Vorlage’s BikeFest rolls into town
Bike. Dance. Shop. Camp. Rinse. Repeat.
Those are the six steps to follow for Centre Vorlage’s BikeFest that will take over the Wakefield ski hill Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
Vorlage’s BikeFest is essentially the centre’s grand opening, after owner Alex Gaboury took over the business earlier this year. He said he has always wanted to host a mountain biking festival, and while this year will be a small festival on the ski hill site, the seeds for a Wakefield-wide outdoor bike and music festival have been planted.
“In my mind, this is the official opening of the bike park and at the same time, we thought we may as well throw, like, a big party and make it a multiple day festival,” Gaboury told the Low Down. “The main thing is to keep it simple but fun. It’s not going to be super big. But we're going to try and make it as fun as possible.”
The fun begins at noon on Friday, Sept. 29 with the opening of the festival. Groups rides – 25 or 40 kilometres – begin at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. a DJ will kick off an outdoor dance party on Vorlage’s brand new outdoor terrace. A live band will finish off the evening.
Saturday will see a swath of gravel bike racers ripping through the Hills. Vorlage has partnered with Nomades du Parc to host two gravel races: a 79-km race and a longer, epic 110-km race that will take place on gravel roads and back country paths near the Gatineau River, the Paugan Dam and the Draveurs cycle route.
The festival will also boast a vendors market, where local businesses will be putting on interactive demonstrations, like Expéditions Wakefield’s Stein bike race, where riders will have to ride down the hill with a beer stein, or the Christmas ornament workshop that will have you turning bike parts into decorations for your tree this holiday season.
Vorlage’s BikeFest will boast three DJs and two live bands that will play into evening, but not too late, said Gaboury, as early risers will be on their bikes by 7 a.m. every day. Gaboury said the event will be free for the public to come and check out — including the DJ shows and the live music. He said it’s a way for him to give back to the community.
“I'm super excited to throw the first official [BikeFest event] open to everybody,” he said. “We'll continue this and make it bigger and more accessible for everybody. The response from the community since I took over has been way above what I was expecting.”
BikeFest also boasts camping, workshops for kids and a chainless bike race that will challenge riders to come within the closest of a set time to win.
For more information, visit Centre Vorlage online.