One of the most prominent features of Victoriaville is Mont Athrabaska. Located just 1.5 hours southeast of Montreal in the heart of the Eastern townships, Victoriaville has a vibrant cycling culture.

The Club de Velo de Montagne des Bois Francs and Sarto Gagne have worked hard to gain access to the city-owned land to build their trails. They’ve also managed to get access to a parking area, a bike wash and potable water on site. Earlier this year the city paid to have Jerome Pelland from Sentiers Boreal come in to rework a few sections that needed more work than the volunteers could handle. Our visit followed shortly and our main goal was to make sense of the spaghetti network of trails and train the volunteers on building techniques.

After riding and scouting the area we decided our project would reroute an already popular trail. While the trail tread was not failing, the ‘downhill’ trail actually climbed more than it descended and crisscrossed with the climbing trail. In order to help clean up the network we wanted to eliminate the intersection and provide more of a descent.

Our project was ambitious but we were confident our volunteers would be able to complete it. Our project included 300 meters of brand new benchcut, a few technical rock features, and reclamation of the other trails. Our volunteers did not disappoint and on Saturday the trail was completely roughed in and the first 200 meters was completely finished. Many of our volunteers brought along their kids and their tools and they were able to help with the lighter work. The kids also made sure everyone had water and were very helpful when it came time to cut small roots, scatter leaves and reclaim the old trails. On Sunday, we continued our work and added in the technical rock features, completed the finishing work on the new tread and were just about finished with reclamation when a major storm rolled though and forced us indoors. We ate lunch and waited for the rain to stop before we headed back out to take some final pictures. We were delighted to find that not only was the new trail completely dry, there had already been two passes by riders. The ultimate test will be when hundreds of riders will use the new section of trail in The Grand Defi race.

Un grand merci a Pascal Pepin de Sarto Gagne pour l’organisation d’une visite formidable. Merci aussi a la Ville de Victoriaville pour l’utilisation du terrain de la montagne pour la tenue de l’évenement et pour nous avoir hébergé au Gite au lit de l’ange B&B durant notre visite. Et merci a Subway pour la nourriture fournies à nos bénévoles extraordinaires."