December 1977. I am three and a half when I get my first tricycle for Christmas. A yellow one. Later, when my parents get a countryside house in Normandie, I’ll spend hours in the garden with my grown-up red bicycle.
But my Mickey Magazine makes a lot of noise around the Tour de France and I have posters of Bernard Hinault, a French racer, all over my bedroom (can you believe that ?). I must be nine. Good for me, my cousin Laurent wants to get rid of his grey road bicycle, a Peugeot I will use in the streets of my little village – I couldn’t feel more pride with a Rolls.
Then, there is E.T. and everyone wants a Chopper like Elliot, the main character. My brother, who was, that far, using my old bicycles, is the first one to get one, a Raleigh Strika with big shock absorbers. Poor Alex, the bicycle is too heavy for him and I will be the one using it, for a couple of years, while he tries to follow me with the red one.
On my fathers’ advice, I use clothes pins to clip cardboard pieces to the wheels’ spokes, so that it sounds like a motorbike!
In 1986 y mums tells me that I would get my own BMX if I improve my grades. So I do and I get a magnificent Raleigh shopper I will use until it get stollen, in my thirties – I still mourn it.
But in between, in 1987, something happened. We went to visit a castle in Chateau Gaillard, and next to the site was a bike training path. I was fascinated and started thinking on how I would find a way to become a motorbike rider…
>>> To be continued (tomorrow)