Question: Why did the chicken cross the river?
Answer: He wanted to try the new zipline.
I’m not a chicken about ziplines. I’ve done quite a few of them and had to be first in line to try the new Interzip Rogers that opened just last week. The line is right downtown at the Zibi site, so it has very easy access for both tourists and locals.
The line bills itself as the world’s first interprovincial zipline. You launch from a tower on Chaudière Island on the Ontario side and plant your feet on a platform on the Quebec side. Likely when it was first conceived, the owners thought that planning permissions in both provinces would be the biggest barriers to opening. But until recently, restrictions on non-essential travel between the two provinces prevented the line from opening.
We bought tickets online and signed the usual waivers. We then showed up way too early for our assigned time slot at the zipline office at 40 Jos-Montferrand Street in Gatineau. We had anticipated parking issues but managed to grab a spot directly in front of the office.
After checking in at the desk, we were outfitted in stylish helmets and safety harnesses. We were directed towards the launch tower on the Ontario side and walked over the Chaudière Bridge. At the base of the tower, they gave us a quick safety briefing and adjusted our harnesses for the big ride. We then climbed the new four-storey wooden tower to the launch platform.
While waiting at the top of the tower, we admired the view in both directions. Immediately to the west are the Chaudière Falls and from the tower, you get a unique look at the huge ring dam around them.
After a short wait, the couple in front of us got launched and it was our turn to zip. I think I’ve done four or five ziplines and the Interzip is the safest feeling one I’ve ridden. The harnesses are very robust and, as we were checked over before our flight, there was obviously a very strict safety protocol around ensuring that we were perfectly secured.
There are two lines running in parallel, so my wife and I shot out together when the attendant pulled the lever. We screamed out over the river and gathered speed quickly as we accelerated down the line. Supposedly, you can reach a speed of 40 km/hour. Due to my amazing technique and larger body mass, I gained a substantial lead and crossed the finish line a second or two ahead of her. As we came into the landing platform, automatic brakes kicked in and we came to a quick stop and dangled over the landing platform.
The whole thrilling ride is over in less than a minute, but they sell a video of your crossing for $19 that lets you relive the experience. I noticed that the camera angle used in part of the video makes it appear as though you are flying over the Parliament buildings, which is kind of fun.
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It was a short walk back to the check-in desk where we deposited our gear. Right beside the office, there is a Beau’s patio where you can sip a beer beside the river and watch the zipping. I’m sure it will be a very popular spot over the next couple of months.
By the way, chickens are not allowed to use the zipline, since there is a weight range of 75 to 275 pounds to ride.
Currently, the Interzip is running from 12 p.m.–6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.–6 p.m. on weekends. Prices are $40 for adults and $30 for kids under 12. You can buy your tickets here.