Photos and Text by Loïc Olivier
We’ve got a micro adventure planned for today: we’ll meet up at Meech Creek, in Gatineau Park, ride the trails all the way to Wakefield, grab a bite to eat and packraft down the Gatineau River all the way back to Chelsea.
I grab the Chic-Chocs and secure it to the roof rack of the car. Alpacka raft, life jacket and paddle are thrown in the back of the car and off I go. Things are looking up! The sun is bright and the weather is slowly rising. It’s after 10am, let’s hit the trails!
The trails that we plan to ride today are relatively easy. Between Meech Creek and Wakefield, it’s doubletrack all the way up the 50s (trails #50 and #52). It mostly goes uphill in a straight line, and it goes downhill the exact same way. The trails can get a little rough. That’s where the Chic-Chocs truly shines.
With a bit of technique, I can ride over everything. Climbs are slow and steady and I can easily lift the front end of the bike despite having a packraft strapped to the handlebars.
The trails get steeper as we get closer to Wakefield. Holy fast downhill!! Once we reach the bottom of the hill, we take the highway underpass leading us to the Wakefield Mill. We continue down Mill Rd. for a few hundred metres and end up on Riverside Rd., Wakefield’s main drag. It’s sunny and warm outside. We park our bikes in front of Kafe 1870, grab a seat on the patio and swiftly order food and drinks. Damn, what a glorious lunch.
We could sit here all day but the truth is, we came to town for another reason. We saddle up and ride to the public dock so we can float down the Gat! We unpack our gear and quickly inflate the rafts. I remove the Chic-Chocs’ wheels and attach them to the bike frame, which is then attached to the bow of the boat. I settle in. The water is nice and cool. Time to slowly paddle our way back to Chelsea.
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Clothing"S24O" (aka Sub 24h Overnighter) is, in the jargon of the bikepacker, an adventure of less than 24 hours including an overnight stay. The definition of micro-adventure!30$ (CAD)
FatbikesOpportunities for adventure are infinite with such a versatile bike. Let the Fat Bike Chic-Chocs take you to the mountains, rivers or beaches you’ve always wanted to discover. At a little less than 28 lbs and equipped with tubeless 27.5” x 4.5” tires, this is a seriously fun fatbike to ride on newly discovered sandy, rocky or snowy paths. You’re the bikepacking type? We’ll get along pretty well! In addition to 3 water bottle holders and the anything cage anchors on the fork, everything is ready for you to install a rear rack, if you prefer this setup versus minimalist frame bags. That way you can carry your skis to get to this remote backcountry spot, or bring more than your camping essentials for a memorable night around a campfire. Your friends will thank you!2,299$ – 3,399$ (CAD)
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FatbikesIsolated in northern Quebec, located in the Arctic Cordillera, the Torngats Mountains are frequented only by those who have the real will to face the elements of nature. We do not get there by chance. It is a mythical place that imposes respect. An highly inspiring destination for the Torngat fatbike! We have included in this bike the features needed to make it completely versatile. Among other things, the frame is belt-drive compatible, it has ans access for a dropper seatpost and is equipped with horizontal rear wheel dropouts. The Reynolds 725 high-grade steel tubing frame and the light, stiff carbon fiber fork accommodate the largest 26" tires available, as well as the 27.5 x 4.5". High performance and durable components from Race Face and a 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle group complete this machine. All you have to do is leave the house, get on the bike and explore the territory that is still unknown to you!1,349$ – 2,399$ (CAD)
Gravel BikesWe love to say that the Katahdin is our cottage bike. You'll guess that this gravel bike is really in its element in the countryside, perfect for all types of roads and paths that can be found out there. An industry first, the adventure composite laminate incorporates an advanced material, XANTU.LAYR ™, to make the Katahdin rock-solid. Learn more about this technology here. The curvy surfaces of the bike have become a canva for the very talented duo of Vancouver-based artists Pellvetica. They sign the visual of the frame, and thus give the soul to this amazing product. A 1x SRAM Apex group, WTB i23 Wheels, Easton EA50AX handlebar and a ton of frame and fork mounts for your short or long outings, makes the Katahdin so much versatile. Note that the cottage is unfortunately not included with the purchase of the bike 😉2,049$ – 3,199$ (CAD)
Gravel BikesWhen you venture on the less traveled roads of the backcountry, sometimes, the beautiful road becomes much more bumpy than what was predicted. The asphalt becomes gravel, and the gravel literally becomes an off-road trail. It is for this kind of adventure that the Anticosti was created. The Anticosti bike is built with a bespoke selection of Reynolds 725 steel tubing, thinned where it is needed to reduce weight. A generous clearance allows you to install 27.5x2.1 or 700x45 tires with fenders. Finally, you will find all the necessary mounts to carry the equipment for a night in the tent, or for a more ambitious globe-trotting trip project. Do not let your current bike limit your desire to explore. Take the path you want with the Panorama Anticosti.1,199$ – 2,199$ (CAD)
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ClothingSlow Travel is the state of mind we approach during bike journeys. It is taking the time to live each experience in its entirety, focusing on quality rather than quantity.
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