Vélo Québec Voyages Guides
At Vélo Québec Voyages, we give utmost importance to the selection of our guides. Our main focus in this regard is professionalism. More specifically, we choose our guides based on their ability to make your life easier, in a flexible, pleasant and safe environment. This is based on several criteria, mainly, their extensive bike touring experience, their in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics and first aid, their ability to react promptly and effectively to emergency and unforeseen situations, their tact, their ability to communicate and their skill in escorting a group of people.
Our guides contribute significantly to the quality of your trips by adding their own personal touch. We know we made the right choice by integrating the following individuals into our team!
As a child, David had two unconditional heroes: Gary Carter, the talented Montréal Expos receiver, and Snoopy, the loveable dog in the Charles M. Schulz comic strip. These days, this young man looks up to Claire Morissette, pioneer in the promotion of biking in Montréal, founder of Communauto and Cyclo Nord-Sud, and after whom the De Maisonneuve Blvd bike path is named. For ten years, David has gravitated around Vélo Québec. He has biked Sicily and Taiwan, and in 2011, he guided the trip Italian Lakes and the Dolomites. What’s more, he is very well-versed in the language of Dante. Tutti in bici!
A nature lover and a people person – Denise is both! She has an extensive environmental background, which she also applied in municipal politics, since she enjoys raising public awareness. She can talk to you about birds, insects or the importance of wetlands, if you want. Always on the go, she loves embarking on adventures with friends, whether biking, mountain trekking or cross-country skiing. Eager to discover new cultures, she has travelled in Europe, Africa, North and South America, but she knows Québec like the back of her hand! She has biked in Cyprus, Bolivia, the United States and different parts of Canada. She has been a member of the cycling escort team for the Challenges, Petite Aventure and Grand Tour Desjardins since 2011, and became a guide in 2012.
From man of the woods to man of the world: that’s Éric’s story. A recreation technician in the outdoor activities and leadership field, he took advantage of his retirement to open himself up to the world. He has guided many groups across Canada, in addition to discovering the diversity of people and cultures in such countries as Vietnam, Madagascar, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Germany. Curious, organized and sociable, Éric takes his job very seriously, while poetically describing himself as a “memory artist”.
This is a guy who knows where he’s going! When it comes to organization and planning, Gilles has it covered. A young retiree, he worked as a policeman for over 35 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His duties there highlighted his leadership and sense of supervision and responsibility. Québec, New England, Costa Rica, Alsace and Austria are among his cycling destinations. Gilles has a friendly personality and enjoys company, life and real people. Bike touring is a passion that he would like to share with you.
Guillaume, with his boyish looks, is the ambassador of biking! He promotes the sport to youngsters as part of the On the move to school program, as well as to adults by participating in Operation Bike-to-Work. His passions include the circus, outdoor activities and bicycle mechanics. With a bachelor’s degree in animation and cultural research from UQÀM, he has been on the Vélo Québec Voyages team since 2006.
Jacob is a perfect combination of Fred Pellerin and Bernard Voyer. With him, a simple anecdote becomes a fantastic adventure. Through his grand gestures, comical expressions and sense of humour, you will discover the captivating history of the places along your route. A professional guide and member of Aventure Écotourisme Québec, Jacob is a disciplined guy who is passionate about his job. During the past 9 years, he has guided trips in the Grand Canyon, Alaska, the Yukon, Anticosti Island, Western Canada, the U.S. East Coast and Baffinland. He has also travelled to France, Italy, Switzerland and Jamaica, in addition to participating in the documentary TV show Destination Nor’Ouest II, where he spent 100 days living as our ancestors did in 1793.
Curious by nature and multi-talented, Jacques-Alexandre wears many hats: sound engineer, soundman, musician, cabinet maker, carpenter, cyclist, bicycle mechanics instructor… he’s a jack of all trades. A nature lover, he enjoys several sports, including canoeing, rock climbing, backcountry skiing and solo hiking. He discovered bike touring at age 14, while exploring the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region with his cousin. Once back home, the local concession roads became his cycling playground. He soon taught himself bicycle mechanics and then met up with Denise Belzil at Techno Cycle. For over eight years, Jacques-Alexandre has alternated between the world of biking and the recording studios of the cinematography industry. After several trips abroad, he rediscovered his passion for bike touring in Iceland. For him, biking is a philosophy of life that he wants to share with everyone.
