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Quebec Confidential: Part 2

Day 2 of our trip takes us to Vallée Bras-du-Nord. Some background on how we ended up here? We had bikes and gear, and our crew of riders needed a destination. We heard the trail scene was booming just north of Quebec City, so we headed east from Vancouver with 2017 Intense bikes and MTB gear in tow.

Part two - Vallée Bras-du-Nord

Shop the look

We packed in lots yesterday at Sentiers du Moulin, and last night went later than expected. Gabriel’s recommended cornerstore beer stop didn’t disappoint (neither did the campfire). Add in an ambitious order of poutine and chicken, courtesy of the legendary Quebec chain St-Hubert, and today’s a late start. Strong coffees and a diverse playlist shake everyone into gear. Our mission? Vallée Bras-du-Nord – a mountain biking pillar in Quebec. It has two primary zones, and we opt for the technical trails of the Shannahan Area. The last drips of coffee get chugged, knuckles are cracked and bags get packed. Finally, we unload our Intense rides, dialled and ready from the day prior.

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A different story

Depending on your trail of choice, a short approach or shuttle leads to a vast array of options. The crown jewel of the area is, undoubtedly, Neilson – a delirious, flowy trail that beautifully descends along the Saint-Anne River. At 10km, it’s long enough to lull you into a trail trance, and involved enough to keep you focussed. Later, we shuttle to new routes for more aggressive, gravity-oriented sections. Our bikes handle everything with pace and grace, each in their own way. Georgia’s Intense Spider Expert weaves and bobs through tight singletrack and down techy rock gardens with spritely ease. Meanwhile, Gabriel’s burly Intense ACV gives off a curious, almost mellow degree of pace and confidence. Excited debriefs follow after every shred.

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An essential pillar

There’s a bustle to Vallée Bras-du-Nord; a bike shop, coffee shop, and visitor centre greet you in the parking lot. Trails are meticulously marked. And – to everyone’s west coast delight – a discrete network of elevated, miniature pipes transport maple water from trees for syrup production. It can’t match the spectacle of Whistler, but instead achieves a charm and allure that’s entirely its own. As daylight dwindles, we make the winding, short drive back to the Saint-Raymond sector and cultural hub of VBN: the Roquemont brewpub and hotel. With countless poutines, microbrews and menu items to scope, Gabriel once again acts as our trusty guide (and delivers in full force). Sufficiently fed and tired, we retire far earlier than the night before.

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Fresh trail set-ups

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New mountain bike layers, packs and shoes from Mavic, Evoc and Race Face.

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What we packed

  • Available prices $6990.00
  • Available prices $72.00
  • Available prices $84.00
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