A good idea is often simple and that's usually how we recognize it. It can be a little eccentric but always arouses interest, curiosity, the desire to make it exist.
So, when this idea consists in bringing together 12 individuals for a crossing of a Spanish desert by its paths and paths at the gates of winter, how not to wish to be part of it?
- text & photos J.Gravaud / Photos add. JP Mothes-
The poster of an old spaghetti western takes shape almost instantly in the head, a big title in yellow on a background of arid landscape: The twelve bastards.
The decor is clear. No horse riding here, just fat-tire bikes bringing the protagonists to cross the desert reliefs with the strength of their legs.
Opening scene, a wide shot of the band on the run allows us to review their eclecticism: a fiery young man with elongated limbs, a few old veterans, shaggy backpackers, and other mercenaries with cantankerous pedal strokes make up this improbable team.
It all started in the rain of the Basque country, early on a Saturday morning. Cars loaded with bicycles and snow-covered men park in front of the only lighted room in the building. It is 6:30 am, courtesies are exchanged between the future adventure companions before getting back into the vehicles, direction Villafranca, gateway to the stony tracks of Bardenas. The rain hammers the sheet metal of the 4 cars which follow each other, the arms of the windscreen wipers making a frantic spray of water which transforms the windscreens into distorting glasses. Little chance that the adventure will not be wet as desired.
Yet in the distance the black cotton cover seems to come to an end, revealing the silhouette of the possibility of a dry crossing.
If the road bike is made for adults, the gravel and its frames with big tires are intended more for big children, for the good for nothing, and for everything at the same time. It blurs the boundaries between practices and practitioners, putting play and pleasure back at the center of the equation.
Blessed by an unexpected sun, the two days of this crossing will have been nothing but laughter, cavalcades, skids and other tricks, not to mention the few guns shared at the end of each day.
Like the outcome of an Asterix and Obelix album, the adventure ends with a banquet at the Villafranca asador, the culmination of a perfect weekend. Waiting for the paths of our 12 bastards to cross again...