Stage Two took us from Saint Raymond to Vallée Bras-du-Nord. Entering the start town, the heritage of the lumber industry was evident in the picturesque homes and buildings lining the streets. The local trailbuilders and companies promoting all things outdoors did a wonderful job of putting together a fun, challenging network of mountain-bike trails.
On this day, we enjoyed two distinct trail systems – Mount Laura and Le Suisse Mountain, with a section of challenging doubletrack connecting the areas. The timed descent put a smile on the face of every rider. Fast swooping berms and pump-track-style sections were super-tacky, allowing for maximum speed and enjoyment. The trail finished up with a dozen perfectly built tabletops. For those wanting to let it fly, there were plenty of opportunities for serious air. Others had the option of rolling up and over them at a controlled pace.
The highlight of the stage for me was getting into a group of four riders within the first three kilometres and staying together until the finish. In our group, each rider had their strengths and weaknesses, but as a “team,” we were stronger, rode faster and had more fun than any of us could have done individually. Many thanks to Mark and Bill (Wyevale, Ont.) and Bevin (Toronto, Ont.) for making it a most memorable day.
The QSE trails offered an amazing variety of