Seeking Rhythm & Flow
24 Apr 2014
Q&A: Mont-Sainte-Anne Bike Park!
Who are you and what do you do at Mont-Sainte-Anne Bike Park?
Pierre-Étienne Roberge, I am one of the two Bike Park’s coordinators. This is my 5th season here at Mont-Sainte-Anne.
How long ago did Mont-Sainte-Anne become a Bike Park? Who or what was the driving force?
Mont-Sainte-Anne celebrates 24 years of mountain biking this summer! Something really unique to us is that since the starts of our mountain biking operation, we hosted the World Cup every single year on our trails. Also, the mountain is located only 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Quebec City, which makes the destination even more attractive.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
We have one of the most exciting networks of biking trails in Eastern Canada, with over 125 km of cross-country trails, 25 km of downhill runs and a x-large pump track at the base. One of our famous downhill trails is certainly “The World Cup”, but it is not accessible to all… “La Viet Nam” is I think the trail that is most popular for downhill, as experts love to roll it fast and beginners and intermediates have a lot of fun on it as well.
Will there be any new trails added this year or will you be re-developing any existing trails?
One beginner XC trail has been opened last fall season, named “La Boucle d’or” [gold loop]. This is a large 2km trail with a lot of rollers and berms where the beginners can learn a lot and the advanced bikers can have a lot of fun pumping their bikes. It’s like a big pump track located in the forest! “L’Avenue Royale”, a 1km freeride trail will also be open in the early season for the first time. We also plan to develop a new single track in the campground area this season; all details will come soon.
Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)…
We have almost all these kinds of terrain in our bike park. The mountain area is rocky and steep. Some of the XC trails have been developed with “old style”, with lots of roots and technical features. Since the last few years, we are working hard to develop a new kind of trails which offers more flow. This way, we also want to maximize the beautiful terrain we have!
What is the mountain bike scene/culture like at your resort?
There are definitely two bike cultures at Mont-Sainte-Anne: the cross-country bikers and the downhill addicts. But at the end of their day they all end up at the base of the mountain or in the parking lot to have a beer and talk about the highlights of the day.
Tell me a little bit about your town. Where do out-of-towners like to stay while visiting Mont-Sainte-Anne? Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to hang?
There are a lot of lodging and food options around, as we are, first of all, a major ski destination during winter. From luxury hotel at the base of the mountain [Château Mont-Sainte-Anne] to bike-in bike-out chalets for groups and more, we also offer great camping sites at Mont-Sainte-Anne Campground, located in the middle of XC trails networks. We also offer bike’n’camp and bike’n’stay packages with all these lodging partners. At the base of the mountain, there is a BBQ service that is loved by our bikers offering burgers, big hot dogs, and the favorites of all the famous gyros! For a drink, the brewery “Micro-brasserie des Beaux Prés” located just 5 minutes’ drive for the mountain is an awesome place to enjoy one of the best beers of your life.
Will you have any big events going on this summer at your bike park?
Between July 31 to August 3, MSA is the host the Velirium, the mountain bike world cup. A lot of events will be presented: Downhill world cup, Cross-country world cup, Eliminator Cross-country world cup, Criterium iBike, Raid Velo-mag, and the Veli-Kids, a special event for the young bikers. We will also be the host of the first edition of the GAAP Enduro on the august 9.
Do you have an opening day yet?
XC: May 16 / DH: May 31
What does the future hold for Mont-Sainte-Anne?
As I said before, since the last few years, we are working hard to develop a new kind of trail system that will offer more flow. Our philosophy and goal is to maximize the beautiful terrain we have and to make it accessible and epic for all skills levels.