December 21, 2014
With the exception of a little freezing rain to liven up the driving conditions, the weather decided to cooperate on this little excursion. Rolling into St. Pierre Jolys, I found three other like-minded individuals keen to scope out some of the course (and fit in a Sunday morning ride).
No adventure is without a hiccup or two along the way. This time around, I discovered the press-fit cups and axle had popped out when I came to unpack my bike and put the front wheel on. The idea of bailing without even one pedal stroke was not a pleasant thought. Luckily I had help in the form of the always resourceful Pete and some tools borrowed from the local gas station. Within 30 minutes Dale, Mark, Pete and I were off and rolling toward St. Malo to check out the first section of the course.
The winds picked up as we rolled out, pushing hard from the South and slowing our outbound journey. At least it looked like a speedy return trip would be in the cards. Using the narrower tires on a cross bike as a guideline, the route was almost entirely passable on that day, with minimal walking/pushing required. However, with recent snowfall and the likelihood of more to come, it will almost certainly be a different story mid-February.
Pete pointed out the Crow-Wing Trail has been widened through one of the much appreciated tree-covered sections, complete with the placement of rocks/boulders at the road side entry to deter vehicles.
Previously, this section has been known to sport deep ruts and last year greater snowfall amounts with drifting meant walking/pushing through, no matter your ‘weapon-of-choice’.
We pressed on and headed toward the bridge and field sections on the first part of the route, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather for late December.
Before long, we found ourselves in St. Malo and stopped for the obligatory picture on the (frozen) lake before turning around to head back.
The return trip went well, with strong tailwinds making for a speedy journey and we found ourselves back in St. Pierre with a quick stop to refuel at Le Routier before parting ways.
Thanks to those that were able to make it out this time it was a great day for a ride! We are planning another recon ride for a different section of the route soon (in January), so if you missed out this time and are interested in coming out to ride and chat about Actif Epica, winter riding or just for fun, stay tuned!