Québec’s love affair with cycling is renowned, and as the season begins you’ll be amazed at the incredible mix of events the province offers for cyclists of stripes from road to mountain bike and everything in between.
For cycling memories of a lifetime Québec has it all from scenic landscapes, to breathtaking views, to great cuisine and wine samplings, with routes for fitness or pleasure that keep cyclo-tourists coming back for more year after year. Here’s a sampling of eight superb events to include on your list of “must do” rides this summer.
Kick off your visit with Montréal’s Go Bike Montréal Festival from May 27 to June 3 when the metropolis opens its streets to more than 40,000 cyclists for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – you’ve never seen the city this way before.
The Festival includes events like the renowned Tour de l’Île de Montréal, the Tour la Nuit and Metropolitan Challenge, all perfect opportunities to share stress-free riding with family and friends and go exploring. This Festival is a natural for bike lovers everywhere.
Combine your Montréal visit with another early cycling trend setter nearby as the popular Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant on May 27 is an ideal opportunity to ride for fun and fitness at this mass participation event that attracts thousands of road bike enthusiasts.
With four official routes of 160 km, 125 km, 80 km, 45 km, that showcase more than 10 municipalities, you’ll discover some of the most scenic landscapes in The Laurentians. The ride finishes at the quaint welcoming Tremblant pedestrian village, where you’ll be treated to a great participants’ lunch on-site and lively attractions.
Just two hours west in the Outaouais region is another cycling gem, Gatineau Park, that hosts two of the most important professional races for women in the country at the Grand prix cycliste Gatineau June 7-10.
You’re sure to get inspired to saddle up and take on your own challenges as part of the weekend activities at the Medio or Gran Fondo, two timed circuits on Gatineau Park’s magnificent trails. There’s so much to choose from including the renowned Champlain Lookout ride, that you’ll find yourself smiling from ear to ear.
Next up is the Montérégie region with beautiful rural landscapes and breathtaking views of Lake Champlain. This majestic lake is mesmerizing so get ready for some amazing cycling memories at Venise-en-Québec on June 9th for the event Cycling day at Lake Champlain.
Catering to all levels this event offers four routes including 25 km, 50 km, 60 km or 110km circuits where you can discover the region also known for its orchards, vineyards, cider houses and maple syrup just north in the Richelieu River valley.
Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean
One of the most exciting cycling adventures awaits you in Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean from June 22-24, at Liberté à vélo – Randonnée Hydro-Québec where you’ll be astonished at the number of breathtaking views of renowned Lac Saint-Jean along the Véloroute des Bleuets.
This 3-day package features impressive cycling terrain on the only North American cycling route around a lake featuring over 250 kilometers that seem endless. Take your time to appreciate the beautiful landscapes and many tourist attractions in the region.
Next up is the renowned classic, Grand Tour Desjardins, from August 4-10, in the fabulous Bas-Saint- Laurent region chosen by Vélo Québec for the 25th edition. This amazing cycling journey features 1,800 cyclists and approximately 600 km of beautiful scenery, fresh river air and fabulous cuisine.
As you bike along a spectacular route in the Bas-Saint-Laurent you might even see whales. The all-inclusive package includes meals, baggage transportation, road support, and mechanical assistance for cycling memories that will last a lifetime.
The picturesque coastal villages along the St-Lawrence River in Bas-Saint-Laurent feature amazing cycling routes, great food and unique experiences such as whale observation cruises – enough said.
The province’s love affair with cycling continues with Centre-du-Québec‘s award-winning Appalachian Classic on August 25th offering four unique recreational and competitive circuits along with breathtaking scenery.
Winner of “Event of the year” for non-competitive cycling activities in the province by the Fédération Québécoise des Sports Cyclistes for its Gran Fondo courses, the Appalachian Classic delivers. Get charmed and welcomed as winners of the main competition receive their weight in maple syrup that’s famous in the region.
The Eastern Townships feature our amazing final event selection, the Cyclosportive with Lyne Bessette “Les 100 à B7”, in the beautiful Brome-Missisquoi region along a Wine Route hosted by one of Canada’s most remarkable cyclists.
Olympian, Lyne Bessette, won national titles in road, time trial and cyclo-cross including gold in the women’s road race at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. She also won the grueling Tour de l’Aude Feminin in Europe in 1999 and 2001.
This event features 70km to 110km cycling routes and is open to all levels as you discover the region’s unique terrain and spectacular landscapes with Bessette as your guide.
This is just the beginning as Québec has many more amazing cycling trips to choose from with over 500 inns, hotels and campgrounds that have earned Bienvenue cyclistes! accreditation.
Just the Facts
Montréal – Go Bike Montréal Festival May 27 to June 3 here.
The Laurentians – Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant May 27 here.
Outaouais – Grand prix cycliste Gatineau June 7 to 10 here.
Montérégie – Cycling day at Lake Champlain June 9 here.
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean – Liberté à vélo – Randonnée Hydro-Québec June 22 to 24 here.
Bas-Saint-Laurent – The 25th Grand Tour Desjardins August 4 to 10 here.
Centre-du-Québec – The Appalachian Classic August 25 here.
Eastern Townships – Cyclosportive with Lyne Bessette «Les 100 à B7» Septembre 30 here.
CyclingQuébec – here.
This article was originally published by Pedal Magazine
Pedal is Canada's leading national cycling magazine covering all aspects of the sport including road, MTB, track, and BMX featuring local and international race coverage along with adventure touring and recreational cycling.