Winter/spring shoulder season is a tough one in Winnipeg. We can have a blizzard on Monday and patio beers on Friday. It’s always a challenge to wait out the last blasts of winter to transition to spring, but I found a surprisingly fun thing to do that works no matter what the bananas March weather brings: fat biking.
Have you seen these bikes around town? As you might guess, they have comically large tires—quite impossible to miss if you’ve ever seen them. People have been cruising on them all winter along the Red River Mutual Trail. When I found out they are available to rent from White Pine Bicycle Company in the Johnston Terminal (and it's pretty affordable - only $25 for up to 5 hours), I had to check it out!
A fat tire bike is shockingly stable and secure. It’s one of the easiest bikes you’ll ever ride. I was immediately at ease, maneuvering safely and easily through snow, ice, mud, and puddles. I felt like I was riding the tank of bikes—the tires gripped the ground like Velcro. Riding this bike was akin to that satisfying indestructible spring feeling of walking through puddles in rubber boots times 100. So fun.
There are many trails to explore on a bike when you start at The Forks. We rode along the Assiniboine River and hit up some single-track trails behind the Granite Curling Club. Then we looped around on my favourite 5K active transportation loop connecting the Exchange District, downtown, The Forks, and St Boniface. The are many trails to explore that connect to The Forks, and White Pine Bicycle Company carries various maps to help you plan your route.
Dressing for this season is always tricky. Layers are always recommended, and on warmer, milder days, bring water protection! Our ride was wet and messy, exactly how spring should be!
Nothing completes a good bike ride quite like a refreshing cold beer. Lucky for us, we had one of those unusual warm spring days, which meant patio beers! It was a great afternoon spent exploring the city in a brand new, active way. This is how you do spring in Winnipeg.
Lindsay Somers is a Lifestyle Health Coach in Winnipeg. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. All photos by Mark Reimer