Date: September 9th, 2023
Place: Chelsea, Quebec
The Canadian Shield Bikepacking Route offer riders 3 lengths to choose from with varying distances and difficulty. The Grand Depart for all three routes will begin at the same time and location.
The ONLY question left to answer is:
What type of bikepacking adventure are you looking for?
Canadian Shield 400: The CS 400 is a 400km ramble through the Outaouais region of Quebec over a mixture of gravel roads, unmaintained winter roads, doubletrack, singletrack and rail trail, through forests, provincial parks and ski resorts. This is the perfect challenge for newer bikepackers to get out for a few days and experience a varied terrain or for those with a time contraint.
Canadian Shield Bikepacking Route: The CSBR combines the Canadian Shield 400 and the Northwest Quebec Explorer into a thrilling 900km sojourn through Western Quebec, giving you all the great riding you have in the CS 400, but also throwing in a nature reserve and its rugged roads, a regional park with some excellent single and doubletrack and lots of lake district cottage country.
Canadian Shield XL: The CSXL is the amalgamation of three distinctly different routes: the CS400, the Northwest Quebec Explorer and the Trouble in Tremblant loop, creating a 1200km odyssey through a huge swath of Western Quebec. In addition to the CSBR, you will have an additional 300km through the region of Mont Tremblant Provincial Park, with lots and lots of elevation gain. An adventure you will never forget.
What is a Grand Depart
A grand depart is an unsanctioned event where a group of bikepackers meet up to ride a route at a predetermined location and time. There is no registration, support, insurance or prizes for completing the route and the event is not a race or organized event. Each rider is expected to be completely self-sufficient throughout the ride, arranging their own lodgings, food stops, and water management. Safety is of the utmost importance and riders should make sure to notify their family and friends of their route and other safety information. Large parts of this route are outside of cellular coverage zones. Riders are also responsible for paying any park or ski resort fees necessary.
Riders can indicate their intention to ride by filling out this form after reading all of the following information. Completing the registration is merely intended to provide a means of communication with the participants so that they are up-to-date on the most current information.
Bikepackers that cannot make it to the Grand Depart are more than welcome to ride the route at any other time of their own choosing. Riders who have completed the route may submit a photo for inclusion on the “finishers’ gallery”. The same applies to those who have set a new FKT.
Fastest Known Time (FKT)
As this is not a race, riders may ride alone, in pairs or in small groups. It is entirely up to them. Riders attempting to set a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) start at the same time as other riders at the Grand Depart, but must complete the ride as a solo rider and unassisted by any means not equally available to all other riders. A rider’s time is the total elapsed time, including all stops, that it takes to complete the route. FKT hopefuls must provide a Strava or RWGPS file of their ride. FKT riders may not draft.
This ride is not an official event, nor is it sanctioned in any way, there is no entrance fee, and there is no prize for finishing.
All riders are solely responsible for their own safety and security along the route.
Riders must recognize that there are inherent risks in this undertaking including injury and death.
This route incorporates multi-use trails, off-road trails and on-road riding. All cyclists are responsible for their own safety, must use both trails and streets with caution and do so at their own risk.
The route should be evaluated by each individual cyclist based on their level of experience and comfort level in cycling on trails and roads.
Riders need to consider weather conditions, time of day, and any road obstacles when making their decisions to ride.
Always wear the proper safety gear when cycling, ride sensibly and abide by all laws.
This website and the associated Facebook page/Instagram account are only used as a meeting place and area for collaboration and information sharing. The Bikepack Adventures website and any and all others involved in the development of these routes do not assume any liability whatsoever for cyclists using this information and travelling upon these routes.
Some parts of this route are remote, with minimal services during long stretches and through forested areas home to black bears, skunks, raccoons and other forest animals.
Carrying a tracking device is recommended but not required, cell service is “non-existent” in some areas of this route.
Flashing (blinking) lights, reflective gear and light coloured clothing to make riders more visible are highly recommended. Bikes should be outfitted with lights for riding in the dusk, night or dawn.
This is a self-supported ride, and outside support is not allowed. If you need it or think you might need it…you better bring it.
Services along the route are fair game; hotels, restaurants, pubs and stores are all available for use, as long as goods and services are not pre-arranged, e.g., no food or equipment drops/delivery unless it is to a Canada Post Outlet c/o General Delivery.
Camping options both primitive and at campgrounds, and other accommodation options can be found on the RWGPS map and supplemented with your own research. Due to COVID, hours/days of operation may have changed.
Leave No Trace. This route goes through communities and wilderness areas, please respect all areas of the route and leave it as you found it. If you packed it in, pack it out. More information on “Leave No Trace”: https://www.leavenotrace.ca/principles
This ride and route rely on the goodwill of the many communities along the way. Please be kind and respectful of private property and generous with your support of local businesses.
If you need to leave the route for any reason, you must return to your last location and continue on from there.
A rider’s time is the total elapsed time, including all stops, that it takes to complete the route. FKT hopefuls must provide a Strava or RWGPS file of their ride. FKT riders may not draft.
Before and during your ride it is your responsibility to:
Educate yourself about current health guidelines, vaccination requirements, proof of vaccination, etc., in all applicable health units/regions throughout Quebec and follow them.
Modify your plans to meet health directives if the situation changes.
Be respectful of the people you encounter in the areas you are riding through.
Always make your safety and the safety of others your priority.
Completing a challenge of this length and difficulty is something to be proud about. If you have completed the Canadian Shield Bikepacking Route, whether it be 400km, 900km or 1200km, please send me your photo, time and distance ridden to add it to a soon to be built wall of Canadian Shield finishers.
Fastest Known Time (FKT)
The Fastest Known Time is the record for the fastest finisher of a specific route. It is based on a rider’s total elapsed time, including all stops, that it takes to complete the route. For a FKT record, the rider must ride every single inch of the route, without any means of assistance that is not reasonably available to all other riders.
If you ride the entirety of the route, you can submit your name, photo and a link to your ride data for verification in order to be added as the new fastest known time.