Newfoundland by Fat Bike!

July 29th 2016

Conception Bay to St Johns . Thank you to Paula and he daughter Leanne , letting us store the bikes in the yard overnight. Today was the final day of our journey across the tropical island of Newfoundland. over the ride we sat back and remembered the good and the bad times. We remembered how terrible the trail was the first few days and how many laughs we had with Ted an Sharon in Lumsden, our little friend Herc in Howley, the generosity of Wanda and Leon in Gander, Betty and Floyd up in the Gaff Topsails and every other awesome person we met. Those thought took all of 20min so we had another 2hr ride ahead of us…


From Conception Bay we headed uphill to Paradise. The trail from here on out was smooth and fast. It took no time to get to Mount Pearl.

As today was a faster day not so many photos were taken.

We quickly came into St Johns, faster than expected. So we had a quick sit down in a park to again remember the good old days and also come to the realization that we are done this trip.



We have taken these fat bikes through a lot of things from small river rock to large stretches of abyss from sun to terenchal down pours. And they survived.

We will do some product review and what did and didn’t work for us on the trip but overall an amazing experience. At this point I wouldn’t do it again, unless there was a motor on the bike.

It will take several days and weeks and probably months to heal the injuries but the stories we will have will last a lifetime.




Our trip was suppose to be 883km… well we exceeded that. With all the riding around we did our final distance was 925km.

Before today total elevation gain was over 14,000ft. Way more than expected.


We will post more photos when we have them compiled. But all in all a great time. Also we have a photo of a drawing Ryerson did which Johnny took great care of across the whole island.

Now to enjoy George Street Music Festival.



July 28th 2016

Whitborne to Conseption Bay South. Day 11, ideally we were supposed to be done the trip today but we decided to extend by a day. You will see why later on.

We started today packing up in the fog which wasn’t bad. We had hope that it would lift and we would get sun. It’s always sunny in Newfoundland right….


Between Whitborne and Avondale there was nothing. Litteraly nothing. So we had some fun on the trail.




So w had about 30km of nothing. Going through village after village with no water food etc. Then we arrive in Avondale. A nice small town. We talk to a local who gave us an idea how far Holyrood was so off we went.


In Holyrood we found Mama pizzeria which was our last food stop for the day. So we scarfed down a pizza a away we went to Conseption Bay.


Between Holyrood and Conseption Bay we came across some amazing viewsIMG_20160728_151539_editIMG_20160728_151148_editIMG_20160728_151554_edit

We ditched our bikes in Conseption Bay an hitched a ride to St Johns to watch The Trews and our Lady peace.


Plan is to get back to th bikes in Conseption Bay and finish the ride tomorrow.



Another day done.




July 27th 2016

Goobies to Whitborne.  Day 10 yes we made it that far. We woke up at the big stop for a heart u breakfast.



From Goobies we set off to Arnold cove. After taking to a local she pointed us to the local Robins Donut. Yes a Donut shop. So delicious and hit the spot right away.

Between Arnold Cove and Placentia Junction there was a whole lot of nothing.   This would be our longest stretch with nothing at 60km. ov this stretch we did have a couple pit stops.


Over the day we had a lot of climbing again with almost 500m

This wasn’t bad with the great scenery.








Our end goal was the town of Whitborne which we made. 92 km from where we started. We met some local girls who were preparing for the regatta the coming weekend. They were nice enough to drive us to the convenience store to get a boat load of beer.


Oh also as you can see the picked up a hitchhiker. Bernie found a pig squeeze toy on the trial.




July 26th 2016

Terra Nova to Goobies.. yes Goobies. Today caps off Day 9 of our journey from Port-au-basque to St Johns.

Waking up on the beach with a heavy dew on our stuff so we had to wait for everything to dry. What better way than with a fire and a coffee.



We hit the trail on a sunny morning and away we go. Today the plan was to ride the town of Goobies. We had great trails all day. Our first stop was for bridge yoga which has been a great tradition



After bridge yoga it was on route to Clarenville to Over the Edge bike shop. There we grabbed a shifter for johnny  out it on and away we go again.   Seemingly all uphill as well.



Again an hour or so on the bike seeing a tonnes of bunny rabbits

All in all a great ride today with trails in great shape.



