Limited edition, fifty five and counting
In 1960 a group of like minded friends in Paris, including several involved in sponsorship of the Tour de France, decided to ride to the ultra chic coastal resort of Deauville, a distance of some 220km. The event was such a success that plans were immediately laid to meet again the following year for a repeat and in that moment the Club Paris Deauville was born.
While the club has monthly rides throughout the year, it is this founding event which is very much the centre piece of the club’s existance, its ‘raison d’être’. This year, on the 30th May, the club will welcome its members to the 55th edition. It’s a sequence that has gone unbroken since the year after De Gaulle first took delivery of his presidential DS, stopping neither for the fluctuations of world affairs or the more prosaic fluctuations of the Normandy weather.
With a long waiting list and only around eighty members at any one time, the club could easily be described as exclusive. A first impression not lessened by the fact that any roll call of past and present members would include captains of industry, media stars and political heavyweights and burnished by the joining procedure, which is invitation only after being proposed by a current member and facing a selection panel.
But, like any good club, what stands out is not what it takes to get in but what you find when you get there. And the reason for the limited membership is more about inclusivity than exclusivity, it’s in place to allow the group to stay together on their big day. The Paris - Deauville isn’t a standard sportive, it isn’t a race, it’s a ride and the club works on the basis that they always ‘start together and finish together’. The stronger riders helping the not so strong, the experinced guiding the novices and the peloton travelling as one through the French countryside, heading north towards the sea.
The event and the club itself is about this cameraderie and fraternite. It’s imbued with a spirit of co-operation and respect where each member puts themselves at the service of the whole group. Where on one long stretch of road, those of different generations and different levels of ability work together with a common aim. They started together and they’ll finish together, however long that takes. Like gaining membership itself, some things are just worth waiting for.
This year Café du Cycliste has designed and furnished Paris-Deauville with a limited edition of our signature Yolande jersey. The merino fabric was dyed to a striking navy while the design features red elbow patches and detailing to replicate the club colours. The final touch is the club badge on the sleeve. Only eighty were made, one for each of the group that will stick together come what may in three months time.
Contact : La Boutique du Velo
The preferred bike shop of Paris Deauville club and Cafe du Cycliste retailer in the Paris region.