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CYCLING TRIPS The Petite Aventure Desjardins The Grand Tour Desjardins Québec Permit Holder

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  • CYCLING TRIPS

    The Petite Aventure Desjardins The Grand Tour Desjardins

    Québec Permit Holder

  • Photos: Didier BertrandPrint Date: March 2012

    SUMMARY4 TRAVEL EVENT SCHEDULE

    4 From day to day

    6 At the Village

    8 On the road

    11 COMPLEMENTARY SERVICES

    11 Tent rental service

    12 Grand Tour Desjardins Under the Covers package

    14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    14 Packing and checklist

    18 Biking in the rain

    19 Sleeping in the tent

    20 Family bike touring

    TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE EVENT Two weeks prior to the event in which you are registered, we willmail you a participant’s booklet containing the following infor-mation:

    • Location of the start site (directions and map); • Registration procedure;• Services offered at the Village;• Daily route maps.

    FIRST DAY OF THE EVENT, DURING REGISTRATION Upon presentation of a piece of identification and your Vélo Québec Voyages invoice, we will provide you with the following:

    • Numbered bracelets for you and your baggage;

    • Your tent number and related baggage tags, if you rented a tent;

    • List of your hotels, if you chose the Under the Stars package in the Grand Tour Desjardins;

    • Your passenger and bicycle boarding passes, if you reservedan optional shuttle on the Grand Tour Desjardins.

  • TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 3

    MAISON DES CYCLISTES1251 Rachel Street East, Montreal (Quebec) H2J 2J9Phone: 514-521-8356 • 1-800-567-8356, ext. 506 Fax: 514-521-5711Email: [email protected]

    Dear Traveller,

    The Petite Aventure and Grand Tour Desjardinsare the ideal combination of biking, encounters,discoveries, parties and camping. At the end ofeach cycling day, you arrive at a village set up forthe event, offering numerous activities and a fes-tive atmosphere.

    Since your departure is approaching, we invite youto peruse this guide. The information it containswill help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Itcovers the daily schedule and complementaryservices such as tent rental, as well as providinga packing checklist and tips for sleeping in a tentand biking in the rain or as a family.

    Happy reading and have a good trip!

    Vélo Québec Voyages Team

  • TRAVEL EVENT SCHEDULE

    FROM DAY TO DAY

    TYPICAL DAYOn the Petite Aventure and Grand Tour Desjardins, you are onvacation and can make the most of your day. The supervisionteam is on the road as of 6:30 a.m. and you can start out at thetime and pace that suit you best. However, if you decide not to follow the standard schedule, we cannot guarantee you assistance in the event of a mechanical problem.

    Meals are planned based on the number of participants registered and meal times are long enough to accommodateeveryone. Even if you arrive at the lunch rest stop at 1:30 p.m.or want to have dinner at 8 p.m., there will still be plenty ofgood food to go around.

    Daily schedule

    6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Breakfast6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Start (Grand Tour Desjardins)7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Start (Petite Aventure Desjardins)10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch at rest stop1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Arrival at stopover town (until 7 p.m.

    on the Grand Tour Desjardins)5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dinner in Village1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Bistro, activities and entertainment

    in Village

    BAGGAGE TRANSPORTATION We transport your baggage from one stopover town to the next.You can collect your belongings upon your arrival at the nextVillage, every day starting at 1 p.m.

    As of 6 a.m. on the mornings we change Village, after disman-tling your tent and packing up, you must put your baggage inone of the numbered trucks.

    VALET SERVICETo transport your baggage from the parking areas to thestart/finish site or from the camp sites to the baggage trucks,local sports teams or organizations offer you a valet servicefor a fee of $2 per bag. This money helps them fund their activities.

    MEALSMost of the meals are included in the Under the Stars packages of our travel events. Please refer to the package purchased for details in this regard.

    While the midday meal (lunch-style) is served at the rest stop,you always have breakfast and dinner at the Village.

