Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Manitoulin Mountain Biking opportunity!

The McLean’s Park Mountain Bike club has released the 2022 schedule to a ravenous group of youth riders, anxious to get with other like-minded single-trackers. The McLean’s Park Lesson and Race Series is open to 12 to 18 year olds who wish to learn or hone their two-wheeler skills. There is no cost and just a helmet is mandatory.

The schedule includes the following Sunday dates at an amazing location for Manitoulin MTB’ers on New England Road, just off Highway 6, just north of Tehkummah. (May 15 and 29 then June 12 and 26. The July dates have yet to be released.)

The organization will also be providing travel, race opportunities: such as the Bush Pig race on the Walden Trails on Tuesday evening June 7 as well as the July 24 O-Cup Race at Hardwood Hills, near Barrie. The youngsters will get to race and also get to watch the Canadian Championship national competition.

If you have any questions about this generous offer, please contact Breakaway Sports and Cycle or email them at:

Body Stories Dance Instruction this spring

We just finished a great mini spring dance session. Some highlight of this session is that we added some adult jazz classes to our schedule, which will continue this May in Manitowaning. We also had a dance photo shoot at the beginning of March with J. Casson Photos and students Gabriel Whalen, Emma Orme, Brinley Middaugh, Poppy Maranger, Cordelia Mclean, Livvy Burnett, Bella Ferguson-Van Horne, Alina Lefebvre and Alyanna Lefebvre.

Currently, registration is open for our final dance session of the school year. Classes start the first week of May in Mindemoya, Little Current and Manitowaning and run for four weeks. What’s extra special about this session is that it will end with a public performance by all child and youth students on Saturday, May 28 at the Assiginack Arena. Full details can be found on their new website: or even email or call with questions.

Who is your kick-starter?!

You know the type. Those friends who are always up for something. Those no-good do-gooders who go out of their way to snap you out of your acquired semi-sedentary lifestyle.  I have had a few over the years but two consistent ones have been Al and Mike (I have not changed their names to protect the innocent). On those mornings when I would ordinarily catch up on my beauty sleep, these kick-starters ruin it.

Recently, Mike (I still call him) suggested that we recreate our barely annual canoe trip from our teen days. Back in the day, over a couple of consecutive years, a less than long canoe trip was completed from downtown Mindemoya to Lake Mindemoya via Hare Creek. The Creek could not ordinarily be reached without the annual, spring freshet that drains through town from Big Lake. This ephemeral link to the lake is a moving target for this to happen. In some years you might only have days to have enough water to float us downstream to the take-out, past the Brookwood Brae Golf Course.

Thanks to our wet weather of late, Mike figured that last week was the time. Al was of no help to me and made sure that he up for the adventure and maddeningly provided canoes and transportation. There would be no backing out, without severe, social-media taunting. I was committed, or should be. Our friend Brent was also roped in and even agreed to make the trip from Espanola for the historical reenactment. Monday after work was set. We arrived at the put-in and the river was angry! Angrier than my couch to be sure and within five minutes all four of us were drenched. For the next 30 minutes however we had a blast and we were at the lake before we knew it.

It was a picturesque paddle, sullied only by a sadly littered creek. There was all manner of trash washed up on the edges of this beautiful stretch of property. Having led many garbage clean-ups through the Creek’s path though Wagg’s Park, I was surprised that this part was in such a state. It appeared as though every can and fast-food container that was dropped in the great downtown Mindemoya area over the past year had eventually found its way there.

The mess was sad, but of course  it was no match being hoisted from the comfort of my home to be wet from head to toe. Priceless. It was the kind of experience that had life-long friends talking about getting together more often than a 40 year cycle. Who are you kick-starters? Can you be someone’s kick-starter? If you need a boot out the door then pick up that call when it comes in and just buy-in. Can’t beat the memories.

A good sport is good for sports.