Yvonne and I have wrapped up our cycling vacation in Quebec, so I thought I would share a couple of observations about cycling in this part of La Belle Province. Observation #1 The respect for cyclists in this part of Quebec is amazing. It seems as if the entire population has bought into the idea that cyclists are great for the economy and deserve to be treated with respect. Observation #2 The quality of the secondary road surfaces varies from reasonably good to brutal. While the scenery is fantastic the road surfaces are at times so rough that you have to be continually concentrating on finding a route around cracks and holes in the pavement. Unlike Wisconsin where all the roads are excellent, you can’t let fly on the downhills as you are likely to get launched by a frost heave. The hills are shorter but a lot more tiring because of the roughness of the pavement and the effort it takes to find a good line. Observation #3 A 200 km rail to trail bike path called Le Petit Chemin du Nord runs through the region. Most of the loop rides from Mount Tremblant intersect this bike trail. I have at times scoffed at the idea of riding converted rail beds. They are generally straight, flat and dull. There are exceptions however, and “Le Petit” is one of them. The path winds through some beautiful scenery, especially along the lakes and rivers in the area. After one of our rides with 60km of continuous hills Yvonne and I were only to happy to take the bike path the 40 km. back to Mount Tremblant. Most of the path is made of very fine crushed rock that is so hard packed it was no problem to ride it with 23 road tires. The climbs and downhills are long and gradual but this meant you could really motor up and also crank along at a high rate on the downhills. Observation #4 There is an 11 km. paved path that goes up to the Mount Tremblant resort village where we were staying that is a blast to ride. It is a roller coaster for road bikes and was a great way to begin and end each day as we road down to the valley. Observation #5 Two wheeled mountain biking is passe. Try downhilling on a unicycle. I hiked to the top of Mount Tremblant and saw all of these people of different ages getting off the gondolas with unicycles with disk brakes. Apparently Montreal is hosting the world unicycle championships and they were in Mount Tremblant for the World Unicycle downhill. There were kids that appeared to be as young as 10 years old as well as adults downhilling. The unicycles even have disc brakes. I found these photos that were taken the day we were on the mountain; we observed them coming down as we took the easy route down via the gondola. I watched one kid leaping off ledges as he unicycled down the mountain. Wow.
All in all, I would highly recommend the cycling in this part of Quebec. The roads leave a little to be desired but the scenery, culture, and the fact that you can use your aeroplan miles to stay at a very posh hotel make this a place to come back to.