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  • LUNCH REST STOPLunch is served only at the rest stop, the location of which isclearly marked on the route maps. This rest stop is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until the last cyclists arrive). Itshould be noted that cyclists who pass the lunch rest stop before it opens will, under no circumstances, be provided withlunch upon arriving at the Village.

    At the rest stop, you have access to toilets, first-aid services,water and mechanical assistance. Access to the lunch rest stop and related services is reserved exclusively for registered participants.

    BICYCLE REPAIRS Better safe than sorry! We therefore suggest that you haveyour bicycle completely tuned up before departure. A well-tuned bicycle is the key to a successful cycling trip. Onthe road, we will make minor bicycle repairs free of charge(e.g.: punctures, various adjustments.). While the labour isfree, the parts are not. The list of free repairs is available atthe mechanics booth. For major repairs, you have to pay forboth parts and labour.

    MASSAGE THERAPYAfter a good day of cycling, think about relaxing by reserving a30- to 55-minute massage session. You must make your appointment at the start site or directly at the massage therapyroom in each Village. Charges apply.

    SAFETY OF BICYCLES AND BELONGINGSAlthough the Village site will be under surveillance all nightlong, we strongly recommend that you keep your bicycle lockedup at all times. Lock two or three bicycles together near yourtent or to a fence, if available nearby. To ensure peace andquiet, the use of bicycle alarms in the Village is prohibited.Bear in mind that you are responsible for your belongingsthroughout the event.

    VISITORS AND RECREATIONAL VEHICLESWhether travelling by car or bicycle, visitors cannot follow youon the route or meet you at the lunch rest stop. Nevertheless,you can invite them to the Village for a few hours, where theymay accompany you to the Bistro only. However, we cannotallow them to camp on site or provide them with meals, since these services are reserved exclusively for registeredparticipants.

    Important: Recreational vehicles are not permitted on the Village sites, including the parking areas.

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 5

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  • AT THE VILLAGE

    The Petite Aventure and Grand Tour Desjardins are veritablevillages on wheels that are set up and dismantled each day (except when we stay in the same place for two nights). TheVillage is your camping site, your departure point and your arrival point. At the Village, you have access to a variety ofservices: bike repair, first aid and massage therapy (for anextra fee), as well as a valet service for transporting your baggage.

    The different activities offered at the Village include movies,yoga sessions, bicycle tourism workshops and booths offeringevent souvenirs, local specialties or snacks. Each day, you canalso enjoy artistic performances presented on the Desjardinsstage at the Bistro and a host of other activities. The PetiteAventure Desjardins features a wide range of entertainmentand activities for children of all ages.

    To find out more about the program, consult your participant’sbooklet or Le déchaîné (see section below).

    INFORMATION BOOTH AND TOURISM BOOTHFor details about the daily schedules, the activities offered atthe Village and the services at your disposal, visit the informa-tion booth set up in each Village.

    At the tourism booth, you can get information about thestopover town and its attractions (beaches, parks, restaurants,museums, historical sites, outdoor activities, etc.). Be sure todrop by to find out about all the surprises and special treatsthat await you and register for the activities offered.

    MECHANICS BOOTHDuring the events, we work with a team of seasoned mechanics. Each day in the Village, from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., they are available for minor repairs(free of charge, except for parts) or major repairs (charges forlabour and parts). It should also be pointed out that bike tirescan be filled at the mechanics booth.

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  • TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 7

    LE DÉCHAÎNÉ Le déchaîné is the official travel event newsletter. On the PetiteAventure Desjardins, one edition is distributed to participantsduring registration.

    On the Grand Tour Desjardins, Le déchaîné is available everymorning at breakfast. It contains the latest route information(changes or interesting attractions), the evening activities and menu at the Village, anecdotes, messages, meeting announcements and, above all, lots of laughs! A must-readthat your loved ones can enjoy every morning at veloque-becvoyages.com/dechaine.

