Saturday, 21 June 2014

Fete de Velo a Bordeaux

As we were enjoying ourselves in Bordeaux and the Fete de Velo a Bordeaux  was coming up we stayed a little longer to join in the fun.
After some French chanson on the quay everyone who had gathered went for a bike ride along the river and up a hill to a little estate. There were loads of us and we had loads of fun cycling with Hawaiian musical accompaniment, courtesy of Ray Mundo the velo disco.

Cyclists everywhere, on the road, on the zebra crossing,on the pavement, in the cycle lane, making full use of all the shared space.
The Portuguese were there and the organisers had beautiful decorated bikes and saddle bags made from recycled adverts at Recup’R.
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A quick stop to marvel at the uni cycle basket ball match. There was a lot of bouncing and twisting and lots of people saying “ Mon dieu, that looks really difficult!”
It is, but they played it effortlessly as you can see in this video

And then we met another uni cyclist with this giant wheel, with brakes and hubgears! Even more difficult….
The tall bike. Very beautiful but hungry like a shark in a gravel pit. And Kevin did get bit.  And spent the afternoon in ‘urgence’ and the show it was forfeit. We didn’t do the show, Kevin felt stupid and had to have 15 stitches in his arm but in the end everything was fine.
The cute little bikes were no trouble at all and the bouncy one behaved himself too.
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Another beautiful day amongst friends. We’ll be back in Bordeaux one day soon!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


In Bordeaux, behind the train station, under the bridge, round the corner, in a garage, up a ramp there are more of them there happy cyclists, recyclists, heureux cyclagists. It’s always a pleasure to be amongst friends and exchange greasy handshakes.
We chatted, we made friends, we did our show, we fixed our bikes, we showed the tiny little ones the pedal power, we screened some films, we learned about La Grange des Granges, we bought a couple of Chasse-Goupille fan-zines, they had pictures of bicycle sewing machines and bicycle farm equipment in them – just like in our dreams….
We reckon we’ll be back, maybe in time for the Roulidor.

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Here at Recup’R volunteers recycle fabrics on the first floor, to make hats and aprons and saddle bags and purses and on the ground floor they recycle bicycles. What a perfect combination.
The couture  gets sold in the market from the bicycle trailer pop up shop, to raise money for the workshop

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This picture of a robot was up in the bike workshop. He reminds us of the robot in the film Le roi et l’oiseau, in which the king uses a robot, as a lumbering machine of oppression. We’ve seen a lot of these big lumbering machines of oppression on our journey, big roads, big industry, big supermarkets, big development, big money…..
The joy of l’heureux cyclage is that small is beautiful and that there is a post futuristic dream world future emerging that looks beyond the futuristic dream of the 50’s and the age of stuff.
The robot is falling! As is the evil overlord. The oracle was right.
We are from the future. Our proof is this badge from 2091, given to us by a time traveller called Cosmo Cyclismo Rediculismo.
Vive le Micro Rave!
Vive Recup’R!             
Vive l’Heureux Cyclage!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Belin-Beliet, in the land of Les Landes

We woz 'ere for a couple of weeks, with the teddies and the old suitcases and all the books in Belin-Beliet
With Pierre, Sophie, Lucien, Luise, the chickens, the ducks, the goose and La Mule and Andreas.
Pierre and Sophie have a barn full  of treasures, dealing brocante and old books and things. Fun!
If you're looking for an old book in french, here's your address....

Most of the time we spent with these friendly three wheelbarrows, deroncee, arrachee, desherbee...

.... desarbree! With these 'ere specialist tree extraction implements. The boys think they're strong....

So does the girl.... The man is lying on the floor dead. The poison swamp tree has claimed one last victim.

But the chickens are now safe. All they have left to eat is worms and beetles. Ooh! Ooh! We found a big BIG, GIANT even (if you were really, really small) stag beetle. STAG BEETLE ! He had very sticky feet.

There woz a lot of chairs. And we spent a lot of time we did, nearly a whole afternoon, putting them in rows and counting them. Why you wonder, why?
And why did we have to play baby foot? And why put the lion behind bars?       For the music concert!
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Everyone came to the concert with port-aux-quiche (a specialist carrier bag for quiche and other pies).
Kevin came in a pork pie hat and Gitou brought his amazing ancient pedal driven knife sharpening cart.
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The concert was so much fun, that we wanted to carry on having fun. So we sets up the pedal driven, beat driving, sweat inducing * Velo-Disco * and had fun fun fun until five in the morning.
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'Cause all this 'ere 'as been taking place 'ere in Les Landes, where there is a stilt wearing, walking, dancing tradition, 'ere's some pictures of stilt walking wearing folk from the olden days in Les Landes we're been shown.

These 'ere young gentlemen are the winners of a stilt marathon from Biscarosse to Arcachon.
And 'ere a lovely parade and what looks like a gendarme on stilts.

 And then on our way to Bordeaux we stopped over at the Farm of Fools for the night. Perfect place for a couple of fools to spend the night. We were amongst fools.