The very significant increase in sales of ATVs, whether ATVs or side-by-side, had a direct effect on traffic on the trails during the summer.
“The significant sales of vehicles have resulted in increased traffic on the trails,” explains the general manager of the Fédération québécoise des clubs quad, Mr. Danny Gagnon. We expected it to go well but here we were surprised at how many people used the trails. The situation will not diminish with the approaching winter season. We must now work on a plan to reopen the relays, because with the cold, people must be able to warm up. ”
Really, the specialist, who has worked in the field for over 30 years, said he was surprised to see the situation.
“I would not be surprised to see a significant increase in the number of members as well,” explains the director. We have worked very hard on the principle of selling access rights online. Quite honestly, it worked very well which should lead to surprises for some clubs who will see a fairly significant increase in the number of members. ”
This increase is largely due to new users who have purchased vehicles in large numbers.
“Yes, we noticed the presence of new followers on the trail, but also several people who had a vehicle, but who did not come on the trail. As part of the pandemic situation, since they could not go outside, many people chose to ride quad bikes. We must not forget that the best way to travel legally is on the trails. It is certain that new buyers who bought a vehicle wanted to use it for fun. They almost automatically bought a trail permit. There is no doubt that the increase in users will have a positive effect for the clubs and the Federation. ”
THE QUAD ROUTE
Created to allow movement between regions and access to quality services, the famous Quad Route has been more visited.
“Or, I could see that these roads were used more frequently. I myself am a regular user and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new quad riders, explains Mr. Gagnon. We must not forget that it is a pleasure to use this road because we have easy access to quality services, whatever you are looking for. New users will certainly have a lot of fun discovering the different circuits. ”
By discussing with new followers, the expert quickly understood that they were satisfied.
“It is certain that by discussing with these new users, I could see that they were satisfied and especially that they realized that the quad is a very good way to discover Quebec. It is truly a new way of doing tourism with us. Some even confessed to us that before, they only obtained a right of access for the summer, but that now that they had realized the quality and the scale of the network, they thought of buying a right annual access. This winter, as these people will not be able to go anywhere, they have decided to practice winter quad biking. This will have a positive effect for the clubs and the various stakeholders in the field. ”
MORE IMPOSING IN WINTER
For the Federation, the winter period represents the busiest part of the season.
“This is really our biggest time for a long time in terms of memberships,” explains Mr. Gagnon. We go from 10 to 12,000 kilometers of trails in summer to over 23,000 kilometers in winter. The presence of these new riders did not cause any problems on the trails in the summer, so I wouldn't expect a different situation in the winter. However, for clubs this means they will have to do more maintenance on their trails. Depending on the region and the ground conditions, it is possible that the conditions of certain parts of the trails deteriorate more quickly, automatically resulting in more frequent interventions by the volunteers of the clubs. ”
On this point, Mr. Gagnon has no fear.
“The clubs are used to it. They take care of their business. This summer, due to heavy rains, in some trails, there are fairly significant breaks. As soon as they noticed it, the volunteers made the necessary repairs to offer the ATV riders the best possible trail conditions. ”
THE HUNTING PERIOD
Currently, in several territories that offer rights of way, the hunting season has started.
“I advise quad riders to go to our website www.fqcq.qc.ca, to find out where the trails are closed. It is not easy to follow the different hunting seasons in the regions. Before getting into a problem, I advise them to take the time to get informed. ”
For Mr. Gagnon, there is no question of annoying hunters.
“Normally, disruptions in trail availability in many areas last about a month and a half or more. For example, in Sépaq territories, in wildlife reserves where we have trails, everything has been closed since August 30. In their case, accessibility to the trail sections will not return until November. ”
Currently, there is nothing really new in the rules governing the practice of Quad.
“At the moment, there is nothing new except that we are working intensively on the creation of a new law on off-road vehicles. Currently, it is the issue of organizing a structuring network that concerns us. It would be protected in such a way as to avoid all the problems that we experience each year in setting up the network. We are awaiting the conditions set by the government in this case. ”