    BISTRO AND WINE BARAs of 1 p.m., the Bistro is the place where travellers get together. There, they discuss the day’s adventures, while relaxing with a drink. The Desjardins stage also gets lively inthe evening, with music provided by bands or DJs. In the diningroom, you can enjoy the impressive selection of products available at the wine bar each day – a great opportunity to stimulate your senses and make new discoveries.

    CAMPINGThere are clearly identified sections for early risers (before 7 a.m.) and late risers (after 7 a.m.). On the Petite AventureDesjardins, there is also a “family” section. If all participantsrespect these signs, everyone will be happy. That being said,regardless of the section you choose, whispering is a must between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

    The rental tents are grouped together in the same camping location.

    In addition, a small section of the campsite is reserved for ouremployees, cycling escorts and volunteers, most of whom stayup late and rise with the sun. Give them a chance to re-energize by not encroaching on their space.

    Lastly, bear in mind that recreational vehicles are not permit-ted on the Village grounds.

    TOILETS AND SHOWERSYou have access to the showers and toilets of the establish-ments where the Villages are set up. Also, Festidouche – ashower trailer truck, is also available each day on the Villagesite. There are additional portable toilets in the camping areas.

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  • ON THE ROAD

    You will be using the road network and cycling on roads opento motor traffic, so be careful!

    HIGHWAY SAFETY CODEAs a road network user, you are subject to the Highway SafetyCode.

    You must:

    • Respect all road signs (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.).• Ride on the right side of the road, in the direction of traffic.• Ride in single file.• Equip your bicycle with mandatory reflectors.• Have an active lighting system (white light in front and

    red light in rear) if you plan to cycle after dark.

    We have noticed that some cyclists take liberties on the routeand monopolize the road by riding three or four abreast. Thiscomplicates the job of our relief vehicle drivers and jeopardizeseveryone’s safety, not to mention the fact that it does not endear us to the police. So keep this in mind and watch out forcyclists who do not pedal as quickly as you do.

    If you come with your children on the Petite Aventure Desjardins, make them aware of basic bicycle safety and ensure that they ride close to you.

    SIGNAGEThe route is marked so that you can find your way easily. Oursigns indicate when you are approaching the lunch stop, aswell as where toilets and water outlets are located. If you needa drink or snack or have to use the washroom, you can alsostop at a convenience store or restaurant. You’ll be surprisedwhat a smile and a bicycle can get you!

    Last-minute detours may occur, mainly due to unforeseen roadwork or poor road conditions. If necessary, we will inform youusing DETOUR signs.

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  • CIVIC-MINDEDNESS AND COURTESY ON THE ROADEvery year, many municipalities and their residents greet uswarmly and enthusiastically along our routes. To leave them with a good impression, we ask that you show civic-mindedness and courtesy on the road at all times. Alovely apple tree, a shaded lawn or a garden hose are alwaystempting, but remember that they belong to someone. Pleaserespect private property.

    NEED HELP? THUMB DOWN!If you need assistance, point your thumb visibly downwardwhen we pass by. Vélo-Québec vehicles and certified cyclingescorts – recognizable by the red flag attached to their bikes –patrol the entire route. Our vehicles are linked by communica-tions systems, so we can intervene promptly to assist you.

    If you are unable to continue cycling, you and your bicycle willbe picked up by a relief vehicle. Don’t hesitate to use these vehicles if you encounter a serious problem, but please bearin mind that they provide emergency assistance, not taxi service.

    VÉLO QUÉBEC CERTIFIED CYCLING ESCORTSThe Vélo Québec certified cycling escorts are travellers chosenbased on their proven expertise in first aid, bicycle mechanicsand on-road bicycle support. They participate in our events ata reduced rate in exchange for the on-road services they provide during the event. Their commitment stems from a desire to help others and a love of travelling!

