Words by: Lauren Willing
Photos by: Jeremy Menduni
Being from the Ottawa area we are lucky to have a lot of great biking spots within a road tripping distance. Some of our usual favourites are only a few hours from us, although a lot of the go-to trails are just over the U.S border and because of restrictions we have not been able to be there. On that note, the three of us, Claude, Jeremy, and Lauren, grabbed our bikes, packed our camping gear, loaded up the cars, and we set off on a weekend adventure to Quebec City.
Our first stop was to a mountain just outside of Quebec City. A place relatively fresh into the mountain bike scene, a mountain with long flowing trails, and Lauren's favourite; a place with lift access. For the love of biking, we left Ottawa around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning which brought us to Le Massif for a very rainy 11:30 a.m. No worries though, threw on the rain jackets, checked the tickets, and loaded up on the gondola.
D A Y 1 : L E M A S S I F
The gondola ride up the mountain took about 15 minutes and offered beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River. The trails here were super flowy and made for a really long and enjoyable down. While the berms make you want to shred, you cannot help but stop and take in the scenery along the way. All of the bike trails here are new and so while there are not many in quantity, the quality of the trails was incredible. At times they were narrow but the flowing turns and wooden bridges made it a very exciting ride. Our favourite trail by far from this day was Histoire Sans Fin which is a new addition and starts with a little climb but for the 5.5KM flowy down is well worth it. Every time we stopped for a break we kept thinking, "we must be near the bottom now?" But it just kept going! Amazing lookout points, amazing conditions with no breaking bumps, and as it starts with a climb, this trail had the least amount of traffic. The cafe at the bottom also offers incredible refreshments and awesome service. We were so happy to get to explore this place!
DAY 2: SENTIERS DU MOULIN
Our second day was spent at a trail network located about 25KM outside of Quebec City. We ended up at the mountain on the same day that there was a race taking place which filtered us over to the Maelstrom side of the mountain for the first half of the day. We were excited to climb up and get to shred the infamous Slab City. This trail was truly one of a kind and true to its title, the trail was one big rock slab and seeing how the forest grew around it was really beautiful. The landscape was so picturesque that we almost forgot to actually take any photos on the trail. The run is a black diamond and while there are definitely some more tech areas, it was not unfriendly to more beginner level riders. Lauren was able to enjoy and level up in progress. The climb was worth it and the down through Gold City & Slab City was capped off with a beautiful bike park run that was fun and flowy.
S L A B C I T Y
After the bike park ending we rode back through the neighbourhood to the main SDM parking lot where we had a quick snack break before heading up to the freshly built jump features that we came here for. We also want to note that at this point, Jeremy's brakes were squawking like a clown car and he stopped in to the main bike shop where the experts there were knowledgeable, friendly, and so helpful. Shoutout to the dudes in the pro-shop! With fresh brakes and a lot of excitement, we climbed up to the top of the new jump features to have a wicked sunset session.
After seeing photos of the trail online we were so excited to finally be there to ride it. It was really great to see something in our neck of the woods with some bigger features and it reminded us of some of our favourite places in the States. The park featured a drop, multiple table tops, a whale tale, a boner log, and to finish it all off a sweet trick jump. While this park is definitely for the more experienced there was another run alongside it that was more beginner friendly and also a lot of fun. We had a wicked time sesh-ing these features and taking photos along the way. We were stoked to be able to get here in person and shred.
This Quebec City adventure was definitely a huge success. Taking the gondola up Le Massif and riding down the long flowy picturesque trails was as beautiful as it was enjoyable and the conditions were impeccable. Sentiers Du Moulin offered up some of its own beautiful lookout views and wicked trail conditions on Slab city. The highlight of the adventure was definitely being able to spend the afternoon session in the freshly built Habanero trail. The drops, jumps, and features were a taste of some of our favourite spots and even better, they were right here on Canadian soil! The trip reminded us of the excitement that comes from hanging out with your bikes, your friends, and your friend's bikes. We found some amazing new spots, made some new memories, and we hope that this inspires that sense of exploration and adventure in others!