UPGRADE ; DAY
Several mountain bike trails in the region provide an adrenaline rush for adventurers who take on the descents. Here are three reserved for experienced cyclists.
These are high-level trails reserved for cyclists who have “a lot of technical skills and good mountain biking experience,” says Alexandre Lemerise, mountain bike coordinator at Mont-Sainte-Anne. He still sees far too many people comparing the mountain bike trails marked with two black diamonds to the expert-level trails in alpine skiing, which, however, are very different. According to him, it's not just the elevation that is most important in mountain biking, but also the size of the jumps and the obstacles that require a lot of skill.
It is therefore important not to skip stages in your progression towards the slopes intended for experts and never to change the level of difficulty before having mastered the previous ones. Éric Gagnon, director of development and field operations at Sentiers du Moulin, mentions that the region's five major centers (Vallée Bras-du-Nord, Empire 47, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Sentiers du Moulin and Massif de Charlevoix) have a common project to develop progress charts taking into account the types of trails and levels of difficulty, which will guide customers in their exploration of the trail networks.
The Wolverine, offered at Sentiers du Moulin in Lac-Beauport, is said to be a trail “worthy of the Canadian Rockies”. From a belvedere accessible by a technically difficult path, it guides cyclists traveling preferably at low speed over 2.3 km. They then face an extremely technical trail, dotted with rock, steep passages, very narrow lines and rocky sections.
The trail was laid out with the help of the LB-Cycle volunteers, through a very dense coniferous forest where the branches could sometimes scratch the arms of the people who contributed to its creation. One of them was even nicknamed “Wolverine”, hence the name of the track.
At Mont-Sainte-Anne, the mythical 1837 trail refers to the year of the Patriots' rebellion. It combines the La Belle section, a narrow technical trail, the La Bête section, steep, rocky and technically very challenging, as well as La Patriote. Without describing all the challenges it puts in the way of cyclists, Mr. Lemerise believes that “the track itself is an obstacle”. This is very evocative!
At Empire 47, in Lac-Delage, high-level cyclists can ride the Nosferatu, whose name refers to an old vampire movie inspired by the myth of Dracula. This trail scrolls over a distance of 1.4 km with approximately 180 m of negative elevation and chaining more than 40 obstacles, including jumps, drops and rock slabs. “We must beware of this beast, because it has many surprises in store for us. As in horror movies, it is really not advisable to venture there alone, ”says Christian Déry, general manager of Empire 47.