February 22, 2013 (Montreal, QC) – Last weekend’s Montreal Bicycle Show attracted sizeable crowds as they got a chance to kick tires and review the latest bikes, accessories and services from bike shops, distributers, manufacturers, granfondo-type rides, charitable organizations, tourism associations, cycling magazines (including Pedal) and more. Here is a sampling of comments from various exhibitors at this year’s show.
Paolo Marinoni of Cycles Marinoni described the company’s booth as, “very busy”. The family-run business has expanded beyond making high-end road bikes at its facility just outside of Montreal and now also distributes products from other companies such Italian-made Dedacciai bikes, Maxim energy drinks and elliptical trainers. But he was obviously most proud of the Marinoni Genius with a carbon frame that will be available in April starting at $3,500 fully mounted. “I’m happy with the experience here,” concluded Marinoni. www.marinoni.qc.ca
Yvan Martineau, spokesperson for the 2013 MTL show, is also associated with a charity, Fondation Marie Vincent. Martineau is leading a group cycling trip to Mont Ventoux (1,900 metres) in France this summer. “We’ll also go for good wine, good cuisine, we’re going to raise money for children who have been victims of sexual aggression,” said Martineau. He is looking for 20 to 50 cyclists for an eight-day trip to France in mid September. Martineau also organizes one-day the Echappée Belle ride – for women only – in Quebec’s Monteregie region on September 28. Other trips that he offers are to Arizona and to Cuba. www.yvanmartineau.com
André Gingras of ARG Sports was excited to show off products that his company distributes including Bicycle Line apparel, Cinelli bikes and accessories, Crono shoes, including high-end Time bike frames, pedals, and clothing. He said that his booth was getting a lot of traffic with most people dropping by to look at bicycle clothing, and especially Time and Cinelli products. “The show is very good for us; Bicycle Line clothing is the hottest item this year.” www.arg-sports.com
Caroline Beliveau of Centre-du-Québec Tourism said that many people were asking questions about cycle tourism in her region on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. “Closer to the River, terrain is fairly flat but farther south, terrain becomes hillier in the Appalachians. There are 25 different circuits offered with a total of 1,000km, many of which connect to Quebec’s Route verte (a bike path highway).” www.avelo.ca (phone) 1-888-816-4007
While most of the exhibitors were from Quebec or eastern Ontario, a few were from farther afield. Thomas and Basile from Geneva, Switzerland manned a kiosk to promote guided or self-guided one -week tours to various European destinations including Italy, France, and Spain. While the season in mountainous regions, such as the Dolomites, is restricted to July and August, destinations close to the Mediterranean enjoy an extended season from May to October. www.bcyclet.com
Andrea Vezina of Tourisme Laurentides said that there was a lot of interest in her booth. “Things are going very well; better than last year. We have the 200km P’tit Train du Nord bike path in our region with bicycle shuttles. There is also the Aerobic Corridor bike path. Our region is just north of Montreal with many outdoor activities. The Laurentians offers a lot of nice bicycling on bike paths and roads. Many loops have been developed.” www.laurentians.com (phone) 1-800 561-6673
Barbara Simon of the Virginia Tourism Corporation has presented at the Salon for three years. “Virginia has a lot of nice cycling paths and roads. There are many options for cyclists. We have the Blue Mountain Parkway – the most scenic drive in North America if you ask me. We also have the beach where the terrain is flat and the piedmont regions with rolling terrain. We have rides for road cyclists and for mountain bikers. A lot of people go there in late March or early April to get an early start on the season.” www.Virginia.org (phone) 1-800-847-4882
Helene Lapointe of the Grands Prix Cyclistes Quebec et Montreal was pleased with the exposure her organization was receiving for distributing information for two new cyclosportive rides. The first one will be in the vicinity of Quebec City on September 12 and the second will be on farmland south of Montreal on September 14. Her organization is adding mass participation, timed events on the rest days for WorldTour riders at the September 13 Grand Prix de Quebec and the September 15 Grand Prix de Montreal. www.gpcqm.ca
Emilie Goulet of Granfondo Garneau p/b Quebecor said many people at the salon were stopping by to ask about her Aug. 11 mass participation event. “We’re giving out a lot of information. This is a 110km cyclosportif ride from Trois-Rivieres to Quebec City following close to the St Lawrence River. We had 2,000 participants in 2012 and are hoping for 3,000 in 2013. Those registering need to ride at a minimum of 20kmh for about 6 hours; so they don’t need to be super athletes. The event will be timed and medals will be distributed by category at the end of the event. There is no minimum age for participants. www.quebecgranfondo.com
Euro-Sports, a bike shop from Ottawa had a booth at the show where we spoke to Gordon Smith. “The show has been great; we’re happy to be back for our second year. Our products here include Argon 18, Prologue, and Diadora. Salon du velo attracts clientele very knowledgeable with cycling products. Sales are great we have to hide our cash box! Newton running shoes are one of our hottest items. Argon 18 is also hot we’re bringing out some of our 2013 models. The brand is becoming known worldwide, especially with sponsorship of the SpiderTech racing team. I’m from a racing background myself and Gallium is my favourite model. Some people are saying that it’s the most aesthetically-pleasing bike at this show. www.euro-sports.ca
Sebastien Lucier of Velo 2000 – a chain of Louis Garneau concept stores – spoke enthusiastically about the newly-introduced Garneau energy drinks. And then he introduced Pedal to William Garneau, Louis’ (owner) eldest son, who is in charge of this new product line. “People are amazed with the energy drinks; they’re not too sweet and the flavour is not too strong,” said Garneau, comparing his product to more familiar products. Lucier added that his Longueuil store has now added a virtual cycling room in conjunction with Montreal’s Peak Centre. www.velo2000.qc.ca
For more on the show click HERE….