots and lots and lots of snow.

Fatbike heaven.

Fatbike heaven.

We made it to the warm-up hut at the turnoff to The Sinkhole but couldn't get any further due to drifting.  We were quite a hit with the snowmobile crowd.

We made it to the warm-up hut at the turnoff to The Sinkhole but couldn’t get any further due to drifting. We were quite a hit with the snowmobile crowd.

Day 3, our last day, was the best by far.  Here we are driving in to Rocky Harbour to meet up with Darrock W who works for Parks Canada and is an old roadie aquaintence of mine from "back in the day".  We brought a fatbike for him and in return he guided us on an excellent ride, cooked us moose burgers and had a great selection of beer waiting at his house.

Day 3, our last day, was the best by far. Here we are driving in to Rocky Harbour to meet up with Darrock W who works for Parks Canada and is an old roadie aquaintence of mine from “back in the day”. We brought a fatbike for him and in return he guided us on an excellent ride, cooked us moose burgers and had a great selection of beer waiting at his house.

Gros Morne to my right, primo trail to my left.  Happy.

Gros Morne to my right, primo trail to my left. Happy.

We had some blue sky and light winds to start the day.

We had some blue sky and light winds to start the day.

Darroch.

Darroch.

PnS 046

The descent into Bakers Brook Pond was an absolute scream!

The descent into Bakers Brook Pond was an absolute scream! (a Darroch W photo)

Some friends of Darroch's had the cabin at Bakers Brook booked, so we stopped there for lunch.

Some friends of Darroch’s had the cabin at Bakers Brook booked, so we stopped there for lunch.

On our way out.

On our way out.

PnS 050

This was our route, 30 km total, starting and ending at the Visitors Centre in Rocky Harbour.

This was our route, 30 km total, starting and ending at the Visitors Centre in Rocky Harbour. That is Gros Morne in the upper right and Bakers Brook Pond in upper left. (a Darroch W image)

Random bits

  • we stayed at Old Lincoln Cabins.  4 nights cost us $225 each, taxes in.
  • we would stay there again – the owners, Luann and Carter, went out of their way to be helpful.  There is a barn with a woodstove to store bikes in and an outdoor hot tub. Coyle’s general store is one minute away. The only minor complaints were no cell service there and a weak Wi-Fi signal.
  • we ate a great meal at The Jackladder, just 10 minutes from where we stayed.
  • having some local knowledge from Darroch was invaluable.  Thanks again from all of us.
  • we barely scratched the surface of what is possible  in Gros Morne.  Given that it is the only national park in Canada that allows snowmobiles it stands to reason that it will have the greatest potential for fatbiking of any national park.
Advertisements

’14 – ’15 winter season (so far)

As I write this it is March 1st and I’m reflecting back on the winter riding season to date.  Certainly a few things stand out: the snow came late, the ice has been plentiful, the number of fatbikers is soaring, we’ve had a couple of social events, trail grooming is about to start happening, and lots of people have upgraded their fatbikes after only buying their first one a year ago (and some people have upgraded even quicker than that).

SBR Feb'15

We have seen a lot of icy trails this year. Multiple thaw/freeze cycles and periods of heavy rain have made the trails “challenging”.

Studded tires have be a must-have this winter.

Studded tires: a must-have this winter.

A first for me this winter was seeing a pack of coyotes (3) as I rounded a corner on the back roads in The Goulds.  I have seen individual coyotes but never a pack.  I managed to capture of picture of this one - the other two scattered quickly.  Click on the image and enlarge it for a better view.

A first for me this winter was seeing a pack of coyotes (3) as I rounded a corner on the back roads in The Goulds. I have seen individual coyotes but never a pack. I managed to capture a picture of one – the other two scattered quickly. Click on the image and enlarge it for a better view.

Coyote tracks. Coyotes places their back foot in the print made by the front foot, creating a single, straight line of prints.

IMG_0300

Pugsley tracks. Sometimes the rear wheel follows the front wheel and makes a single set of tracks; sometimes not.

We've had a lot of group rides with great turnouts.

We’ve had a lot of group rides with great turnouts.

Dean The Machine leading the way.

Dean The Machine leading the way.

Jason and his new Norco Sasquatch.  Lots of Bluto suspension forks are appearing on bikes, another trend new this season.

Jason and his new Norco Sasquatch. Lots of Bluto suspension forks are appearing on bikes, another trend new this season.

Mel in stealth mode.

Mel in stealth mode.

Yours truly about to take the plunge on a ride to Witless Bay Line.

Yours truly about to take the plunge on a ride to Witless Bay Line.

Sean all smiles on his new Surly Pugsley.

Sean all smiles on his new Surly Pugsley.

There have been a number of riders who have put together beautiful builds around the new 9:ZERO:7 Whiteout frame this year, including:

Mark...

Mark…

...Dwayne...

…Dwayne…

...Jason, and...

…Jason…

...and Darren.

…and Darren.

Tim, Ross, Darren and Dan on the way to The Spout.

Tim, Ross, Darren and Dan on the way to The Spout.

See Ross go!

See Ross go!

See Ross stop!

See Ross stop!

Dean demonstrates, for our amusement, what German engineered road sedans *can't* do.

Dean demonstrates, for our amusement, what German engineered road sedans *can’t* do.

More insight into Dean's world.

More insight into Dean’s world.

Blue skies, firm trails and fat tires make Dan smile.

Blue skies, firm trails and fat tires make Dan smile.

Spout - not! 009

Dan looking pro.