John always sees the humorous side of life! A graduate in French literature and translation, he works in communications and public relations and teaches at McGill University. His cycling destinations include Ontario, New England, Ireland, England and France. In fact, John literally lives on a bike. He owns six of them and gets around everywhere on two wheels. He’s a real bike addict and curious about everything. A regular of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal, Petite Aventure Desjardins and Grand Tour Desjardins, he is also a very positive group leader who is skilled at solving problems on the spot.
Marie-Andrée makes the most out of life. You will be won over by her smile, know-how and energy. Passionate about people, travelling and the many chance encounters along the route, Marie-Andrée will instill in you her love of adventure and travel. She has roamed the planet in a variety of ways: teaching in Brazil and Spain, bike touring in Argentina, backpacking in Europe and hiking in Tanzania, throughout Canada and in the northeastern United States. Between teaching and adventure, Marie-Andrée likes nothing better than sharing her enthusiasm as a guide.
Marie-Pierre exudes energy, friendliness and a lust for life. She definitely has a way with people! Since her training as an adventure tourism guide at Cégep Saint-Laurent, she has travelled many kilometres to quench her thirst for discoveries, challenges and encounters – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, France and the U.S. coast are among her destinations. Also interested in biology, geology and the environment, Marie-Pierre studies environmental science at the University of Ottawa. A true two-wheel enthusiast!
In terms of health and fitness, Maryvonne is both pure energy and a source of inspiration! For several years, she has been a person trainer and aquafitness instructor, always aiming for the highest level of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing! And her knowledge and attention to detail measure up to her ambitions! Very active at Vélo Québec, Maryvonne lectures at biking trade shows, moderates Operation Bike to Work and On the move to school! workshops and acts as cycling escort in numerous events. As a guide, she has travelled with us to such destinations as Tuscany, Vienna-Budapest, Finger Lakes, New England, Saguenay River Fjord and Charlevoix.
Genetically wired for adventure and passionate about nature and culture, Mia has a contagious zest for life. A graduate in tourist management and adventure tourism, she specializes as a guide on routes where physical activity and nature meditation are the main focus. If she is not on her bike, chances are Mia is guiding a haute-route ski tour in the Chic-Chocs or a group of hikers in a U.S. national park. Wherever she goes, Mia is a generous travel companion who delights in sharing her passion for physical exertion in the great outdoors.
A seasoned participant in the Grand Tour Desjardins and numerous other Vélo Québec cycling events, Nicolas is generous and attentive. A curious traveller, he is equally passionate about bike touring and cyclosportives. His only regret will be not to cycle with you.
Olivier is an adventure seeker. Energetic, determined, engaged and creative, he loves nature and travelling. After completing a training course in adventure tourism and ecotourism at Collège Mérici in Québec City, he biked across South Africa, the Yukon and Patagonia. Olivier also studied at the National Outdoor Leadership School in the U.S. and has conducted guides for several adventure tourism companies in America and Europe. This nomad at heart wants you to get the most out of your trips and enjoy some enriching intercultural experiences.
Pascale is full of energy! Efficient, resourceful and optimistic, she’s a real people person. She has worked for over ten years at Vélo Québec Événements, mainly coordinating the volunteer sector. A VQV guide since 2002, Pascale has a habit of inaugurating new routes — Andalusia, Turkey, Sicilia, Montérégie training camp, Compostela – Spanish route, Croatia and Loire-Brittany. She has also travelled or lived in Europe, Tunisia, India and Western Canada. As for bikes, let’s just say that she’s not afraid of getting her hands dirty to adjust yours!