Our ride finished in the town of Goobies. We got some the Irving truck stop. The folks here are great and let us set up shop in a grass area.


Forecast tomorrow I will chance of rain. We are getting closer to the end. 179km to go.


July 25th 2016

Gander to Terra Nova would be our day 8 adventure . The plan for the day would entail a 88kn ride through some amazing scenery.


Leaving Gander we would push through about 1.5hrs of riding to a bridge for some bridge yoga and stretching. This has been a daily routine.


From this point we were off to the lovely town of Gambo. Here we would stop for lunch and grab enough supplies for the rest of the ride and diner.


We would push through parallel to Terra Nova national park which to be honest the scenery felt similar for Northern Ontario. With the lakes and Islands as far as you could see.  Again some more yoga and off we go to Terra Nova


Here bernie and Craig me some locals Sheldon and his dad who showed them where the spring water was as well using the side by side kawasaki brought back beer and ice to the campsite. Such an absolute huge help for Us to the night. Honestly, the people we have come across on ou journey have all been extremely helpful and caring. Makes you think why t rest of the world couldn’t be limited this!







We set up a nice fire met another local Charmaine and her dog and all and all had a great evening. Bed by 11 with beer and food in our stomachs. Ready for another day.



July 24th 2016

We have now hit day 7 of our journey starting in Bishop falls ending in Gander. Our day started with one less, Paul took the day off to try and let his ankle heal.

Coming out of bishop falls we came across the trestle bridge as well as one of the old trains.



The four of us made our way through town mostly on paved roads. Which was great as it let us make up a lot of distance very quickly. We had our first stop in Norris Arm to fill water and grab some grub.  We performed some yoga , headed back on the trail. Again making some good time on the trail.



From Norris Arm we rode to Glenwood. Well remember how we said that we lucked out with no rain, well we got hit and hit hard today. We had a good 10-15km stretched where we got drenched.


We ran into another group of bikers in a local convenience store heading west.  We had a great conversation with them letting the sun come back out and let us finish the ride to Gander. This was another 24km stretch.



The folks at the convenience store were great and kinda feel bad for leaving the floor soaked.





Our total ride today was 92km in 5hrs 21min.

Another great day.



July 23rd 2016

We are now hit day 6 and it is over.  Waking up in Millerton Junction Was great. No rain again. So knock on wood we have lucked out.


From Millerton Junction we rode uphill but then a nice long downhill to badger. . Good 24km before we got food and coffee in us so there was some not so happy people this morning. But once coffee and food were injested we were good to go.


From Badger more downhill to grand falls Windsor. Over this section we did hit the half way point of our ride…. we think. But regardless we had a shot of screech to celebrate.

Grand falls we had a snack at the sobeys and on route to Bishop Falls and we rented a 5th wheel to sleep in. Funny story, Mort who we stayed with in Millerton Junction, we’ll his brother Phil owns the RV Park we are at now. So both nights we are staying with a family member.


Diner was was great Chinese restaurant just a walking distance away from theRV.

Now a few beer and prep for tomorrow. W may be a rider less…



July 22nd 2016

Day 5 in the books. Sorry for the late post But had no reception at the amazing camp site.


Bernies tent. You can ask him…

We started with a beautiful sunrise and a breakfast at the corner store.


Again a huge thanks to the lovely girl working there she was friendly and helpful. From there we began our climb up to the topsails. This would be a painful day.  The climb ended up being 35km…..




Our first of many breaks was at a cabin made from an old caboose. Such a great spot to relax.



Tyler and johnny ran into a friendly local named Floyd. He told us to keep riding for a few kilometers and stop at his cabin and talk to his wife Betty. . We did. She gave us beer and water. We had a great chat with her and gave a pair of socks.


After the uphill comes a long down hill. Our plan was to stay somewhere in the Topsails but we pushed through to Millerton Junction.

We met Mort Lindberg who let us stay on his property. Great place to finish the day.



July 21st 2016

Another day in the books so that is 4 down.  We woke up well rested but the bodies are hurting knees are feeling the long rides. But what a sleep at the campground.





Big thank you to Cycle Solution in Corner Brook for having a tire and for City Cabs for delivering it up to us at the campground. A little beefier than what is needed but it will work.