    CHILDREN WHO ABANDON THE ROUTEAny child under 12 years of age who is unable to complete theroute must be accompanied by a parent in the relief vehicle. If the child is over 12, the parent can decide what to do. We provide assistance, but do not offer childcare.

    OPTIONAL ROUTESEach day, you have an opportunity to cycle a little further bytaking optional routes. These routes allow you to see specta-cular sites or views, but since they involve a longer distance orhigher level of exertion, they are designed for real diehard cyclists. Note that these routes are marked only at turns andnot patrolled as frequently. However, with the maps provided,you should be able to find your way quite easily. Just don’tforget your participant’s booklet!

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 9

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  • 10 VÉLO QUÉBEC VOYAGES

    GREENING OF PETITE AVENTURE AND GRAND TOUR DESJARDINSEnvironmental waste management during an event isa constant concern for Vélo Québec. In order to makethe Petite Aventure and Grand Tour Desjardins greenerthan ever, Vélo Québec, with the assistance of the eventcaterers, as well as the municipalities and regionsalong the route, has made the following choices:

    • Replace Styrofoam containers with more ecologicalproducts that decompose quickly, such as cardboardor Bioxo products.

    • Select only recyclable plastic products. Therefore,products made of no. 6 plastic – rejected by the recycling industry – are replaced with plastic products with a better rating.

    • Minimize food packaging, without sacrificing quality.

    A greener Petite Aventure and Grand Tour Desjardins isa constant challenge for a nomadic event, which mustaccommodate local infrastructures in order to disposeof selected waste. It also depends on you…

    So please do your part.

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  • COMPLEMENTARYSERVICES

    TENT RENTAL SERVICE

    TENT NUMBER AND BAGGAGE IDENTIFICATION When you register on the first day of the event, you will receivea baggage tag bearing the number of the tent assigned to youduring the tour. Only baggage with this tag will be transportedin the tent rental service trucks.

    AVAILABILITY OF TENT AND DELIVERY OF BAGGAGEEach day of travel, tents will be available at 1:00 p.m. Your baggage will be placed inside your tent. Tents must be vacatedno later than 9:30 a.m. on the day of departure for the next village. They will be available again as of 1 p.m. and your baggage will be found inside.

    Rented tents are grouped together in one place in the campingarea. They’re hard to miss!

    It should be noted that the tents are not designed to shelteryour bike, so please lock it up outside.

    DAILY BAGGAGE TRANSPORTATIONAt the departure point, place your baggage in one of the twoclearly identified tent rental service trucks.

    Each day of travel, the tent rental service team is available asof 6:30 a.m. In fair weather, you can leave your baggage outsidethe front door of your tent. It will be collected by the tent rentalservice team.

    On rainy days, you must leave your baggage inside the tent(screen and door closed) and notify the tent rental service teamwhen your baggage is ready to be collected (specify your tentnumber).

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  • GRAND TOUR DESJARDINSUNDER THE COVERS PACKAGEWhen you register on the first day of the event, you will receivea list of the hotels and related contact information, as well asa personalized name tag indicating your assigned hotel for theweek. This same tag is attached to your baggage.

    You will also receive all the details regarding hotel shuttles,breakfasts and biking guidelines at the Village, if necessary

    All the hotels reserved by the Grand Tour Desjardins will be indicated on the route maps included in the participant’s book-let that you will receive two weeks before the event.

    ACCOMMODATIONSThe Grand Tour Desjardins Under the Covers package offersaccommodations, usually in a motel, hotel, inn, bed & break-fast or student residence with shared bathroom, which varyfrom one stopover town to the next, based on the region visited.You are generally located a few kilometres away from the Village. You can easily locate your lodgings on the route mapsin the excursion handbook and follow the signs leading youthere.

    And your bike? Your bike will be stored overnight in your room or in a securelocation provided for this purpose. We strongly recommendthat you keep it locked up at all times.

