The Wetum winter ice road was still closed when the James Bay Descent crew left Moosonee to start the second half of their 630km quest. Instead, Ted King, Eric Batty, Buck Miller and Ryan Atkins followed the road clearing crews south, frequently stopping to wait for snow drifts to be cleared ahead of them.
Going got easier as the crew got farther from Moosonee and from the effects of a winter snow storm. The four riders have now arrived at their destination in Smooth Rock Falls in Northern Ontario. King, Batty, Miller and Atkins covered the massive distance from their start point in Attawapiskat to Smooth Rock Falls in just eight days.
Along the way, they faced -35 degree Celsius temperatures, closed ice roads, and were forced to change their route after facing open waters on James Bay early in the trip. Some days they covered as few as 50km, crawling along at an average pace below 10 km/hr. Other days, the quartet would cover in excess of 100km.
The James Bay Descent crew also stopped to visit schools in Attawapiskat and Moosonee, enjoyed the occasional home cooked meal made by friends along the route, and survived the eight day odyessy injury and mechanical free.
By completing the 630km ride, King, Batty, Miller and Atkins are the first group to ride fat bikes from Attawapiskat to the end of the winter road system, at Smooth Rock Falls.
For more information on the James Bay Descent, listen to Ted King’s appearance on the Canadian Cycling Magazine podcast.