Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Walking the Bear - my day with the Salsa Beargrease

Having rented such a wonderful bicycle for the day, I set out to fully enjoy it.  That meant some trail riding, but mostly it meant retracing the routes I commonly took growing up in Ottawa.

Although the paths of my youth would look much different covered in a foot of snow, and some 30 years later, they absolutely succeeded in resurrecting a lot of good memories.

Starting from the far east, the route traces back to itself counter-clockwise.  Turns out the route that took me four hours (including a couple of rests) was only 27km long - but it sure felt a lot longer than that.  I would equate the workout to doing 60km, full-out, on the road.

I headed straight for the "world's longest skating rink" aka the Rideau Canal. At the shop we debated whether or not bicycles were allowed on the ice surface but we settled on the old "its easier to apologize than to ask permission." It was a great surface for the Beargrease, and who can argue with cutting right through the city without ever having to stop?

That's the canal at the bottom of the steps.  I went right/north into the city.
Taking a look around at the National Arts Centre.  That tower in the background is Canada's Parliament.

I jumped out of the canal and cut across Wellington to the Ottawa River Parkway (I think they have renamed it now). This is where the workout was on.  There really was no path to see so I followed some footprints in the deep snow.  I remember pushing through some deep stuff when I caught myself grinning from ear to ear.  I laughed out loud and shouted "this is awesome!"

The only person I passed on this stretch was a young woman in snowshoes walking two Huskies.  We shared a knowing smile.

I took back to the streets at Woodroofe Avenue.  From there, to my parents house to show them the bicycle I was so excited about.

From my parents house I made a brief detour to some friends so they could give it a try, and then on through the Central Experimental Farm and back to Phat Moose via the canal.  I did one endo but I came up laughing because the deep snow cushioned me all around.

The Beargrease handled really well, especially when I was on light pack.  But that's another story yet to come.


  1. What a cool bike. This must have been great fun.
    I've ridden a similar fat tire bike although just around a parking lot. It was nicer riding than I was expecting.

  2. OttawaVeloOutaouaisFebruary 27, 2013

    I've skied along the Ottawa river trail this winter but don't the nerve to bike it unless there is a well trodden foot path. How deep was the snow? Otherwise that is one incredible testament to how amazing that bike is for winter riding.

  3. Did you bring it home? Looks like a good time.