We made it to the last day! Some were battered and some bruised, but there was only 18 kilometres of racing Quebec Singletrack Experience left between us and becoming Que-Bikers. The name given to all who managed to complete the 7 day odyssey through the finest singletrack Quebec has to offer.
This however was no parade to the finish, and we would have been naive to think that the last day wouldn’t be just as challenging as the rest. 18 kilometres isn’t a lot compared to what we have been doing, but there was still 800 metres of climbing in the stage and we heard rumours it was a very technical course. We were also told that 3 of the top ten most popular local trails via Strava were included in the stage. Needless to say there was still a lot of fun and challenging trail in between us and the finish.
As we set off from the start I took a deep breath and thought to myself…Ok, one last time. As we entered out first section of trail it was clear this was just as technical as we had thought. Baby sized boulders littered the trail making line selection critical. I was constantly making small corrections to keep a smooth line and avoid bouncing from one small rock to another. There really wasn’t a section where you could mentally relax and just ride tempo. This was made even more difficult when we started on our first climb. Constantly weaving and popping up over obstacles while trying to maintain momentum became more and more difficult as the day went on and the 7 days of fatigue set in. At a few points I couldn’t help but bounce from one side of the trail to the next off of boulders, my arms too tired to correct the steering.
Our aid station was half way up the climb and I managed to regain some strength after a few watermelon slices, eLoad and Clif Bloks. Back on the bike and upward, only a few more kilomiters is what I kept telling myself. Our timed decent was on the Super G trail which is one of the most popular enduro trails in Quebec. We were treated to more giant rock slabs, drops and big bridges that delivered you into tighter rocky and rooted areas. Even though my arms were screaming and my palms felt raw, I could smell the finish and enjoyed every moment of the decent.
My Garmin told me we only had one more climb before the final decent to the finish line of Quebec Singletrack Experience. I bridged up to a group of riders, all who I had ridden many kilometres with already and we shared encouragement as we entered the last five kilometres of the race. Flowing through berms and pumping doubles with new friends was a great way to end the experience, and as we all crossed the finish line smiles and hugs were well earned and deserved. Congratulations to all who finished, and thanks to all the organizers and volunteers. Also thank you to Quebec for having some of the best singletrack in the country.