I ride north from Winnipeg more often than not. Familiar roads with familiar places. It could be my chosen route because I went that way often when I was young or maybe it could just be that north is the quickest road out of Winnipeg for me.
No matter the reason why I head north, I always love the leisurely ride up Highway 9, rolling through the beach towns, seeing the water off to my right. I’ll often head up that way in the evening after work and stop for a stroll in Winnipeg Beach. The ride back in the late evening can be bug-filled depending on the time of year, so cover-up unless you like bugs in your beard.
My father-in-law has often told me tales about the summers of his youth spent taking the “Moonlight Special” after work. The train that brought visitors to the shores of Lake Winnipeg for a weekend of fun. The train is long gone but the tradition of weekends of fun is still present all summer long.
Winnipeg Beach is roughly an hour north of Winnipeg (if you take the casual cruise route) and it is, to me, the ultimate idyllic beach town. Whenever I see a movie or read a book that describes a beach town, I am positive they are describing our own Winnipeg Beach. With the boardwalk, shops, arcades, restaurants, campground, cottages, long (mostly sandy) beach, and lots of people enjoying it all. Add all that together and you will easily get the perfect beach town.
Not just a beach town
Winnipeg Beach is a very motorcycle friendly destination where the businesses and residents are often helping out to support local motorcycle events. The Breast Cancer Pledge Ride takes over the main street every year with the entire strip reserved for motorcycle parking and live music on the stage (see cover photo above). The ladies who organize the annual Sadie Grimm Celebration and Ride hold their annual event here and they are working hard to set up a motorcycle themed picnic shelter and rest area to honour the historic Sadie Grimm. Local riding clubs will often make Winnipeg Beach a group ride destination for an ice cream stop.
Park your motorcycle and take a stroll along the boardwalk or the beach (riding boots optional) and enjoy an ice cream or three before you roll out. Just make sure that before you leave you make sure to stop and visit the Anishinaabe Whispering Giant Monument for a great photo opportunity. The large Indian-head carved from a tree trunk is the work of prolific Indian-head artist Peter Toth. Situated in a park about 2 blocks from the lake. Cool fact: Peter Toth sculptures appear in every US state and Canadian province.