Fat bikes and flat prairies at Actif Epica in Manitoba. Photo by kylethomas.ca
On Saturday, February 18, 2012, braving the bone-chilling cold and wind of the flat Manitoba prairies, 32 racers bundled up for the Actif Epica. Billed as a celebration of human resilience, the race, completed by bicycle or on foot, challenges participants' physical and mental endurance along a 130 km course, most of which is covered by snow and ice.
Sporting a long list of required racing gear, including a day's worth of food, riders departed from Saint Malo heading north on the Crow Wing Trail. Exposed to the elements racers followed the wide trail, part of the 22,000 km Trans Canada Trail, before reaching their final destination in St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s French quarter.
Early morning temperatures of -20°C with windchill would slowly rise through the day to just below freezing before dropping again as the last of the riders reached the finish line. The first to reach the race's end at Festival du Voyageur were Blair Saunders, Jean Paul Peters and Paul Lapointe all with a time of 6 hours and 10 minutes.
A full set of photos from the Actif Epica can be found here.
A race recap by organizers Ian Hall and David Pensato is here.
Jon Laterveer and his fat bike speed by on the snowy trail. Photo by kylethomas.ca
Jim Nadler conquered the course in just under 7 hours. Photo by kylethomas.ca
For more about winter cycling in Winnipeg see our dandy dispatch by James Patterson: Two wheels / one frozen city
For more winter cycling tales and tips, read the Winter Web Issue, our first ever online issue: Winter Issue 2012