Away we went to deer Lake for a stop for food for our next leg leg the journey. Somewhere along the way bernie lost his tent so for tonight he will be sleeping in the below….




Our original plan was to head to Gaff Topsail but we’ll that didn’t happen. We ended up 50km in to the town of Howley. Such a great little town so we ended up getting a case of Mill St Tank house. So delicious.


We set up camp on the beach just outside of the town. We are expecting rain tomorrow so hopefully we get a 60-70 km ride in.


Time for diner






July 20th 2016

Day 3 finished and overall we had a great day. Waking up beside the lake with a heavy dew but the sun was peaking out a bit.



We loaded up the bikes and hit the trail for our hopeful destination of Deer Lake. Today would be the day we reaped the benefits of the climbing we did the two days prior. With about a 6km up Hill we started turning downhill. And then it became mostly down then up.

One nice thing about today’s ride was the trail became much better with more hard packed areas.



We continued down until we reached Corner Brook For our lunch destination. With some helpful and some non helpful directions from some locals we made it through Corner Brook.

This is where the interesting part of our journey began. We had to do a 2km run along the Trans Canada highway with speed limits at 100km per hour. Staying on the shoulder and dump trucks flying by with the Jake brakes on we made it through that section.

For the next 20km we were on paved roads which would take its toll on people and on Tyler’s bike.  The tire bead separated from the tire cutting the day short. We made it to the town of Pasadena and found a great cabin in an RV Park.

Pine Ridge RV Park, if you are in the area check it out for sure.

The folks here were so nice, they kept the restaurant opened for a couple hours longer for us to have diner. Such great hospitality.


Overall a good day. Now to see about a new tire for tomorrow.





July 19th 2016

Day 2… a long day… longer than we anticipated.  Today we woke up from our slumber on the bridge to a beautiful sunrise and a crazy amount of wind. Overnight the fly less tent of Johnny an Paul had the Newfoundland experience of rain. Unexpected at that point too.




From here we continued along the trail, grabbed some breakfast at a convenience store . We continued to experience some winds and a lack of amenities. It was quite some time before we found civilization but had a great few views along the way.



We ran into several local folks, filled our bottles at the Robinson post office, and off we go again. Today would end up to be a considerable amount of climbing with the total trek hitting 618m of climbing.


We stopped in St George for a bite to eat at the local pub and then a long trek to Gallant. This was suppose to be a semi short trip but if went on forever.


We finally got beer in Gallant and off to out camp site. We are currently at the site having a beer and enjoying the full moon, not just Paul skinny dipping.

Our total ride length today was 104km.





July 18th 2016

Day 1 of the ride is in the books and what a day we had. We met Craig at the ferry terminal in Port-aux-basque loaded up the bikes and hit the road or trail.




The first 2km took a while with us trying to sort out gear and making sure things didn’t fall off. After all quick stop at Canadian tire we made it a while 100m to the train in Port-aux-basque.




Once we hit the actual trail it was a tough slog for a long time. There was a lot of loose gravel, sand beaches etc. But it was all worth it with the scenery.  IMG_20160718_151807Sorry for the sideways photo can’t change it on the phone.


Anyway, our plan was to ride 89km the first day and finish at the river. Well the river was a bust with no where to pitch tents so we continued on til we hit 92km , came across this nice bridge over a river. This is home for the night.



Paul cooked up a great meal, didn’t find a place for beer so w decided on drinking screech that bernie has in the flask. Sitting around a campfire preping for tomorrow and another almost 100km day.








July 17th 2016


After a night when both  Johnny and Paul were screeched in at the Gaff in Lumsden, we began to assemble and test the bike out before loading up and head to Corner brook. The weather is absolutely stunning with blue sky’s and 19 degree weather. After our pleasant stay with Ted and Sharron Melindy we loaded up and off we go for the 5hr journey. No rush today we have plenty o time to cross the island. Bikes are loaded and away we go on the coastal drive. Beautiful scenery and some good tunes.. . Spoke too soon on the good tunes.








July 14th 2016


We finally received our jerseys from apogee, and they turned out amazing.

Thank you to Kathy for doing the design and working with apogee to get them done in time for the trip. They will be worn with pride for sure!







