Winnipeg Free Press


A week on two wheels

Happy Bike Week, folks.

I was hoping to get to this earlier, but well you know — the Jets.

So in case you missed it, or didn't know about it, Monday launched a seven-day celebration of the bicycle and everyone that rides one. Needless to say, I'm in.

Local organizers like to say Bike Week Winnipeg is for everyone — whether you ride for recreation, fitness, transportation, sport, just for fun, or all of the above.

And while current provincial health restrictions on gatherings have forced local organizers to make Bike Week a virtual event for the second year in a row, there are still plenty of events and theme days to take part in.

The week kicked off with the 15th annual Bike to Work Day. It was a glorious Monday morning and despite a sprinkle of rain here and there, I took a long route to work — why hurry, right? — turning the usual 10.5-km commute into a 20-km adventure. A great way to start the week.

Don't worry, boss — I left home earlier than usual.

If you've missed the first few days of events, there's plenty more to take part in. Here's a sampling of what's up for the rest of the week:

Today — Heels and Wheels: Dress to the nines and take a spin. Look good, feel good and you might win an exclusive photo shoot. Snap a photo of yourself and tag it #HeelsandWheels2021 and @bikeweekwpg by the end of the day to be entered to win. You can also send an email here, explaining why you and your bike deserve a prize;

• Friday — South Osborne Bike Hub: Does your bike need some TLC? From 3-7 p.m., drop by the Lord Roberts Community Centre at 725 Kylemore Ave, where volunteers will be on hand to help you out;

• Saturday — Bike to Art: The challenge here is to pedal around town and see what kind of art you can find. I like the sounds of this one and plan to make this my usual Saturday ride;

• Sunday — Bike to Park: Check out a local greenspace on one of the extensive trail networks we have in town. Winnipeg Trails is a great resource for more information on the many paths we have through our parks and other areas of our city.

My favourite city routes of late have included the Sturgeon Creek Greenway Trail that runs from Saskatchewan Avenue to Woodhaven Park through areas that were once a tall grass prairie. It's a picturesque area of the city that I had not previously explored and it's gorgeous in the early morning light.

Sturgeon Creek Greenway Trail

Sturgeon Creek Greenway Trail

I live near Grant Park mall, so I start by getting to Wellington Crescent. I then cross the bridge to Omand’s Creek Park, take the new bike path that circles around Polo Park to St. Matthews Ave. and then head west to connect to the Yellow Ribbon Greenway, which takes me past the Assiniboine Golf Club, the James Richardson Airport flight path viewing area, 17 Wing and the Living Prairie Museum, before connecting to the Sturgeon Creek path.

Later, after reaching the Woodhaven area, I head down Assiniboine Avenue, cross the Moray Bridge, and make my way down Vialoux Drive to Assiniboine Park. Typically, it's then on to Assiniboine Forest, through Fort Whyte, around Bishop Grandin to Beaverbrook, and then down Archibald to just past the St. Boniface Golf Course, where you can then follow some terrific single-track paths along the Seine River and through Whittier Park, all the way to The Forks.

A pleasant pathway from there, that mostly runs alongside the rapid transit route, takes me to the junction of Pembina Hwy and Jubilee, and then down Harrow to home.

Last Saturday the trip was 53.95 km in two hours, 39 minutes and 55 seconds — averaging 20.2 km/h according to the Strava app.

A decent ride prior to the scorching heat. The forecast for this Saturday — and Sunday — is 27 and sunny. Can probably make the ride a little longer and include a Bike Week event or two.

Perhaps we will see you out there.

For a complete listing of this week's events, head here.

Meantime, the Jets held their final player availabilities on Wednesday — Garbage Bag Day, as it's known.

Mike McIntyre and Jason Bell have several files for you — see the Our Coverage section below.

Sounds like one or two of them could use a relaxing bike ride.

But then, can't we all?

As always, folks, you can reach me by replying to this mailing or by sending me an email here.

Our Coverage

Exit Day: Mike McIntyre and Jason Bell combine for a story on four key questions they asked the 15 different players paraded before them on Wednesday as the Winnipeg Jets conducted their final media availabilities for players;

Parting shots: Mike also has a story on Mark Scheifele taking no real responsibility for the hit on Jake Evans and coming out firing against the NHL and media;

Bumps and bruises: Jason has a sidebar on the guys who were playing hurt;

Dare to dream: And Mike puts a bow on the package with a column on what the Jets might need to do to take a step closer to their Stanley Cup goal;

The Kickoff: The Canadian Premier League released its 32-game schedule for the Winnipeg bubble later this month and Taylor Allen has a story with a pair of veterans on Valour FC — Daryl Fordyce and Jose Galan — who broke it down and talked about what it'll be like to be in the same city as their wife and kids but not be allowed to see them.

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