6 septembre 2017

A Providential Journey

OVER THE CRESTS

July 2017, and a group of friends decided to set off on a rather unusual bike trip: to achieve the feat of lifting the veil of care that seemed to be hanging over their day-to-day life. Their route would take them almost 800 kilometres across the peaks of the Pyrenees, through passes from Hendaye to Collioure, in just one week. Here’s the story of their journey, Over the Crests, in the colours of Louison Bobet.

On the morning of the first day of the week’s journey, everything conspired towards seeing things in the very short term, advancing meter by meter while making sure they’d got all the material necessary for the trip, and seeing that their bikes were in good working order. Right now, their arrival in Collioure seemed particularly distant. A kind of oasis, whose outline could be dimly perceived, yet with no certainty of enjoying at some point its clear waters. 

The group of enthusiasts had already done several trips. A first to the peaks of some of the most famous passes in the world, where the Soulor, the Aubisque and the Tourmalet would become the scenes of their exploits.

Here was an opportunity for these amateurs to play a modest, not to say infinitely small, part in the legend of cycling, and to ride on the traces of champions whose memory was honoured at every kilometre, the mountains marked with statues and commemorative plaques. Octave Lapize high on the pedals. Eugène Christophe brandishing a cycle fork. And this anonymous group, determined to ride over every stony obstacle, wearing their Louison Bobet jerseys.

Another journey took them to the extraordinary panoramas and unique perspectives of our country. They discovered the lonely Ariège passes, where leisurely cattle grazed peacefully by the roadside while the cyclists had the quiet, isolated roads to themselves.

They passed through the village of Massat, welcoming in its calm and hidden heart both the elders of the village and a generation rebelling against a system imposed by capital cities and the plains. They witnessed something of a cultural gap in their cycling gear, there among the T-shirts honouring the cult of punk.

Then an ultimate journey, finally taking them deep into themselves. Introspection to the rhythm of the pedal, and the slow unfurling of tarmac beneath the wheels. Seven days for each to reflect upon their own path, an assessment of their lives thus far. Seven precious days to give thanks for those dearest to them. To climb higher and whisper into the ears of the departed. To offer a heartfelt visibility to the combat of the Fireflies, those altruistic cyclists who, whether over the handlebars or on social networks, put their all into collecting donations for the fight against cancer. 

Daniel, Pierre-Frédéric, Cédrick, Nicolas, Thierry and Pierre are the friends who shared this adventure. They shared the preparations for the journey and took on the mountain peaks together. They will be linked forever to memories of these unique moments.

A week that saw them not only crossing the Pyrenees, but also and above all, rising above waves of doubt and pain. Revealing a new courage coupled with a certain panache towards the desired outcome, a few threads of textile and carbon enabling them to carry on with determination to the next point. And into the port of Collioure. After the days of passing Over the Crests.

Louison Bobet accompanied the group in its Pyrenean project, the brand’s jerseys and bib-shorts looking their best with their determined riders. During the crossing, the willpower of the amateur cyclist was a contemporary take on the determination of a champion. A perfect chance for the brand to shine in the Pyrenees like the high moments in the career of a champion whose name it is proud to carry and whose values it upholds: panache, generosity and companionship along the way.

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Over the Crests – The GRAVILLION journey

Thank you to Pierre for leading the project, for writing it up and for sharing the photos with us.  

Bravo Daniel, Pierre-Frédéric, Cédrick, Nicolas, Thierry and Pierre for the whole adventure.

#ridingwithpanache

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