July 13th 2016

We are getting closer and closer to the epic journey of Newfoundland, and Johnny has found the below link of the trail.

This will give you a great idea on what we are about to embark on.






July 9th 2016


Well the fun and games get closer to reality. So why not see how the bike looks in the travel bag.






Nfld by Fat Bike
Nfld by Fat Bike


June  9th, 2016

Well, this is for anyone who is interested, or is planning on coming out to Newfoundland, not for the ride, but the post ride activities!


The lineup was announced this morning on the local radio station, OZFM.


Thu July 28, 2016 – Our Lady Peace, The Trews
Fri July 29, 2016 – Platinum Blonde, Alan Frew (Glass Tiger)
Sat July 30, 2016 – George Street KITCHEN PARTY featuring The Mahones!
Sun July 31, 2016 – (yet to be announced…)
Mon Aug 1, 2016 – Arkells, July Talk, Repartee
Tue Aug 2, 2016 – Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies
Wed Aug 3, 2016 – Shanneyganock, Masterless Men


With the above being said, tickets will be on sale this Saturday, June 11th, at Noon (10:30 Eastern Time, 7:30 Spacific Time)


May  24th, 2016


Well this past holiday Monday, Tyler and Craig started the journey from Grenfel Ontario with an end goal of reaching Penetang.  We had Brian join up with us in Wyevale, but we will get to that as well.








The goal behind the ride was to see how riding over 100km at 1 go would feel, and to be honest for both of us, we felt alright.  Again, our average pace was a little high sitting in and around the 20km/hr mark.  The rail trail we rode stretched from Grenfel to Elmvale, the Elmvale through to Penetang.






The trail surface was a little mixed, with hard packed gravel, loose gravel, paved section, soft sand, and grass.  So it gave us a mix of everything which is good.  Also, unknown to us was that there was a considerable amount of climbing.  Overall distance had 300+ m  of climbing, which put into terms, the lollipop loop in dufferin has roughly the same amount.




Our ride started out at 9am, with us making great time to Elmvale.  We decided to ride through with the Dock Lunch our end goal in Penetang.  Riding along, we hit Wyevale, and riding towards us was another Team Van Go member Brian.  He parked in Penetang and rode back towards us.  We finished the 16km section from Wyevale to Penetang, riding along the water, and just having a good time.


We ate lunch, had our water re-filled and away we went.  We had a little over 56km each way.  The way back was luckily a little more downhill then uphill so that is a positive!  The sun was out in full force, and giving us a great farmers tan for sure.  We hit Elmvale and decided it was the perfect place to stop and have our mid ride beer, or two….










From Elmvale back to Grenfel was a short 25km jaunt, so away we went again.  The only problem, sitting for a little less than an hour, the legs decide they do not want to work as easily as they had been.  Took a little while for the body to get back into the groove and we were good to go.  By this point in the ride, the slight 1 degree uphills you really started to feel.  We did have a big positive coming up though, coming back through Anton Mills, we had a long downhill, and it was refreshing.  The only problem with that though, we finished with a long uphill back to the parking lot.


During the ride, one thing we were eating was Peanut M&M’s and to be honest were the best “treat” or source of food we had.  They were easy to eat, tasty and full of sugar!





The ride itself finished at 113km, 5hr 41min riding, just shy of 4000 calories burned.  You can look at the Garmin exert below.

All in all, waking up this morning, can I ride another 100km, the answer to that is yes for sure.

It will become a mental game for sure over the course of several days, and also, changing handle bar set up due to the hands going a little numb after an hour in the saddle.


Everyone is invited on these rides, we were not fully kitted up, it was more just to ride for 100km.




May  10th, 2016

After out trial run, and testing the bikes, the Revelate Bags we are using are more than worth the money for them.  Easy to put on the bikes, and store a lot gear, waterproof, and  all around great quality.

Special thanks to Donnie and Algonquin Outfitters for getting this in for us.   Check out their store, and give Donnie a call!




May  10th, 2016


For anyone planning on coming to Newfoundland, for the post ride activities, or for anyone who is a part of the ride, we have worked out a deal with MUN university to stay in their Paton College rooms.

