Dozens of riders enjoy annual Global Fat Bike Day at The Forks

Big wheels keep on turning


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Close to 70 "fatties" -- as bikes with big, fat tires are often called -- gathered at The Forks Saturday for the third annual Winnipeg Global Fat Bike Day ride.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/12/2015 (2444 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Close to 70 “fatties” — as bikes with big, fat tires are often called — gathered at The Forks Saturday for the third annual Winnipeg Global Fat Bike Day ride.

The cyclists on the bikes with huge tires built for traction in snow and sand set out for the fun ride after 11 a.m., crossing the Esplanade Riel before heading to The Forks Riverwalk, then west towards Assiniboine Park.

The first time they held the Fat Bike Day ride in Winnipeg in 2013, only 10 cyclists showed up, said organizer Tom Kolesnik, who strapped a GoPro camera to his helmet Saturday to record their ride.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Riders take part in the third annual Global Fat Bike Day ride at The Forks Saturday amid above-seasonal temperatures.

“More people are getting into it,” he said.

Last year there were 50 cyclists. This year 100 were expected, but closer to 70 showed up at the start.

“It’s fun,” said Lisa Case, one of the fat-bike cyclists waiting for the ride to begin.

She and her husband bought themselves $1,200 fatties for Christmas last year. The bikes start at about $400, and the sky’s the limit, said Case, who rides hers to work in the winter, a three-kilometre commute.

Having fat tires might help keep fat off the cyclist.

“It’s more of a workout than any other bike,” said Case, who owns several. “There’s no coasting.”

The bikes get great traction on any terrain, said Kolesnik, noting the Global Fat Bike Day ride is happening in cities around the world in different climates.

The air force pilot says he organized the Winnipeg ride — which is free to join — just for fun. says rides are planned from Australia to Alaska to the U.K., with “no sponsors, no entry fees, and no worries… just, one of the best times, you have ever had on a fat bike!”

Kolesnik said he and his wife invited the Winnipeg riders to stop at their home for chili along the four-hour route — not that anyone needed to go inside to warm up Saturday.

Above-normal temperatures in Winnipeg melted most of the snow. The daytime high was expected to hit 5 C, well above the normal high of -8 C for this time of year.

The record high of 8.9 C was recorded in 1939. The coldest Dec. 5 was in 1972, when it was -30.6 C.

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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