Two years ago I wrote Seine: the forgotten river -- a short photo tour of a winter bike ride down the under-appreciated Seine River, south of Bishop Grandin Blvd. This weekend I took a short bike ride up the river north of Fermor Ave., past the Windsor Park and St.Boniface golf courses and took a couple of photos along the way. (click to enlarge)
This winter has been almost perfect for bike riding on the river because of the lack of snow. People walk up and down the river all the time, packing down a trail that is very easy to ride on. In years with lots of snow the trail might not get packed down, and it will be much more like pedaling through sand. I said "almost" perfect because there are some areas along the river that are still not quite frozen over, including one area in particular where warmer water is diverted into the river from the east.
sheltered by pine trees with a decent-sized
skating rink cleared on the river.
People often ask me if I have special tires on my bike. I do own studded tires, but I don't always use them and did not have them on this past weekend. They're not really necessary unless you expect to be riding over icy surfaces. There are several spots along the river where people have cleared skating rinks, but you can usually either ride around them or glide over them. The key to biking over ice is to ride in as straight a line as possible.
At one point along the river there is a cleared skating trail that must run for several hundred meters. Sure it's a little more modest than the river trail at the Forks, but it's quieter and it was also open earlier in the season.
The trail takes a diversion up onto land just north of the St.Boniface Golf Course where a beaver dam, made partially from wooden pallets, makes the trail unsuitable for walking .. for people at least. I can tell from the foot prints that dogs can't resist the trickle of cool tasty water.
Anyhow, I hope this inspires one of you to think outside the Active Transportation Path and explore a river instead.. If the nice weather holds up I might add a part III in the series before the snow melts.