As it sits now, we are going to book all on 1 invoice with them, this way it is easier to track, and we know we cover everything off etc.   The rooms are traditional Dorm style, with shower and toilet being shared.

The rooms available are:

Room option 1:  2 x Twin Beds – $69.03 per night

Room option 2:  1 x Double Bed – $84.24 per night

The first night we are booking in is on July 27th, 2016.

If you want to add yourself onto the booking list, we need to know by the end of this weekend (May  15th) what your plan is (if you are sharing a room and with who) and duration.

If you do not let us know (via contact us, or let Tyler or Johnny know) then it will be up to yourself to book your room.  If you book under the team van go header, you should be in the same building and area as the rest of us.



April 28th, 2016

Tyler’s Bike Setup




April 27th, 2016

Bernies Bike Setup



April 26th, 2016

The bags have been bought, and we are ready to go, I’m standing here inside the warmth of a garage, I hate to wake you up to get on a bike and go…..  I apologize for that bad take on the Chantal Kreviazuk song… But it is the truth, bikes are beginning to be set up for the coming weekends destination ride to Elora.


Below are Johnny and Craig’s Setups!






We will be looking like this for the full 900km journey!




April 3rd, 2016
We had a little discussion this afternoon after the ride, and for anyone who is planning on riding in Newfoundland, there is one spot that we will be crossing through that is very interesting!

Wreckhouse Newfoundland.

The wreckhouse is located just out of Port-au-basque.



The Wreckhouse is famous for it’s very high winds.  Based on the photo below from the weather network on wind gusts.  (Feb. 2015)

Weather Network


Winds in the Wreckhouse has been known to hit Gusts of in excess of 200km/hr!  That’s windy.

This area was known to blow the train over when crossing the island.

Just google the wreckhouse, and take a look at some of the images.


This will be a great way to start our adventure across the island for sure!




March 24th, 2016

For anyone interested, below is a link to a complete map of the island.  On it you will find the railway tracks, that is our ride across!



March 23rd 2016

So team van newfoundland is going to be doing a test run on the weekend of April 30 – May 1. We are riding from Ralph’s house in Mono Mills to Elora on the Saturday, camping out then riding back on the Sunday. Approx. a 160ish round trip on back roads and rail trail.  If anyone wants to join us for a bit, let us know and we will definitely be partaking in some tasty recovery beverages and food at the Elora Pub Sat aft/evening.  So feel free to join us for a few km’s or pints (maybe some on the way???   It is Newfoundland training!).


March 22nd, 2016
Well if you are thinking of the Newfoundland trip, below is a typical training ride for it.

Find any stretch of Rail Trail, throw some headphones in and away you go!




March 21st, 2016

Post Ride Accommodations.

After some exhausting searching to find cheap Accommodations, we think we have found what would work!

Staying at the Memorial University Residence!!!


Once we start booking up we will let everyone know.




March 2nd, 2016

And more flights!!!!!


Johnny: Dep. Sat July 16th, Return Tues. Aug 2nd

Bernie: Ditto Johnny’s!

Karen: For moral support, provider of hugs and cold beer at the end with Emily!

Dep. Weds July 27th, Return Aug 2nd

Emily (Uber Sherpa Extraordinaire!):

Paul: Dep. Sat July 16th, Return Sun July 31st

Craig: Travel plans confirmed, Craig by car, by boat, very cool!

team van newfoundland!!!!!!     

logo         flag



Oh ya!


February 8th, 2016


Flight dates are starting to be booked.

Tyler:  July 15th depart, August 3rd Arrival



January 21st, 2015


I pulled the below off of the Environment Canada Website.  This is a snapshot of approx the same time last year as the trip is planned for.


Max Temps of 27 Dec C, and a Low of 5 Deg C.  This is based in Gander Newfoundland, so about the half way point.


Please click the below link to see the data.

Gander Newfoundland Weather – 2015


Also take a look at the rainfall…. Of the 15 day snapshot I took, it rained for all but 6 days….. Bring the rain gear for sure.  Oh and good thing we are going west to east as the wind gusts are pretty high as well..




