While I was up in Quebec’s Gaspésie region with Jim testing out the KLR project bike in the trails last week (story to come), we took part in the annual MTCTAN two day dualsport ride put on my those adventurous Quebecers at RidAventure.ca.
The ride started and ended at Matane and took us up the coast and into the Chic Choc mountains of the Gaspésie, which are the northern end of the Appalachian chain and have some significant steepness and elevation to them.
Over 40 riders showed up and the group was split up into two levels – Cool and Hot (we went for Cool so as to not destroy the KLRs, or ourselves) and then into sub-groups. Our group included two couples (Martin, Natalie, Dave and José) but after having spent the previous five days stomping through the peninsula, we were itching for a bit more speed and by Sunday Jim and myself were ripping along in a group of two.
If you ride dual sport and you haven’t been to the Gaspésie then it’s simply a must-do for the bucket list. A lot of the trials are similar to eastern Ontario, but here you have elevation changes too, and many trails take you up and over the mountains, which is not only challenging but rewarding once you get that view at the top.
This tour was also very well-organized (between the lot of us we raised $1,700 for a local cancer charity), included a good amount of challenging riding and was attended by a very welcoming group to boot. Seriously, I always have some reservations with the Franco/Anglo thing, but people were tripping over themselves to make us feel welcome and speak to me in English if they could.
If you don’t ride off road at all then go for the great circumnavigation on the paved road around the Gaspésie. If you do like to tinker ‘hors route’ then sign up to RidAventure.ca and start making plans for next year.