Following day fours traumatic Enve melt down, there weren’t too many options available other than to take a day to chill on EuroEnduro. Ironically this was the plan anyway, which brings me to an interesting and slightly alarming point.

Usually its post day 4 or 5 on a mission that awareness creeps in that a rest day is needed… So to have it come up on the radar after day 3 sent a murmur through the crowd. “Is he getting old?” they wondered… “I thought he said his conditioning was good?” some muttered to a friend. My appeal to the Romans would be that it’s been three fairly full on days, but privately I am eyeing the distances and effort required for 6 days on Trans Provence and recognising that energy management will be rather critical.

But, lets live in the moment, no point in crossing bridges before they’re built. Besides, there was shopping to be done post Envegate. Let’s start with saying that if you are going to explode your overpriced carbon rims, Finale is probably not only a likely venue for it to occur (Click here to see a German magazine’s handiwork in Finale, with an M70 rim), but actually a reasonably useful place for such a calamity. Local bike shops are stacked!

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The Scalpel cuntwagon’s aside, a surprisingly well stocked little store

Dirty tip – If you get reamed in these parts, road or MTB, then head in to see the boys at Oddone Bici (down the alleyway off Piazza Vittorio Emanuele square back towards Via Roma), not only were they super helpful with options, but they split a pair of Mavic Crossmax XL wheels for me so I could save a few Euro, banged in a discount, and did it all in a few hours!

On reflection though, should have nailed the set, as I am now looking at my front wheel with low trust. Far worse than that though – My shit doesn’t match any more, someone needs to slap me vigorously as a result:

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Like wearing two different coloured shoes… But worse

And no doubt the front one is looking nervously at me after seeing the fate its sibling has met, its now been stripped nude for further inspection, which of course revealed its cuntery in more detail:

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Cracking shot that

I guess after 24 years of MTB action, I had to break a wheel at some stage… I really though it would be those shithouse Reynolds carbon wheels though, terrible hubs, but they seemed to handle more abuse than a substitute teacher. It was not the time to wallow in Envepity, besides, their website seems to have that strangely covered off for me… Its a question everyone is asking right now, except with a frown:

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Its all in the inflection

Not to mention, there was the beach to attend to… Granted, a little low on golden sand, but that really wasn’t too much of an issue when you consider what’s on offer – Dirty Nomad themed beach equipment! Dooooosh, so fucken Euro Global right now.

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Just gonna self apply some oil casually

Grazie… One of the few places in the world where beach hairiness is not only encouraged, but embraced… I’m pretty sure that people were either applauding my back, or the fact I had the confidence to rock a black speedo that was perhaps a shade too small. Italian as fuck.

And here’s where another reason to pull its ponytail and vigorously love Finale comes in folks – For those that like to use “Sorry guys, its the family” as an excuse to not hit bike trips, this place answers your fears prayers, assuming you can get away from your saucer of warm milk. Whilst the family is kicking it here:

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“Back in a few hours gang” – Actually: 8 hours

You can be off somewhere in the distance over there, shredding up a storm:

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Your shuttle awaits

Before we leave Finale behind, a side note for all the Roadies – I did see a shit load of road gangs out both on the coast and plying their 13.5kph trade in the hills… Perfect weather (mainly) and quiet roads means that you can hit Finale as well. Personally I would find it impossible to come to this place without my Nomad, but just wanted to give it some cred for the road only readers… Worth considering.

Did I want to leave Finale? Not in the slightest to be honest… I know that the British crew were heading back up for more new trail on Friday and I did spend the morning considering re-working the agenda to stay on in this golden place. Had I of known it was going to turn out to be an ENDURO paradise I would have set things up differently.

But this is why we travel right? Find new zones, work out what works and what doesn’t, expand the boundaries… Fuck me if I don’t sound like a cheesey LinkedIn post right now. What I am getting at, is I could have absolutely done a full week here without getting bored. That aside, these were some of the most fun trails I can remember riding, fun whilst still demanding a lot of your skills. Its like the blend is perfect if ENDURO is your penchant. Yes, its a must do people.

But, it was time to return to France for BIG Alpine day! How’s this for obscure, relocating to Roquebilliere – Yup, fuck knows how you butcher its pronunciation and I’m guessing not many people have been here, as not even French people seemed to know where it was. Turns out its French for ‘Really small Hotel rooms’:

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Gonna sleep in the car gang, you guys stay here

Given I’m basically fluent in French, I did pick up that this is the room they give people who arrive with mismatched wheels (or a buckled powertap out the back), so I guess I have to take my lumps for being a cheap cunt. Still, view isn’t too bad I guess? Its been helping with the Finale pining… god, that word is close to pinning isn’t it? Oh god, why did I leave?!

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Making do as we self loathe on the itinerary

We’re in this slightly random location as Day 6 on EuroEnduro (actually Friday) was lined up for BIG Alpine day! So, stay tuned to see how that rolled… Back in some serious mountains YO. And Hoo-Fucking-Ray, made it through the post without a million Go PRO shots! Rejoice everyone!

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