Perfect Afternoon Motorcycle Cruise Around Winnipeg
We can’t all go for epic 8-80 hour cruises, bombing all over the province/country/continent. But that does not mean we cannot all get out and enjoy a great motorcycle ride exploring the area around where we live. Sometimes all it takes is a few short hours of good old fashioned “Wind Therapy” to clear our hearts and minds and help us refocus.
Growing up in the North End of Winnipeg pretty much all “Road Trips” started out pointing North to River Road and Lockport. 20+ years later that has not changed, we stil love pointing our bikes North, we just go a little further to make the most of the afternoon.
The Perfect Afternoon Motorcycle Cruise Around Winnipeg
Heading North down Main St. take a quick spin around Kildonan Park (an iconic North Winnipeg park), then head out of the city going North on Main St. (Hwy. 9) toward River Road. Make sure you leave Main St. at River Road (take the East turn towards the golf course) to enjoy the winding road along the Red River. There are some amazing views from the side of the road around every turn, and lots of history to be discovered. St. Andrews Church is in the middle of the stretch and is quite a nice place to check out, and being the oldest church in Western Canada it is worth the stop.
Continuing along River Road you will get to one of two Skinners Restaurants at the Lockport Bridge. I have always lunched at the restaurant on River Road and sat along the banks of the river. Very nice park for a picnic lunch. Skinners has classic greasy spoon / drive-in / dinner food with the “World Famous” footlong hot dogs. Classic! St. Thomas Church is here as well, if you enjoy old churches.
After lunch pull out and head west, back to Hwy. 9 via Hwy. 44. Then continue North up to Selkirk Manitoba. Selkirk is a great little city to explore. Snap a picture of yourself near the giant catfish just after you enter the city (cannot miss it) for a cool memento of the ride that has just begun. Or visit the Selkirk Marine Museum for some nautical history. A cool outdoor museum. Fair warning though, ships are tight and small, so big guys like us, expect to squeeze.
Continue along Hwy. 9 through Selkirk, leaving the city behind you for the open road passing the water planes and along the river. The temperature will drop slightly as you cruise along the side of the river, but not much. Just enough to cool you off a little on a hot day. Near the end of the road you will come to “The Bridge to Nowhere”. As you ride over this bridge you will see nothing but sky until you make it to the top. Good place to take some great scenic photos of the Red River and area if you don’t mind walking back up the bridge. Good walk to work off the lunch.
Crossing the Bridge
Cross the bridge and head East, out to Hwy. 59 where you will take the South exit and ride on to Birds Hill Park. It was only a few short years ago that I discovered just how great this park really is. I went there a few times when I was young, but never really “got it”. I get it now. This is an amazing provincial park with excellent hiking trails, a great little beach, horseback riding, camping and even the world famous Folk Festival is held here every year. This park is worth stopping in and exploring, but if your just out for a ride, I recommend doing a couple laps around the park at least. I have often seen lots of great wildlife right off the side of the road. Deer so close you could reach out and pet them.
After you have explored Birds Hill Park take the East Gate exit out the back of the park to Hwy. 206 and head South to Oakbank Manitoba. A nice little town with lots of personality. If you did not have lunch before, I recommend stopping in at the Peppercorn Restaurant for a great meal, or any of the other restaurants. Worth the stop to stretch the legs.
Continuing South along Hwy. 206 up to Dugald Road, take Dugald Road West back towards Winnipeg and the Perimeter Hwy. Take the Perimeter to Fermor Ave. and head back into the city. Heading into the city take a ride down Corydon Ave., seeing just how cool Little Italy can really be and continue along to Assiniboine Park.
Much like Kildonan Park, this is a great place to ride through. It is a great park with a zoo, duck pond, epic kids play area, restaurant, sculpture garden and amphitheater that always has something going on. Take some time to stroll through the park, it’s worth it, then pull out and head home.
Total ride is around 150km and really highlights some of the nicest places to see on a short motorcycle trip around Winnipeg.
|From Winnipeg, MB through Selkirk, MB to the Bridge to Nowhere|
|49.6 km – about 1 hour 3 mins|
|From the Bridge to Nowhere to Birds Hill Park, MB to Oak Bank, MB|
|42.4 km – about 35 mins|
|From Oak Bank, MB to Winnipeg, MB and a cruise through Assiniboine Park|
|51.4 km – about 54 mins|
|Welcome home! Not even a tank of gas, but a great way to spend the day.|
By Myles O’Reilly / River City Rides, Inc.
Reprint by permission only.