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The Gaspésie Tour

THE GASPÉSIE TOUR

The first time I heard of the arrival of a new sports vehicle produced by BRP was back in the fall of 2006. An acquaintance of mine, an avid amateur of off-road motorcycles and engine vehicles of all kinds and very fond of the BRP brand, was the first to tell me. Martin, a resident of the Portneuf region, had been invited by Dion Moto Sport St-Raymond to test drive, in California, a Can-Am Spyder. BRP wanted to make a final product validation by making real fans of outdoor-type vehicles test drive one. He returned quite conquered by his experience.

From their arrival on the market, I was also interested in that futuristic vehicle and it was part of a niche product that was until then, inexistent. However, although very interesting, the first version of the Can-Am Spyder was made for a younger clientele and BRP had not yet produced a version that would match my expectations in terms of comfort and capacity for luggage load. However, I continued to monitor the “beast” from afar. But, I did not have to wait long.

spyder tv article rené lavoie 5In the fall of 2009, BRP unveiled the ST model which clearly was addressed to a different clientele in terms of age and that would allow for longer rides and more comfort. Newspaper articles were quite complimentary about the evolution of the new “beast” which, while growing in volume, did not lose anything of its character and its innovative look. I physically saw the machine at the beginning of the winter of 2010 in a showroom in the region of Quebec, and it was love at first sight. The one that caught my eye was bright red and I dreamed of it night and day. I quickly satisfied my desire by acquiring it in the spring of the same year.

spyder tv article rené lavoie 4Then came July with the traditional vacation period associated with the construction holiday and my desire to ride the Spyder on a larger scale invaded me. I decided on Gaspé, being a native of this region, the choice of destination was obvious. My wife unfortunately could not join me, so I went alone while getting her “blessing” for the project. After the usual luggage preparations, I mounted the machine and I left early on a Saturday morning. The temperature is superb in Quebec City, my starting point, and I feel good. I booked a hotel in Ste-Anne-des-Monts, halfway to my ultimate goal of Barachois (near beautiful Percé). I’m in no hurry, so I take the 132, which is Quebec’s equivalent of the legendary Route 66, I drive along the river and take a short break in St-Jean-Port-Joli, the woodcarving capital of Quebec. I make a first refueling and the few people there cluster around the machine to inspect it more closely. Rave reviews pore out of them! I am now used to it, but not at all tired of this phenomenon that started about 2 months ago when I first acquired the Spyder. I have one phrase prepared for fans of the Y designed vehicle: “I ​​have no merit, I did not make it, I just bought it”. It gets a few laughs and I am happy to share my experience with the Spyder.

spyder tv article rené lavoie 3I arrive in Rivière-du-Loup light hearted. However, the sky has changed rapidly and from being blue, it turns to dark gray, it definitely looks like there is a rainstorm ahead. I put on my raincoat, but I make the mistake of not putting on my jacket under it. I leave and droplets begin to fall. At first, it falls rather finely but the situation is rapidly deteriorating, rain is now falling very hard. Thinking ahead, I had abandoned the scenic route for Highway 20 which extends to Mont-Joli. The situation worsens, the visibility is bad and making things worse, water begins to wet my sweater under my waterproof jacket. The Spyder however reacts very well and sticks to the road at 100 km/h, it reassures me. I stop at Mont-Joli to warm up with a coffee in a small restaurant. There, I make my second mistake, I should have put on a dry t-shirt in the bathroom, put my Spyder jacket and put my waterproof coat over my jacket. Am I stupid or what? Usually not, well…

spyder tv article rené lavoie 2I finally arrive a few hours later in Ste-Anne-des-Monts. I am freezing and soaked, I undress quickly and take a good shower that drags on for 15 minutes. The bathroom is all steamed up, but I finally feel good again. The next morning, the weather is back to sunshine and I stop to see a couple of friends who own a retail doors and windows store in Ste-Anne-des-Monts prior to crossing the “Parc de la Gaspésie”. The road is fabulous, all in lace with very few long stretches. This is where I decide to experiment, for a moment, the Spyder’s behavior at high speed. There is no traffic and no police in sight, I reach exactly 147 km/h. I have not reached its limit but I’m satisfied, the machine is very stable, I release the accelerator. The mountains are beautiful, some of them still have snow at the top. After another stop at friends of mine in Newport to show them the Spyder, I arrive at my hotel in Barachois. My first beer is excellent, the other just as much, I relax while chatting with neighbors. For five days, I will rediscover my native Gaspésie and my new Spyder will allow me to get a panoramic view.

spyder tv article rené lavoie 1My return is unhindered, taking the road along the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula. I make, of course, a stop at my favorite village of Mont St-Pierre. I will forever keep an indelible memory of my journey with all the good times and, of course, my first experience in the rain.

 René Lavoie

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