Manivelle.cc & @sims_teuteul arrive home after a season of traversing Europe, fixing cameras on Tour de France bikes and general cycling flânerie and do what comes naturally : find another form of adventure
Summer was rich. Crossing Europe twice on the Born to Ride and the Transcontinental Race, after all the necessary training, the kilometers have marched as fast as the forests, the mountains, the borders and all the those in-the-saddle moments that flash by to become core memories after the fact.
A welcoming bar, a bakery, a village square, a ridge in the middle of the mountains. All these pleasures present themselves during a long distance race, but the constant need to keep on keeping on means you can’t hang around.
With the end of the season, and the return a la maison, it was time to revert to a shorter form of adventure. Eyes off the clock, watch the sun go down and be still for long enough to see it rise again in the same spot.
Midday, Blancarde station, Marseille. Three of us converge. Lucie, Simon and Matthieu.
The route is already defined: 50% back roads, 50% forest roads. The ultimate destination is the beginning of the ridgeline of the Montagne Sainte Victoire – the massive rocky outcrop that dominates the view north as you approach Aix-en-Provence. The hope is to find a camp spot with a 360° panorama from the Luberon ridge to the Garlaban ridge.
A climb, a break. Round a few more corners, a cereal bar. Three rocks, a debriefing. A village, a bar. This is our rhythm, accompanied by giant views, sun, a reservoir, then two donkeys who will follow us to the bivouac area and become our over-night neighbours.
Once camp is set it’s time to be still and listen to what surrounds us. A full moon rises and the story-telling begins, each of us sharing anecdotes from the summer's adventures between two mouthfuls of beer. Or freshly picked herbal tea.
The donkeys are still there and I wonder if it is to watch us or if they plot revenge after understanding that we were eating Corsican sausage that Lucie had just brought back from the island.
The next day? Just like the day before, start with a smooth return on small back roads before cutting through the mountains on the gravel chemins. It's cafés and coasting with the wind the whole way home.
We take a quick beer before the return to daily life but not before making a pact with each other to plan the next escape, a short micro-adventure designed solely to better enjoy what surrounds us.