Stage Four included an unexpected venue – it was held entirely on Canadian Forces Base Valcartier. With military helicopters buzzing overhead and live gunfire in the distance, we were fully immersed in what seemed like a military exercise. This short stage of 24 kilometres was filled with punchy climbs and twisty singletrack. As a B.C. boy, I’m used to my twisty singletrack descending down the side of a mountain. However in today’s stage, the trail weaved across the forest floor. Numerous Ontario riders indicated that it was just like home and they were absolutely flying in this terrain.
Following the stage, we were served a first-class meal and free beer from Boréale. The highlight was a low-level hover of a military helicopter over the lake just metres from the shore. On a day when temperatures were topping 30°C, the breezy mist kicked up by the chopper’s prop wash was as cooling as it was delightful.
Our evening finished with a dinner at the Quebec City cruise-ship terminal on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The food was plentiful and delicious, and included an appetizer course with salads, a main course of beef with mushroom sauce over rice with fresh vegetables and, finally, desserts including chocolate cake and apple crumble. Following dinner, riders moved to the terrace to watch the fireworks show on the St. Lawrence River. A perfect party ending to a very fun day.
LB Cycle “Diggers” trail crew cheering us on.