    BAGGAGE TRANSPORTATIONWe provide baggage transportation between hotels. Your bag-gage will await you in the lobby of your hotel. On the morningswe change stopover towns, you just leave it in the location in-dicated. Only baggage bearing the appropriate ID tags will betransported from one site or hotel to the next.

    HOTEL ARRIVAL AND CHECK-OUTGenerally, the rooms are available as of 3:00 p.m. and some-times 4:00 p.m. Please register at the hotel before 10:00 p.m.,since some hotels offer no reception and key remittance service beyond that time.

    When leaving the hotel, you must drop off your key at the reception desk and, if necessary, pay for any products andservices purchased during your stay (e.g. phone calls, mini-bar, etc.).

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  • BREAKFASTWhen accommodations do not include meals, breakfast will beserved in a nearby restaurant or, in certain cases, at the GrandTour Desjardins Village. You will find the appropriate couponsin the envelope you received when you registered. Breakfastsat the hotel are generally served between 6:30 a.m. and 9:00a.m.

    INFORMATION BOARDAn information bulletin board displayed in your hotel lobby willprovide the following information:

    • Where to pick up your baggage;• Where to leave your baggage upon departure;• Where to store your bicycle;• Breakfast time and location:• Grand Tour Desjardins Village shuttle schedule and details;• Grand Tour Desjardins Village activities;• Messages from organizers, if necessary.

    Every morning, your daily newsletter Le Déchaîné will be available in the hotel dining room. If breakfast is served in anearby restaurant, you can pick it up at the hotel lobby. Ifbreakfast is served in the Village, it will be available in the dining room.

    FROM BIKE ROUTE TO HOTEL AND VICE VERSABy bike, you can easily find your hotel by following our signsand consulting the appropriate route maps in your participant’sbooklet. The same applies when you resume the route, unless otherwise directed. The routes are marked off startingfrom the hotels.

    SHUTTLE BETWEEN VILLAGE AND HOTELA shuttle service is available every day between your hotel andthe Village.

    In certain cases, due to the distance of certain hotels from theGrand Tour Desjardins Village, a special bike storage area mayalso be set up at the Village. These details will be provided toyou at the time of registration. The complete schedule will alsobe posted on the information board at your hotel.

    Each municipality also has a taxi service. The phone numbersare available at the information booth and at the hotel.

    N.B. The Under the Covers package is not available on the Petite Aventure Desjardins.

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 13

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  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    PACKING AND CHECKLIST

    During travel events, Vélo Québec Voyages provides baggagetransportation from one stopover town to the next. We acceptonly one bag per person, camping gear included. To protectyourself and our baggage handlers from back injury, make sure that your baggage complies with the followingweight limits:

    • 22 kg for the Under the Stars package• 15 kg for the Under the Covers package

    (for the Grand Tour Desjardins only)

    On the Grand Tour Desjardins, you will have to submit yourbaggage for a mandatory weight check at the time of depar-ture, before it is loaded into the trucks. Any surplus will haveto be returned to your vehicle. This weight limit must be respected throughout the trip.

    On the Petite Aventure Desjardins, it is equally important tocomply with this limit, although no baggage weight check willtake place at the time of departure or during the trip.

    IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING INSURANCE COVERAGE It is your responsibility to have adequate insurance coveragefor your baggage and bicycle. Vélo Québec Voyages assumesno responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of baggage andpersonal effects (including the bicycle) throughout your trip,including the transportation of your bicycle by our services, if applicable. Please note that several home insurance companies cover damaged or stolen goods outside the home.Check with your insurer.

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  • TIPS AND ADVICEChoose your baggage carefully. Avoid hockey bags with a volume of between 160 and 180 litres. Remember that theideal piece of baggage is light and easy to handle, both for youand for our baggage handlers. Tip: when choosing your baggage, weigh it so as to favour the lighter models.

    If you are staying in a tent, choose a sports bag, withoutwheels or rigid frame, with a capacity of about 100 litres,equipped with solid handles supporting a maximum weight of20 kg when full.

