Wow! Actif Epica listed as one of Canada’s 10 most epic rides by Canadian Cycling Magazine!
Here’s some news to keep racers stoked for the final 2 weeks of preparation! For those not registered yet, a reminder that registration closes at midnight on February 9th.
Race Course News: Race route is 90% same as last year. New race start planned for St. Malo Arena. From there, we’ll be heading out via Rue Chouinard to Rue Poitras, and then into the park via de la Grotte. The finish line this year will be the South Atrium of the Forks Market. We had a great time last year with our friends at Festival du Voyageur, but this finish location should be easier for racers to navigate too; visitors are encouraged to plan a visit to the Festival as part of their trip – he ho! Since it seems as though the weather is going to cooperate and the rivers are going to stay frozen (cross your fingers) the route into the city will be a nice mix of multi-use paths and on-river trails. Cue sheets and GPS files are being updated and will be posted before the race.
Trail Condition News: The Crow Wing Trail is seeing a real winter this year. There is lots of snow out there, folks. Some of the road sections haven’t seen cars on them since November. Most areas have sporadic drifts across the road/trail. Some of them are soft, some are firm. For cyclists: big tires will make it over some (but not all) and skinny tires will cut through some (but not all). It’s a safe bet that everyone will do some walking this year, so plan your footwear accordingly. For runners: plan for snow deeper than tops of your shoes – gaiters may be your friends. Last year’s finish times are not likely to be achieved this time round. You’ll need to move like a voyageur: light, smart, resilient and relentless.
Shuttle News: Through help from Vital Transit, a bus is available to get racers to St. Malo (2 pick ups in Winnipeg – the Forks at about 5:00 and St. Vital at about 5:30) at the very discounted cost to passengers of $10. Trailers will be used to move bikes. RSVPs for the shuttle are requested. The bus and trailers will roll out early to get runners to the line for 7. Cyclists will have time to retrieve their rides and do final prep before setting out on the course. Our start line is an indoor space with a washroom and canteen.
Weather and Gear News: Along with snow, “real winter” has brought temperatures and winds that have combined into some pretty extreme conditions on an almost weekly basis lately. Can’t predict the conditions this far out, but for those who are not from here, be prepared for possibility of air temperatures down to -35 (Celsius or Fahrenheit, take your pick), and windchills of -45 (or even more if you’re moving on a bike). You won’t want any exposed skin (or eyes) if it’s that cold, so plan gear accordingly. Pre-race gear check is lined up, no exceptions to mandatory safety gear will be made.
Partner News: We are pleased to welcome back many partners from last year – Crow Wing Trail Association, Town of Niverville, Providence College, Manitoba Floodway Authority, Surly Bikes, Olympia Cycle and Ski, the Belgian Club and Mountain Equipment Co-op (our finish line sponsor this year), and very excited to include new partners The Distillery Creativity & Consulting, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Parlour Coffee, and Marty’s Diamond & Gold Exchange. These organizations and companies are believers in the principles of Actif Epica and in active, outdoor winter fun. We’re also happy to say Actif Epica 2013 is a Fair Trade Event and our race fuel will feature fair trade coffee and hot chocolate from our friends at Fair Trade Manitoba.
Volunteer News: Thank you to the great crew of volunteers who have signed on to support the race – the event couldn’t run without you. We are still seeking a couple of Saturday afternoon/evening helpers in south Winnipeg. If you’re game, please drop us a line.