Meet Apsley:

On the road again #overnight #bikepacking #fatbike

A photo posted by Xavier Briand (@xavierbriand) on

Named after Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard who was member of the Terra Nova Expedition and wrote The Worst Journey in the World, the story that inspire(d) me to get out there.
In the detail, it’s a Salsa Mukluk model 2015 Artic colour. A modular, aluminium, frame that run on 3.8" tires.

So Apsley and I took the road Saturday morning, direction Albion Hills campground via all the trails I could find. It was a warm and sunny day and I was glade that the trails were mostly in the shadow.

I gently started to ride the Martin Goodman Trail to get to the west side of Toronto and headed north on the Humber River Trail.


I got to see some wildlife along the Humber river, which would become a theme this weekend:

#Toronto wilderness

A photo posted by Xavier Briand (@xavierbriand) on

After the nice and calm shared trail, I had to go through Brampton to reach the Trans Canada Trail (TCT). A dreaded thought: welcome to the suburbs and it’s kilometers of sidewalk and long, noisy and dirty mutli car lanes. Still, I had managed to spot some path on the map before the ride and I was actually surprised to find nice trails, especially dirt trails in Heart Lake Conservation area. They made a most welcome change.
From there, to reach the TCT, I had to ride a 12km stretch of county road. A stretch of good quality road with wide shoulder. Though, under a 3pm sun, Apsley’s huge tires felt like anchors. I stopped to get some fuel in, drank my last water and jumped bake on, hoping for a fresher ride on the TCT.

I eventually reach it through the small village of Inglewood. A historic train was stationed and tourists were walking all over the place, taking pictures of nice looking buildings and well maintained gardens. They also made it easy to spot the general store where two lovely ladies prepared me a roast beef sandwich to go. I refilled my water, threw back two cans of ice tea and went off for the last part of the ride.


After a quick check-in at the park’s gate, I found my lot (#143) and settled quickly (one of the perk of going light).


A tea, my kindle and a table to seat, I split my evening observing my neighbors, jamming my spork into fish cans and reading some good Sci-Fi.



The evening went on. And went dusk came, I had to find cover in my bivy: the mosquitos, like werewolves, were out tonight. My noisy neighbors had a drunken fight late in the nigh, but I felt asleep quickly.

My sleeping system worked fine. I’m using an Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy with an inflatable and insulated sleeping pad and a light synthetic sleeping bag. Everything is stored in the bivy. I roll it and stuff it in a compression bag. Simple, light and easy to set up.
I also like having a good pillow but can’t spare the room to bring on with me.
This time, I opted for a 5L mesh stuff sack, takes virtually no room in the bag, in which I would stuff all my spare clothes and towel. Comfy, it worked like a charm.

Day Two

I woke up with the sun, got some fresh water from the communal water tap and prepared some bad coffee (I really need to get better at this). I had saved some good bagels for the breakfast and made a makeshift toaster with my stove.



I took the time to watch the sky change color.

One done with my breakfast, I had a bunch of singletracks to introduce Apsley to.


I spent 2 hours bouncing around sharp corners and rolling trails, Apsley completely ignoring rocks and roots: a. lot. of. fun.



I was back to my campground for 9 am. Apsley and I took a shower (Do not picture me jamming my bike in the shower, this not what happened) then tidied up the camp and moved to a nicer place to wait for C who would join my for lunch and a hike.

A nice way to spend a week-end.