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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All-Road touring*** It’s time to reserve your Forillon 2023. Use the promo code forillon during the transaction in order to complete your 50% deposit for the reservation. Deliveries are scheduled for Feb/March 2023. Contact us for any questions. *** *Please refer to the component list for 2023 specifications. The Forillon is your best ally for cycling around the world. It is designed to be ridden efficiently on a variety of road types, while remaining stable and easy to handle when loaded with all your luggages. It's easy to see why the family behind the Terra Tributa project made these their bikes of choice for their nomadic lifestyle. Strength and reliability are highlighted in the choice of components. The 36 spokes double walled with reinforced eyelets rims paired with 700x50mm tires and the Microshift transmission offering an immense speed range of 585% are perfect examples. The Reynolds 525 steel tubeset as well as the 4130 steel fork have been selected to maintain excellent stiffness once the bags and panniers are added. Features such as the addition of extra spokes mounts, integrated kickstand plate, multiple mounts for bottles, front and rear racks and fenders make this a true Swiss Army knife for on-the-go travel bike.2,399$ (CAD)
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)
Fatbikes*** It’s time to reserve your Chic-Chocs 2023. Use the promo code chicchocs during the transaction in order to complete your 50% deposit for the reservation. Deliveries are scheduled for November 2022. Contact us for any questions. *** The Chic-Chocs has proven its abilities over the past few years in endurance races and winter expeditions. Whether it's for the Raid du Fjord, the Wendigo Ultra, or riding with confidence on groomed trails, the Chic-Chocs delivers. A stable geometry with a long wheelbase increases traction and flotation on soft surfaces. In addition, the Chic-Chocs is designed with a 205mm q-factor, the narrowest available for use with tires up to 5" wide. Not to be overlooked for an ergonomic position. Two Shimano drivetrains available with RaceFace cranksets and cockpit. Quality SunRingle rims and hubs (ready for -30degC!), and studdable tires that can be easily converted tubeless complete the package. Throw on some 29x3" wheels when the snow melts, and you've got a 4-season bike ready for backcountry bikepacking trips!3,899$ – 4,399$ (CAD)
PartsTransform your hardtail mountain bike into a lightweight and versatile bikepacking bike with the Taïga carbon fork.565$ (CAD)
- Axle to crown length of 500mm. Corresponds to a suspension fork for a 29in wheel with 120mm of travel, at 25% 'sag'.
- Boost 110x15mm spacing.
- Tapered 1-1/2 x 1-1/8 300mm long carbon steer tube
- Offset/rake: 51mm
- Triple cargo cage mounts
- Clearance for tire: 29x3.0 or 27.5x3.25
- Post mount 160mm brake standard.
- Wheel axle included
- Weight: 675g
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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.
- 100% Cotton
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ClothingSlip this cap into your bike bags, and keep it stylish around the campfire!34.99$ (CAD)
- 6-panel cap, without structure (ideal to pack into bags).
- Blue color: fabric made entirely from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Each cap uses about 3 bottles, which have been recovered from our environment.
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- One size fits all
All Terrain Bikes*** It’s time to reserve your 2023 Taïga EXP. Use the promo code taigaexp during the transaction in order to complete your 50% deposit for the reservation. Deliveries are scheduled for Feb/March 2023. Contact us for any questions. *** *Please refer to the component list for 2023 specifications. Selected as one of the best off-road touring bikes by the renowned blog Cyling About, the Taïga EXP is the dropbar version of the Taïga mountain bike. This makes it ideal for long-distance off-road tours and mixed terrain bikepacking expeditions. It was also the bike that led Cory Ostertag to first place at the 2022 BC Epic, and the same bike that helped Marie-Pierre Savard and Cory Ostertag set new record times (FKT) at the 2022 Log Driver's Waltz for women and men respectively. The Reynolds 725 frame is packed with useful features: adjustable rear sliding dropouts, seat stay opening for use with belt, compatible with 100mm suspension fork, compatible with dropper seat post. The carbon fork has internal cable routing for dynamo hub usage, and all the necessary mounts for your equipment. A true 'mullet' setup with Gevenalle GX shifters controlling a 12-speed SRAM Eagle mountain drivetrain. Hunt XC Wide MTB wheels fitted with WTB Trail Boss 29"x2.25" tires are fast and comfortable. The Ritchey Beacon 52cm wide handlebar gives enough space for a bulky handlebar bag, while providing excellent stability when the terrain is more demanding. *Frameset comes with wheel axles, headset installed, seatpost collar and frame protectors.1,649$ – 3,549$ (CAD)