    If you are staying in a hotel, choose a piece of baggage withwheels, with a maximum weight of 15 kg when full.

    Reduce the weight of your baggage. You are just going awayfor a few days, not several weeks! Therefore reduce the quan-tity of all liquid lotions and put them in smaller containers. Ifyou are travelling as a couple, divide the weight between bothpieces of baggage.

    Weigh your baggage at home. Stand on the scales with yourbaggage and subtract your weight from the total to get theexact weight of your baggage.

    Identify and personalize your baggage. Please indicate yourname, address and telephone number. And don’t forget: we willtransport it only if it bears the “baggage” tag given to you atthe time of registration, on the first day of the event.

    In addition, to find your baggage quickly and avoid confusing itwith that of another Grand Tour participant, personalize it withcoloured tape, for example.

    Keep your baggage dry. Due to the large amount of baggageand the space required for storing it when we arrive at a stop-over town, baggage is always stored outside - come rain orcome shine. As a result, it is important to put your clothes, personal effects, sleeping bag and tent in several watertightplastic bags before packing them in your baggage.

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 15

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  • CHECK LISTTHE PETITE AVENTURE DESJARDINSTo take full advantage of your Petite Aventure Desjardins, hereis a reminder to help you with your luggage preparation.

    REMINDER : We accept only one piece of luggage per person and thebaggage weight limit is 22 kg. It is each traveller’s responsibility to ensure that his/her baggage is waterproof. Also, we remind you of theimportance of putting all your personal effects in plastic bags beforepacking them in your travel bag.

    CAMPING EQUIPMENT

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    Tent (except for the all-inclusive tent service)Sleeping bagInsulating mattressPillowFlashlightClothespins

    A well-tuned bicycleSaddlebag for your bike (on the handlebars or the rear of the bike)Avoid backpacksA padlockWater bottlesMini mechanical kit (pump, inner tubes, puncture repair kit, tirewrench, small wrench, Allen key set)

    Cycling helmet

    Cycling shorts and/or bermuda shorts, skirtCycling jersey and/or t-shirts, shirtsWarm clothes: sweater, polar top, pants, windbreakerRain gear (top and bottom, shoes protectors optional)Socks and underwearTwo pairs of comfortable shoes (if you don’t use cycling shoes,choose a pair with the most rigid soles possible)

    Cap or hatBathing suit and cap Thongs (appreciated at shower time)

    Toiletry kit* and towelCameraSun block and lip protection with sunscreenSunglassesSmall first aid kit and personal medicationInsect repellant*If possible, prefer biodegradable toiletries and detergent

    BICYCLE MATERIAL

    CLOTHING

    MISCELLANEOUS MATERIAL

    Optional: A map holder on the handlebars, cycling gloves, elas-tic fasteners (if you have a back rack), mudguards (appreciated in case ofrain), rear-view mirror, odometer.

  • CHECK LISTTHE GRAND TOUR DESJARDINSTo take full advantage of your Grand Tour Desjardins, here is areminder to help you with your luggage preparation.

    REMINDER : We accept only one piece of luggage per person and thebaggage weight limit is 22 kg for the Under the Stars package and 15 kg for the Under the Covers package. It is each traveller’s responsibility to ensure that his/her baggage is waterproof. Also, weremind you of the importance of putting all your personal effects inplastic bags before packing them in your travel bag.

    CAMPING EQUIPMENT Under the Stars participants only.

