We arrived in Sherbrooke, Quebec three days early. We heard the situation there was “complicated” so we decided that it was best to meet with everyone as early as possible. Through a clever maneuver with the city using the 2013 Canada Games as leverage, Mont-Bellevue has been secured as a permanent mountain biking venue. The purpose of our visit was to convince the city of Sherbrooke that when they finally contract out the job of building trails for the games, the needs of mountain bikers and hikers must be met for years to come.

Two indoor theory classes were required for this visit. The first was an overview for city officials, including the mayor’s representative as well as people involved with tourism and the park. The second trailbuilding school was held for dedicated volunteers from across Quebec.

The existing trails were a terrible mess. We wanted to present examples of repair, reclamation and new construction, but repairs became the main focus. Luckily, we had access to a truck full of quarry rock, a jackhammer and a diesel powered loader on tracks. Over 100 meters of trail were repaired using knicks, drains, bench cuts and more rock armouring than should ever be attempted in a single weekend. Shortcuts were closed and reclaimed and a new 200 meter reroute was planned out to provide a project for future work.

The weekend was a huge success. Not only did we have both newspaper and television coverage, but every representative from the city of Sherbrooke felt that IMBA’s influence would bring positive results to Mont-Bellevue’s future. There are some HUGE shout-outs needed for those that made this project possible. First and foremost, our host Kathy Sue Daniel and her family were instrumental in every aspect. David Lauzon, the president of the ADSVMQ also provided us with a place to stay and lessons on the didgeridoo. Dalbix made arrangements for the rocks and heavy machinery without which very little armoring could have happened. Home Depot gave us access to everything in their rental department without charge and Siboire’s tasty brew was a real treat. As always, not everyone can be mentioned but they are all appreciated.