|PBP 1966 - 7 short articles||
"This is the last article I have [about PBP 1966]. It has a little story...
It was published in "Le Perche", a very local newspapers named after the region around Mortagne-au-Perche. Serge Veau had heard about it, and we decided to ride to Mortagne in order to get it. Such newspapers are not big enough to have an office in Paris, like Ouest-France. Even "Le Télégramme de Brest" is not big enough for that, but it can be found at the Gare de Maine-Montparnasse, where the trains come from and ride to the West of France. It is not a very significant article, I have let some other things which are around it which show the dimension of the publication: somebody was drunk and could hardly be stilled. In such rural areas, where nothing ever happens, such information takes on great importance, and we often have to share the attention of the readers with small offenders, burglars, and so on, because there is no special page for sporting events.
Indeed, Serge had an other idea, and a very fixed one: he wanted to try my tandem. Well, on December 21st, 1966, we started from Paris to Mortagne at midnight (I have told you yesterday that none of us was very common). It was snowing all the night, and we reached Mortagne early in the morning at a good speed, but without any excess. Then, we had to wait until the office of "Le Perche" opened, we bought the issue we wanted, and then rode back to Paris: the way out of Mortagne is a long acclivity (2 km or a little more), and all was still normal. As we had it behind us, Serge asked me: "-Can you let spring the chain to the right side?" ("-Peux-tu mettre tout à droite?"), a special way of saying for cycling people which means: "-From now on, just full speed, and nobody will be spared!" Serge did not need to repeat this sentence, the 56 x 13 was already in action, and we began to maltreat the poor machine in the worst possible way. 20 or 25 km later, we had already lost the first screws... but we were not to be stopped. The landscape between Mortagne and Dreux is a succession of small tales, and we had so much rush going down that we could always reach the next ridge with the 56 x 13. A few kilometers before Dreux, we became more reasonable: we had lost so many screws that obviously it would not be possible to reach Paris in these conditions. We turned left and went to Serge's home, where we overhauled the tandem. One day later, we were in Paris again."