Tour de Friends

Driiiing ! Guilhem? This Patrick! Do you have anything planned between September 11th and 16th ? Not really… Does that mean you need me to come and ride a bike somewhere ? Yep, Tour de Friends, from Munich to Venice… 4 stages, 600kms including a queen stage across the Dolomites. How about it ? Are you kidding me?! I don’t know why you’re even asking…

I may have mentioned it a time or three, I am a Frenchy living in Switzerland. Mixing both cultures gets me into some pretty fun/scary situations from time to time, especially when it comes to booking stuff months ahead like the Swiss like to do. I ride my bike, I don’t plan projects, tours or even dinners with friends more than a day ahead. Nope, I like my spontaneity and make sure I’m available for last minute exciting shit. Like cycling from Munich to Venice.

Packing, unpacking, packing again… it’s the story of my life so I am pretty efficient at it.

Tour de Friends is calling

Packing, unpacking, packing again… it’s the story of my life so I am pretty efficient at it – one point for my ego there – and my bag is ready for Munich in minutes. Tour de Friends is calling, and as a bonus I’ll be riding it as part of the Oakley team. I teamed up with the O brand a few months ago – a childhood dream that came true – and as a partner of the RadRace Tour de Friends, we got a slot there. Shut up Guilhem, enough talking, let’s ride!

4 stages – 600kms, with serious priority given to team spirit ! I find myself riding with 3 German-speaking dudes, feeling like a total Erasmus student – ein Espresso bitte, ohne Wurst bitte – but apart from my debatable German skills I am totally ready !

No serious timekeeping, no mass start, the Tour de Friends is all about the fun of riding a bike – even better if you have tattoos and piercings and like techno music – and that’s a fuckin’ awesome reason to get up every morning.

No bib number, no calf sleeves!

In fact there is no briefing, there are no closed roads, no one at intersections with flags to show you the way… just a .gps track to follow – which I forgot to download on Stage 1 – and 3 teammates – Patrick, Mike and Lutz – and 500 other life-rockin’ cyclists.

3 teammates – Patrick, Mike and Lutz – and 500 other life-rockin’ cyclists. Stopping for boomerang videos, coffees, a damn good lemon sorbet is just fun, and so is turning on the engines every now to get that Strava KOM – 44km/h – 46km/h – all good guys? Still there? Yes? We’re gonna make it! Flat tires, steep climbs, heavy bags, washing our kits in hotel sinks in the evening, crazy headwinds, bodies running out of fuel…

The O squad. Always better.

Riding with the O squad reminded me of something – I am not a lone ranger: everything is always better with good mates. I may run from one business meeting to another, from one photo shooting to another…

I always make time for the most precious and priceless things on Earth: sharing time with friends. If there is one message I want to get across, that’s it: call that guy you haven’t heard from for a few weeks, grab your bike or your running shoes and meet for a coffee. Those moments are worth so much more than anything else.

Oh and by the way… We won the Tour de Friends 2018! So proud to have ridden with those guys, who reminded me of the power of teamwork. Cheers!

Content partnership : Oakley
Photo Credits : Chiara Redaschi