Brittany, Sunday 19 may 2013
I love wheels of all sorts, as well for the object itself, bike, motorbike, car, tractor, truck, you name it, but also for the freedom it always symbolized: Freedom to leave when you want and to go where you want. Freedom to discover places,sceneries, people. That is… as long as you don’t get stuck in traffic jams, which transform our wonderful cars into costly inefficient tools. If our modern cars have lost the charm and the perfume of adventure that cars had in the past, bikes, motor bikes and old timers still keep the magic.
During all the week end, long lines of old timers are rambling along backroads in Brittany in a famous event that gathers 600 vehicles of at least 30 years of age : the famous “Tour de Bretagne” . All along , people huddle in the villages to greet them and wave them farewell. For spectators as for owners, these cars remind them of a time- from 1910 until 1960- with no highways, no underground parking places, no speed limit. Only beautiful narrow roads with long lines of trees alongside, small villages and charming towns, typical restaurants with a menu “routiers” for truck drivers. To modern standards it was painfully slow, dramatically polluting , and horribly dangerous. But we all keep fond memories of these family trips in the 50s , kids packed on the rear seat, father at the wheel smoking a cigarette and mother reading the map. Well , whether bikers or drivers of old timers, we all have the nostalgia of those times where wheels still meant freedom. And we are lucky enough to be able to revisit those past times on our wonderful friends with wheels… free wheels!