Home > News

Cycling in Canada: Winter’s fat bike playground on Manitoba’s snowy, serene Bur Oak Trail

Ah, fat bikes. They're gaining in popularity, and more than likely, you've probably seen one or two of them on the streets of your town or city, even over the winter months.

Ah, fat bikes.

They’re gaining in popularity, and more than likely, you’ve probably seen one or two of them on the streets of your town or city, even over the winter months. As ever, there’s a certain appeal to the rugged, robust look of a pair of huge, treaded tires, supporting a sleek frame. They might be a bit slow over the asphalt as a result, but they look seriously impressive.

All that, though? That’s nothing compared to what they can do on the snow.

Riders in Manitoba would know, too. Here at Canadian Cycling Magazine, some of our writers—or at least one *raises hand*—recall the experience of tasting that biting prairie cold for the first time. Coming from Toronto, and especially coming from somewhere like coastal British Columbia, that breathtaking, stinging whip of winter on the wind can be almost shocking at first, freezing your breath in your throat, causing you to cough.

To the province’s fat bike riders, though, it means only one thing: bring it on.

In today’s video installment of cycling’s many forms across the country, we take a look at how one rider, Tom Kolesnik, experienced that definitive Manitoba cold in the saddle. On Nov. 22, Kolesnik—along with twelve other “fatties,” as he referred to his fellow fatbikers—took to the terrain of the Bur Oak Trail, part of Birds Hill Provincial Park near Winnipeg. In places across the country where the final leaves of autumn just fell, the sight of all-out Manitoba winter this time of year, fully in progress, might be startling.

To the likes of Kolesnik and his winter warrior ilk, though, the sight is one big, beautiful, winter-white invitation, and it shows. Where those wide tires might lose a little speed on the city’s asphalt, they make up for it by soaring over the snowy grounds of the trail, perfectly in control. Winter riders across the country, no matter what their steeds, embrace the season as its own unique playground.

On a fat bike, though, that playground certainly seems that much more fun.