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 17

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    Tent (except for the all-inclusive tent service)Sleeping bagInsulating mattressPillowFlashlightClothespins

    A well-tuned bicycleSaddlebag for your bike (on the handlebars or the rear of the bike)Avoid backpacksA padlockWater bottlesMini mechanical kit (pump, 2 inner tubes, puncture repair kit, tirewrench, small wrench, Allen key set, 2 spokes)

    Cycling helmet

    Cycling shorts and/or bermuda shorts, skirtCycling jersey and/or t-shirts, shirtsWarm clothes: sweater, polar top, pants, windbreakerRain gear (top and bottom, shoes protectors optional)Socks and underwearTwo pairs of comfortable shoes (if you don’t use cycling shoes,choose a pair with the most rigid soles possible)

    Cap or hatBathing suit and cap Thongs (appreciated at shower time)

    Toiletry kit* and towelLaundry detergent*CameraSun block and lip protection with sunscreenSunglassesSmall first aid kit and personal medication*If possible, prefer biodegradable toiletries and detergent

    BICYCLE MATERIAL

    CLOTHING

    MISCELLANEOUS MATERIAL

    Optional: A map holder on the handlebars, cycling gloves, elas-tic fasteners (if you have a back rack), mudguards (appreciated in case ofrain), rear-view mirror, odometer.

  • BIKING IN THE RAIN

    SADDLEBAGSVery few cycling bags are completely waterproof, so we suggestthat you pack your personal effects in plastic bags. Use severalsmall bags rather than one large one: this saves space and ismore practical. Bring dry clothing (T-shirts, socks, polar-fleecesweater) to change for dinner. You'll be glad you did!

    CLOTHINGBring a two-piece set of good raingear (jacket and pants). Itshould be light and have air holes. Gore-Tex products are ex-cellent. This fabric is breathable and provides protection fromthe rain, but it is quite expensive. Avoid ponchos and firefightercoats. Ponchos create too much wind resistance, and firefightercoats make you sweat so much that you will get just as wet asyou would without raingear.

    To keep your feet dry, you can buy special overshoes at bikeshops. Another solution is to wear woollen (or polar-fleece)socks inside your shoes. Your feet will get wet but will at leaststay warm. Avoid cotton socks and makeshift solutions such aswrapping your feet in grocery bags, because your feet will tendto slip off your pedals.

    Lastly, don't wait for a downpour before putting on yourraingear. It takes just a few minutes to avoid being wet and coldall day long.

    A FEW TIPS Take your time and stop frequently to warm up and relax. Easydoes it! Take time out to visit attractions, or to chat with otherparticipants or locals over a cup of coffee. In short, tackle the rain bit by bit rather than fighting your way through a downpour.

    Be more careful when using your brakes and give yourself 50%more braking distance to ensure you can stop safely.

    Bear in mind that the water on the road reduces friction andtire grip, which makes it easier to pedal. The same amount ofeffort will take you further in the rain! Every cloud has a silverlining!

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  • SLEEPING IN THE TENT

    PITCHING THE TENTMany of you probably haven't used your tent for quite sometime. You may even have bought it especially for this trip. Toavoid having to learn how to use it at the end of the first day,try pitching it at home at least once: this will allow you to ensure that it is in good condition and that you have all the necessary pieces.

    Set up your tent as soon as you arrive at the campsite. If it'snot raining or is raining very little, you’ll be glad you did shoulda sudden downpour occur. Rather than pitching your tent inheavy rain, wait until it lets up a bit.

    Once your tent has been set up, unroll the mat for your sleeping bag, but do not unroll your sleeping bag or spread outyour personal effects right away. They will stay dry in theirplastic bags if it rains during the evening. Showers can happenso fast! If, when it's time to turn in, you notice that there iswater inside your tent, we can arrange for you to stay insidethe educational institution hosting the Village (but generallyspeaking, it’s better to sleep alone in your tent than with 60 other people in a gym). However, if your sleeping bag orclothing gets wet, we won't be able to replace them, which iswhy it's so important to use plastic bags to protect your belongings.

    DISMANTLING THE TENTIf it's raining when you get up, put your sleeping bag andclothes in plastic bags right away. Leave everything on yourmat and go for breakfast. With a little luck, the rain will stopor let up a bit during breakfast and you will be able to take yourtent down in dry weather. If it's still raining, finish putting yourbelongings in plastic bags and pack them away. Dismantle yourtent last and put it in its own waterproof bag. Then put every-thing in your main bag. In fact, your tent will often be dampwith dew when you take it down. The key is to prevent the restof your belongings from getting wet. If it's warm at the end ofthe day, your damp tent will dry out in about fifteen minutes.

