Yeti, set, go!

Are you sick of riding the goddamn rollers? I know I am. So how about we get ourselves outside and ride us some winter bike races.

Ice Bike
First up is Ice Bike, hosted by the good people in yellow, Woodcock Cycle. This Sunday, February 10, Ice Bike is being resurrected after a two-year hiatus. This puts it squarely in my pre-winter riding era, so I’ve never done it – but I’ve heard very good things and The People seem pretty excited. It goes down at the Forks and includes races for kids, and adult races in three distances: 4k, 8k, or 12k. There are a shit ton of prizes and it’s non-santioned so you don’t need a fancy UCI race licence from creepy Uncle Pat.

If you are a loser like me and missed pre-registration by a week or so, fear not – we can still pay a bit more and register on-site before 11am. Full details are here.

Actif Epica
Ice Bike should not be confused with the other Winnipeg winter bike race that has a Yeti mascot – Actif Epica.

It should not be confused because, while the longest race option in Ice Bike is 12km, Actif Epica is 130. However, if the thought of riding that distance makes you throw up in your mouth a little, you could register for the relay and only do half. If you think riding 130km is for pussies, well maybe you should ride to the start line in St. Malo. Or run it with Dallas.

I did Epica last year and have to say it was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding races I have ever done. It was well organized, fun, challenging, and put me in touch with my Manitoba roots more than a hockey social ever could. Should you do it? Sure! Should you be training, paying very close attention to the conditions, and getting your gear dialed in? Abso-freaking-lutely. Last year the winners finished in six hours and ten minutes. And the conditions were spectacular. Think about it.

Registration deadline is this Saturday, February 9. Details are here.

So whether you like short and fast, or long and slow, there is a winter bike race for you! Either one is a great excuse to get your ass off the couch or the goddamn rollers.