The Flying Bicycle – Vélo Volant

Anne achieves liftoff in her sky cycle

Anne achieves liftoff in her sky cycle

Last month, on our last day in Canada, we did our imitation of the flying bicycles scene from the movie ET. Vélo Volant is a tourist attraction located near Sutton, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It is located high up on the slopes of Au Diable Vert (the Green Devil), a mountain camping resort, just a mile north from Vermont. It is like a zip line, but lasts a lot longer. We took thirty minutes to complete the circuit and we were rushing it. This flying bike like thing allows you to soar through the treetops in a suspended recumbent bicycle. In the Vélo Volant you pedal through the forest canopy, up to 100’ above the ground. It was a hot day, well into the nineties, which must have accounted for some of my perspiring, but I was also suspiciously eyeing the cable that I was suspended from. Would it hold?

Anne racing among the treetops on a flying bike

Anne racing among the treetops on a flying bike

We were warned not to be alarmed by any noises that they were all normal sounds, but it was hard not to be. Guy-wires attached to trees are used to suspend the cable every 50’ as it wound through the treetops. Going through one of these attachment points was always a challenge, both physically and mentally. You had to get a running start to make it over each of these local maxims and there were always strange noises involved. In some places where the trail turns a corner, bent steel plates guide the wire, the bike and you around a tree. These points always seemed the most perilous. Overall, the trail was relatively flat and pedaling was easy. We went more crisscross, back-and-forth around the mountain than up-and-down it. We ended up where we had begun, so there was no net elevation change. Looking down to the forest floor from such a height was thrilling. Once it was over, we both felt exhilarated and rather proud of ourselves for having dared and accomplished this activity.

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