- LA MAISON
- LA VIE
Les Moustachus en Vadrouille: A Tour of Plus Beaux Villages de France
Three friends, three bikes and one month to travel across six regions to 20 of the most beautiful villages in France. Bike choice is paramount and gravel bikes are chosen to ensure the boys are ready to tackle any road suface. Last, and certainly not least, the team needs a name; 'Les Moustachus un Vadrouille' - 'Moustaches on the Move'.
With such a name comes certain expectations and the boys know that a perfectly groomed moustache is absolutely essential. But they have no intention of entering into such a trip half-heartedly; a kit to match the spirit of the project is required and the choice is easy; signature French bérets are to be worn alongisde a fully French Café du Cycliste outift including sailor-striped jerseys.
Look good, feel good. The boys are ready to head out and dive head first into the rich heritage of our country and all of its wonderful traditions. The full journey is being documented on 'Les Moustachus un Vadrouille's YouTube account however we have set out below a step by step guide into a typical day out on the road with our mustachioed heroes.
1. Rude awakening
Every single morning is the same routine, the legs are heavy from the ride of the day before and the moustache fights hard against Mother Nature to get out of the tent. This can sometimes lead to impressive feats of artistic gymnasitcs that would not look out of place in the Olympic Games.
The most important meal of the day, especially if you intend to ride 100km. So treat yourself to a chocolatine (and forget the horrendous “pain au chocolat” named version of this sweet treat), a glass of orange juice and enjoy!
A moustache needs careful care, leaving us with no other choice than trimming every morning with a razor blade.
4. Photo shoot
To capture the beauty of the boys and their perfectly shaved moustaches - time for the narcissistic moment.
At last, serious matters begin! To warm up your calves before a long day on the bike, what else than a climb with a minimum gradient of 5%? Don’t worry, it’s quite easy to find, especially in the Occitanie region (a special thought for Aveyron here)
Ok, let’s get this straight: if we are sometimes walking on the steepest parts of the hills, it’s not because we are weak, quite the opposite actually! It’s because we want to make sure all the muscles of our lower limbs work in diverse ways.
It’s important to stay hydrated in this summer heat, especially after climbing, so we pause to have a pit stop for hydration or find a grocery store along the road to fuel up with vitamins.
The best part of the climbing is the descent; when you finally get to go down. But let’s remain cautious here, any long descent leads to an equally long climb.
Spending so much time pushing hard on your pedals, it is often necessary to stop and fix whatever part has broken on the bikes.
Everyone knows that lunch is what you think about from 7am until 1pm. However, I’d recommend not eating anything too heavy for lunch and avoiding meat if you want to maintain your afternoon effort. A piece of advice we absolutely didn’t follow during our trip!
11. Vaut Deux
What’s better for digestion than a game of pétanque made in Jura ? This game is called “vaut deux”, an age-old game with, let’s put it this way, quite a peculiar rule: the team who loses, buys the drinks for the winners.
Considering our low skills in the “vaut deux” game, we ended up being the ones buying the drinks quite often…
13. Meeting our animal friends
Not sure if it is a direct effect of the apéro, but our moustaches soon afterwards started talking to animals on the road.
14. Construction work to preserve our heritage
After proper digestion, we are ready for some construction work to support the REMPART organization renovating our French heritage.
15. Swimming Break
Construction work makes you sweat so we allow ourselves to take a moment and go for a swim break.
16. Arrival and visit to the village
End of the ride for the day, we make it to the entrance of one of those 20 most beautiful villages in France. The village is often perched as it was built during the Middle Ages. We climb the last little hill to reach the very top of the village and stroll around its little streets. Most of the time, we are pleased to share this visit with a native of this place to learn about its history and tricks. Because who else than a native to give you a tour?
17. The Interview
The chaps with a moustache have many different skills, being reporters is one of them. In some villages, we meet up with local craftsmen who share with us about their job, which is also their passion, in front of our camera.
18. Setting Up Camp
The sunset is approaching, we need to hurry up, pitch the tents and the camp before it's dark. Except when we have a bed in the village for the night.
We are lucky to have a couple of minutes left to enjoy the sunset from the perched village: the view is often breathtaking.
20. The Evening Beer
Our moustaches have a tradition which they haven’t yet transgressed: an evening pint at the local restaurant. Tired from the ride, one sip is enough to knock the boys out.
After reading those 20 stages, you are surely thinking no way – not possible, “no one can do this!” That’s because you underestimate the power of a moustache - more importantly as long as you put your heart into something, anything becomes possible!