Dec. 23rd, 2015

For anyone who is planning on travelling, whether it be Newfoundland, or to the cottage, really any place where you do not have a power source and need to charge your phone, or GPS unit.  Over the last month or so, I’ve been looking at different options, as well as trying different battery packs to see how they work for charging my Blackberry phone.  Before I get into depth on it, there is one thing you need to know before you get started.


  1. With your device, how much mAh does it take to do a full charge from Empty?


A Few examples of battery capacity:

Blackberry Z10: 1800 mAh

Iphone 5S: 1560 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S5: 2800 mAh


So what does that mean in the grand scheme of things.  Well, the phone batter requires that much mAh to charge from empty to full.

Now what does that mean when looking at Power Packs.  Well that means the number that your phone requires, you would need a pack with equal or more capacity to allow a full charge.




Costing for these units ranges.  You can find some for a really good price.  See below.

The unit from Giant Tiger is a 2200 mAh capacity.  So that will charge a BlackBerry and an Iphone no problem.  This is the unit that I have been testing over the last 2-3 weeks, and they seem to work really well.


Another option, From Derek.

He has been using it, says it charges up slowly but it works as well.  I’m going to look at this option for sure as well.



For the Newfoundland Trip, my plan is to bring 5-8 of these units to allow for charging my phone as well as GPS unit.  They weigh next to nothing, so the added weight will not be a problem.


Take a look at places like Best Buy, Giant Tiger, Princess Auto, the Source, they all have these units.  They are very handy to have for sure.







Nov. 24th, 2015



This is a great option for the folks heading to Newfoundland, or anyone who camps a lot.

I have no clue how it works, but to blow up a mattress with only a few breaths is pretty cool.

Also making it into a chair is a great option as well!!




Nov. 19th, 2015


If you are planning on the Newfoundland Trip, or just for a different location for your water bottle, check out the King Cage Top Cap Bottle Cages.

Not only do they save space inside the frame triangle, but they are a lot easier to access when riding long distance.  I’ll be purchasing a couple of them in the coming days, and will do another write up on it after installed and tried.

There are always some cool things that you can get for the bikes!




Nov. 2nd, 2015
This ride may be on the list in the spring / summer.

This is a ride from either Algonquin Park to Killbear, or Vice Versa.


Looking at it, more hills but still looks to be a lot of fun.

Multi use trail as well as bike and hike trails.





Oct. 22nd, 2015

Just a really good read.  This is where the idea originated from to ride across the island.

Take a read and look at the photos… This is what to expect for sure, but maybe some worse weather.




Oct. 1st, 2015
A couple options for Bike packing bags.  We are still trying to sort this out, but at least you can get an idea of what is out there.
Hope this helps!



Sept. 24th, 2015
Here’s the just of it….around the 2nd last week of July 2016, fly into St John’s, spend one day getting across NF to Port-aux-Basque, spend 10 days riding and camping along the way finishing back in St John’s for the George street music festival.  The rail trail passes through small towns/villages so food and water will be easily available.
     Test ride in May-ish fully loaded will be mandatory. It will be a trip on road/rail trail from K&J’s house for 70km, camp for the night, then return back the next day. The trip will happen regardless of the weather conditions.
     If along the trail any member is having issues completing the daily  distance in a reasonable time (and not to worry, it’s not a hammerfest, we estimate 6-10 hrs a day) due to lack of physical preparation they will be responsible for getting to the daily endpoints independently (everyone will understandably be allowed to have their odd “bad day”, but not 10 of them).  If your have a mechanical issue that could have been prevented by general maintenance  and bike prep (how are you’re crank bearings, wheel bearings, brake pads, the long forgotten pedal bearings??? We are travelling 900km and I doubt there will many bike shops on the way!) you will be responsible to solve your issue and make up the time.  Unforeseen mechanical issues will be dealt with by the group.  I know some of this seems kinda brutal but we don’t really have a lot of opportunity to make up time on this trip as there will be people meeting us in St John’s at the end.  So there you have it! Screech me in!




Sept. 24th, 2015


Well if you have been to a ride in the past few weeks, the talks are on for a fat bike trip across the island of Newfoundland.

Starting at Port au Basque, and finishing in St. John’s.  This is a 890+km trip!!!!


Keep an eye on this Tab, as you will find all the information with regards to test rides, gear, and everything else you need to know about this adventure.


All are invited and welcome to join!