    DRY BAGGAGEPut all your personal effects in plastic bags before packingthem in your travel bag, in order to protect them against therain.

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  • FAMILY BIKE TOURING

    The success of family bicycle trips depends on choosing theright equipment, allowing the children to set the pace andplanning the outing carefully.

    EQUIPMENTFor children 4 years of age and under, the choice is between aseat and a trailer. Seats, which are cheaper and less tiring thantowing a trailer, are designed for children who weigh under 20 kg and ideal for outings less than 20 km long.

    Some advice about using seats: wait until the child is oldenough to sit up in a chair (about 11 months); don’t use a seatonce the child gets too big (4 or 5 years old or 20 kg.); choosea model with a back that provides good head support and withcross-straps that hold the child firmly in place; make sure thechild wears a bicycle helmet; never let children hold anythingin their hands when riding; never leave the child alone in theseat.

    Trailers are more comfortable for the child, offer more stabilityfor the cyclist and allow you to carry more things. There aretwo price ranges for trailers: from $200 to $300, and over $300.Trailers under $300 are designed for Sunday outings, so canbe used for trips lasting three days. Trailers over $300 haveconsiderable advantages in terms of weight and assembly anddisassembly.

    Children between 5 and 7 years old are usually too heavy toride in a trailer but not yet strong enough to ride their ownbikes. However, trailer cycles (such as Trail-a-Bikes) that attach to the rear of an adult bike are a very good compromise.Children who ride these bikes can pedal and actually help tomove the vehicle forward, but they can also let themselves tobe towed. These bicycles are less difficult to pull than a trailer;but since they affect steering, it takes a while to learn how touse them.

    There are also bars that allow you to tow (or push) a child’s bicycle. Some of these bars raise the front wheel off theground, while others simply tow the child’s bike; some are collapsible and easy to transport, while others are not. In short,it’s best to be fully informed before you buy. The advantage of these bars is that they allow children to pedal certain segments and then be towed when they get tired.

    20 VÉLO QUÉBEC VOYAGES

    514-521-8356 1-800-567-8356, EXT. 506

  • At around 7 or 8 years old, your child may be capable of ridingalone. Once children reach this age, we suggest that they takepart in the Petite Aventure Desjardins using their own bikes.Equip their bikes with a carrying rack and pannier bags (avoidbackpacks), so they can transport their own things. This way,if you happen to get separated, your child will have the essen-tials. A bottle carrier and a bottle are also important.

    Also, if your children can ride alone, they should be taught toride in single file on the right-hand side of the road, to pay attention to other cyclists and to cars, to signal their intentions,to obey traffic signs and to stay off the road when stopped.Children from 8 to 13 years old, especially boys, have troublecycling at a steady pace. They often tend to cycle way ahead ofthe pack, quickly tiring themselves out. Don't underestimatethe importance of taking relatively long breaks, even if yourchild is 11 or 12 years old.

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 21

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  • 22 VÉLO QUÉBEC VOYAGES

    TRAVEL NOTES

    514-521-8356 1-800-567-8356, EXT. 506

  • On the first day of the trip during registration, you will receivenumbered bracelets for you and your baggage. To access allthe services offered as part of Vélo Québec travel events, participants must wear their wrist bracelet at all times and ensure that the one on their baggage is securely attached.

    No bracelet, no services.

    TRAVELLER’S GUIDE 23

    YOUR BRACELET:YOUR VACATION PASSPORT

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  • MAISON DES CYCLISTES

    1251 Rachel Street East, Montreal (Quebec) H2J 2J9Phone: 514-521-8356 • 1-800-567-8356, ext. 506 Fax: 514-521-5711 • Email: [email protected]