In the tradition of Samuel de Champlain and Indiana Jones, Patrick, through his vast experience and amazing ingenuity, knows how to handle adventure. To say that he has a taste for it is a bit of an understatement. Outdoor expeditions have become vital for him - the perfect balance for his physical and mental health. They provide an opportunity to meet any challenge - large or small - that a trip may present. Saddlebags packed tightly with basic camping gear, he pedals along the routes with pleasure and enthusiasm. You will find his passion for biking and travelling infectious.
With Pierre, it’s all about experience! In the late 70s, while he was still at university, he worked in the summer as a guide for Club Jeunesse, now known as Club Voyage. His most frequent destinations included France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy and Greece. He then went on to conduct several guided bus tours of Canada and the United States involving groups of up to fifty European tourists, which speaks volumes about his leadership skills. Pierre joined the Vélo Québec Voyages team in 2002.
Summer or winter, whether in the forest or on the highway, Pierre loves to bike. In fact, this easy-going athlete loves everything about bikes – not just pedalling them, but also repairing them and building them from scratch. In addition to performing these functions as a Vélo Québec guide, he has been a bike mechanic for years, as well as a mechanics instructor. Pierre is a very popular guide. Versatile, friendly and organized, he enjoys sharing his passion for biking. In addition, this trilingual traveller is unusually resourceful wherever he happens to be on the planet. With Pierre, you travel with peace of mind.
Renée-Claude grew up in a little corner of paradise, near lac Clair, surrounded by forest. She knew, from the age of 16, that nature, adventure and discovering new horizons were key to her development. After obtaining her adventure tourism diploma at Cégep Saint-Laurent in 2003, she was named Guide of the Year by the Association Aventure Écotourisme Québec. Skilled in canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and teaching Leave No Trace techniques, Renée-Claude is a real outdoor enthusiast!
Affectionately known as Mr. Moustache, Richard joined the Vélo Québec Voyages team in 2000. Austria and Tuscany are no longer foreign to this history buff. Portugal, Morocco, the Netherlands, Western Canada, Greece, Corsica and Germany are also in his cycling portfolio. Skilled communicator and colourful personality, Richard has given several lectures at bike shows in Montréal, Québec City and Toronto. He was also designated to represent the Route Verte in Châteauroux, France and inform the Fédération française of its official inauguration in 2007. With over twenty years’ experience, it goes without saying that this man knows a lot about first aid and bicycle mechanics!
Travelling with Robert means travelling with peace of mind. Indeed, as a former City of Montréal fire fighter, notably captain from 1993 to 2008, this man knows how to handle any situation. With him, you immediately feel secure. Friendly and fit, Robert first worked at VQV as a cycling escort for several editions of the Grand Tour Desjardins, as well as in Italy — he gets by quite well in Italian.
Robert and resourcefulness go hand in hand! During his career as an electronics technician at Radio-Canada, he frequently had to work in isolated areas, often under difficult conditions, where he demonstrated his many strengths. Recently retired, he happily travels about by bike. Active member of a club since 2000, he has been a cycling escort for Vélo Québec Voyages several times, both here and in Europe. Robert also has a passion for Spanish, which he perfected during an immersion course in Costa Rica.
From a very young age, Sebastien has had a keen sense of curiosity. Always looking for ways to see and experience goings-on here and abroad, he was introduced to bike touring during his first trip to Corsica in the early 2000s. He soon became addicted to the pleasure of two-wheel adventures in foreign countries. And that was just the beginning! With a degree in adventure tourism, Sébastien also leads kayak and canoe expeditions, ski outings and hiking trips – so many ways for him to discover and share the world and culture that surrounds us. And in-between adventures, you will most likely find him engrossed in a book… getting away from it all!
It doesn’t take much to transition from adventure photographer to adventure guide, which is what Sylvain quickly did! The fact that he successively toured the Canadian and American West and Cuba, acted as gentil organisateur in the Bahamas and biked solo for two months in the Hawaiian Islands shows that Sylvain is always ready to answer the call of adventure, nature and wide-open spaces, go out and meet new people and discover the world’s attractions. And he has quite a program to share with you!
Canadian champion several times over (road and track) and a very friendly cycling enthusiast, he will be more than pleased to share his vast experience as a racer and trainer with you.