Wise 50 Over 50 Award™
David Stephens – Borealis Bike Tours Unlimited
After years of bike touring all over the world and working in the bike retail industry, I have discovered a special bicycle that can make us all feel young again. While working at a bike store in Yellowknife I was able to have various discussions with tourists who were visiting primarily for aurora viewing. What I learned was that many of them had free time in the afternoons and that they were interested in trying a more active experience that was also unique and exciting.
At the age of 50 I am finally able to combine my interests and passions of outdoor adventure with international people and bicycling year round. My motto is: Any Season, Any Reason, To Ride.
My idea to meet these needs was to offer guided fat bike tours throughout the city to various points of interest and natural scenic areas. Tours range from 2.5 hour custom guided trips to multi-day expeditions on ice roads and remote trails that are throughout the Northwest Territories. I currently have a fleet of 15 fat bikes ranging in sizes from extra small up to extra large as well as cycling specific winter boots and heated handle bar mitts.
More extensive winter and summer expeditions are planned for 2018. Borealis Bike Tours is partnering with several other local tour operators. Our largest amount of business is in the winter which usually lasts 8 months, however, this unique northern attraction is gaining a lot of traction and each season is growing in numbers.
Events that we have offered are free test rides at the Yellowknife Long John Jamboree, World Snow Day and various parades. Last winter we invited a guest speaker; Tom Babin to talk about International winter cycling and his book titled FROSTBIKE that he recently published. Also in early spring we led a 4 day/200km tour from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk on the frozen Mackenzie River and Beaufort Sea at minus -38 C degree temperatures.