MISE À DAY
With the end of the vast majority of health measures put in place during the pandemic, quad enthusiasts have started going out again across Quebec. Their presence is felt everywhere.
To get a good idea of how the season is going, I discussed it with the president of the Club VTT Matapédia, André Blouin.
It is increasing again this season, explains the expert. We have feedback from people involved in the accommodation and restaurant sectors who tell us that visitors are constantly increasing. »
“This season, we welcome quad riders from all over Quebec. The club's parking lot is very often filled to capacity, he adds. There are more and more amateurs who go around the Gaspésie. Some even come here more than once a year. We have a lot of quad riders from Montreal, Gatineau and more and more people from Quebec and even Rivière-du-Loup. We have a group of hikers visiting us in July for five to six days. They are 57. »
The man who has managed the destiny of the club for 23 years explains that all the measures put forward by his club ensure that quad riders are there.
« They come to us because they know that we have beautiful, well-signposted, safe trails. People want to see nature from home. »
AN EXCELLENT SEASON
The current season is going very well for the club, which didn't suffer too much during the pandemic.
“During COVID-19, we were surprised to find that it was very good for us. The quad riders were there. This season, we are on the way to a great season if I believe the people who came to visit us before the big holidays, explains the expert. Many people call me to tell me that they came and will come back because they enjoyed their stay. »
“They often come back with new bands. Most groups are four to six quad riders. There are also large groups, but they are more limited in number”, continues Mr. Blouin.
The president explains that in the majority of cases, these amateurs do not hesitate to move to go to his part of the country.
“The enthusiasts who come from Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and even New Brunswick are used to mounting their quads on the trailer to drive for an hour or an hour and a half to go quad biking. They find it less and less far because they are very happy to discover the 720 kilometres of trails that the club offers them. »
There are really more followers in the trails , admits the president.
“With our territory, if ever we had 700 ATV riders on the trails, that means that we would have one per kilometer. We have the trails to accommodate them. »
THE PRINCIPLE OF LOOPS
For André Blouin, one of the reasons that make life easier for quad riders in his part of the country is the principle of loops.
“The quad rider who comes to us can go for a ride in Carleton, Matapédia, Matane or Rimouski and come back to sleep in the evening at his accommodation. People have become accustomed to staying in the Valley in order to take advantage of the fact that our trails are made in loops. We have done this so that quad riders can visit and return to their accommodation and thus not have to move during their stay.
According to him, the services offered to quad riders have improved in his region.
“We are a bit like the gateway for people who want to go around the Gaspé Peninsula. In the region, on all the federated trails, there has been a marked improvement at all levels. Bridges and other infrastructure have been redone. It may be that in some places the trails are not as maintained as with us, but still, there is a marked improvement. »
« With the various applications such as iQuad, people get used to traveling without difficulty. All you need is one or two good quad riders who do well in a group, and everything goes very well,” he notes.
In closing, we asked him what had been the element of the quad world that had evolved the most.
“The machines have evolved a lot. The arrival of side-by-sides has changed the lives of quad riders. But, above all, for me, if we want to have quad riders in our region, we must have beautiful trails. We are passionate and we have the desire to discover our corner of the country which is magnificent. People who come always remember their adventure in the Matapedia Valley. Several quad riders on the trails in Gaspé;sie” />