L’idée de ce défi est de faire découvrir la région des Cantons-de-l’Est par de magnifiques chemins moins connus des cyclistes. Ces chemins de gravelle vous permettront de parcourir ce territoireexceptionnel: its villages, its countryside, its locals merchants and their local products. It is therefore in a spirit of mutual aid that the idea of the Gravel Bikepacking Challenge 500 was born.
If you do not yet know this cycling challenge or if you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of our 2022 edition, we invite you to watch this short film (https://vimeo.com/765809621)
You will have privileged access to our world record holder, Mark Beaumont (The Gravel Bikepacking Challenge with Mark Beaumont | Argon 18), but also to “more normal;)” people (but still a little crazier than average) who decided to embark on the adventure and live a unique experience on our beautiful gravel roads of the Eastern Townships.
Note that a complete program for TV broadcast is currently being edited and that it will present more detailed portraits of some participants, while introducing the Memphremagog region.
Over the past few weeks, our team has been testing new roads (or anything that allows you to ride a bike…) and has put together a whole new course, but always with the same objectives: to make discover an exceptional territory through its villages, its countryside, its traders and their local products.
As was the case in 2022, the 2023 edition will offer two fabulous routes of 250 km and 500 km respectively. More details to come in a future publication.
The GBC 500/250 is aimed at the majority of gravel bike enthusiasts, but we have listed three profiles of participants over the first three editions.
The first participant profile (a minority that is nicely called “the crinqués”!) includes high-level cyclists who will try to complete the 500 km journey in less than 24 hours.
Know that this “almost impossible” mission will require you to pedal almost non-stop while ensuring you have enough energy – in your legs and in your electronic devices (phone and headlights) – to ride ten hours in the dark.
During the first three editions, about thirty participants tried the feat, but only six of them succeeded in this completely crazy bet.
The second profile includes about 30% of participants, those who try to reach the finish of the 250 or 500 km in less than 40 hours. Many of these cyclists will have to push their limits to the maximum and allow themselves only a few hours of rest in the night from Saturday to Sunday.
The advantage of completing the course before Sunday at midnight is that you can return to work on Monday morning, without having to take additional days off. However, you may have some aches and pains after crossing a few hundred kilometers and more than 6000 meters of elevation gain!!!
The third profile includes participants who want to complete the event in three to five days, respecting a so-called “more normal” cruising speed.
Even if these cyclists go at their own pace and take the time to admire the landscape or visit some tourist attractions, know that their adventure remains quite a challenge, since they will have to ride more than a hundred kilometers daily to complete the route on time.
But no matter which category joins you, know that the Gravel Bikepacking Challenge will make you live an extraordinary human and sporting adventure, and this, in one of the most beautiful regions of Quebec.
A few weeks before departure, we will send you the route in digital format. The start is in time trial format.
Along the way, you will have mandatory checkpoints in unexpected places of exceptional beauty. You will have the opportunity to discover several shops and local products to taste on site.
The route on the most beautiful roads in the Eastern Townships is 85% on dirt roads and gravel tracks and some sections on asphalt country roads (15%).
The difficulty level of your challenge will depend on the choices you have to make when registering:
Some will look to set a personal best while others will take up to 5 days to complete this cycling challenge.
You participate in the adventure using the aid stations on the course and you can use l the official refreshment points of the race.
You participate in the adventure with an electrically assisted bicycle to complete the course.
You participate in the adventure using only the official refreshment points of the course. Vous devez être autonome (tente, sleeping bag, repas…). You must be independent (tent, sleeping bag, meal, etc.). You do not have external assistance (transport, food etc …)
From 1 January to 31 March: 500 KM (Solo $495 Duo $950) 250 KM (Solo $345 Duo $655)
From 1 April to 31 May: Span 500 KM (Solo $525 Duo $995) 250 KM (Solo $365 Duo $695)
June 1 to August 11: 500 KM (Solo $575 Duo $1100) 250 KM (Solo $425 Duo $810)
Until 31/12: 90% refundable
Until 31/03: 50% refundable
Until 30/05: 30% refundable
From 1/06 Non-refundable
To guide your preparation, here are a few interesting links:
Here is an informative report on how to prep your bike: https://youtu.be/wqgzoySu82s
Another article about the equipment used by the woman who holds the record for a bike trip around the world: https://www.apidura.com/journal/jenny-grahams-around-the-world-record-breaking-kit/
All the products needed for bikepacking are available at the VéloCafé store in Magog https://www.velocafe.ca