By Ambassador Sandra Beaubien

I hadn’t realized how much mountain biking trips were a part of my identity until they were taken away from travel restrictions during the last year and a half.  Even with travel restrictions in place this spring, I was still dreaming of summer mountain bike trips.

Luckily I managed to take two road trips to ride the Quebec City trails this summer and without having been for 2 summers it was really exciting to see the new trail developments and it was a dream come true riding those new trails and some old favourites.

Sentiers Du Moulin was my favourite riding area before, but now with the expanded Maelstrom sector it is absolutely incredible.  There is no shortage of rock slabs and rocky, technical terrain.  The whole sector was so good, it’s impossible to have just one favourite trail.  I also loved all of the bridge and rock combinations – it certainly makes you pay attention when you are riding!

Le Massif has developed a really fun Enduro (lift access) trail network in the last couple of years and since it is my favourite place to downhill ski in the winter, I knew the terrain would be perfect for lift access riding.  As you ride, there are expansive views of the Saint Lawrence River and a steady cool breeze to keep you from overheating.  I will certainly go back again next summer!

Vallee Bras du Nord, the Shannahan sector is always a favourite since the terrain is so big and has a remote feeling, especially since there is no cell phone reception.  I always seem to hit it after steady rains, so the technical terrain keeps you on your toes when it is wet and muddy. There are endless waterfalls and scenic vistas. Luckily, right before losing the cell reception one of the trailbuilders called me to let me know the new Neilson East climbing trail was rideable, but not open to the public yet. Most of it was well compacted and beautifully built, but a few bridges were still missing so we needed to do a few hike-a-bikes!

Mont Sainte Anne and Empire 47 are also great places to ride and have a mixture of old and new trail styles of trail building and so much terrain you never need to ride the same trail twice. Belzebrute is my favourite trail at E47 and Longue-Rive was a trail a local told us to ride at MSA and it was a classic piece of old school singletrack that didn’t seem to get much use.

It was so nice to get away this summer on a couple of mountain biking trips and it already has me dreaming about trips next summer! Those big slabs and nice views get stuck in your head and it’s hard to stop thinking about them! I’ll keep dreaming until next summer.