UPDATE! The Anjou Vélo Vintage is back on for the weekend of June 13 and 14, 2015! You can purchase tickets here. This is a wonderful weekend. I highly recommend going. --Melissa
Bike-heartbreak. It's a real thing. No, we're not talking about that perfect retro Mercian that slipped through our virtual fingers on eBay. Nor the family heirloom that was stolen on the streets of London (though that one hurt - a lot. Until I got it back.) We're talking about the immensely sad news that France's most spectacular cycling event is no longer.
Yep, the organisers of Anjou Vélo Vintage have announced their decision to discontinue the beloved Loire Valley event in 2015, following budget cuts and economic difficulties that preclude the staging of a successful bike vintage extravaganza. This, despite a four-year legacy of grinning cyclists that only swelled in numbers, year-on-year. WITNESS:
Quel dommage. Srsly. But what extravagant memories, too.
So it is with heavy hearts - and yet ear-to-ear smiles - that we salute the fabulously fun, inclusive, stylish, boozy, scenic event that was Anjou Vélo Vintage. Thanks for the good times, County Council of Maine-et-Loire. And if you change your mind *wink wink*, we'll be there come June with belles and whistles - and bikes, of course. In honour of the rumour that it may one day occur un an sur deux, we've rounded up our Top 10 Reasons to Keep the AVV Magique. Or really, just remember how awesome it was. So without further ado.
1. CASTLES. Pretty much.
This actually exists. The picturesque town of Saumur, host to Anjou Vélo Vintage from 2011-2014.
2. THE CHIC (DUH). Incidentally, the super-cute musette got better each year, too. Peep that swirly font. Très (Bike) Pretty.
3. THE FRENCH. Always.
4. THE CHIC(b). Feather-trimmed shift, anyone? She's like a neo-Golightly, Parisian Hipster version (witness the red ray bans).
5. TOP-HATTED MECHANICS. This may be an everyday occurrence in places like Portland. But in Europe, it's definitely a novelty, 'kay?
6. THE ARTFULLY-STYLED REAR-RACK GOODS. See our coverage of Paris' Beret Baguette for further inspiration in this regard. Wine box + fleurs + bungee cords = Charm-tastic.
7. TANDEM-MOUNTED PHONOGRAPHS. You know, for those civilised off-the-saddle moments along the way. In a vineyard.
8. THE SCENERY. By that we mean the rolling hills of wheat fields. And Jenni + Caren here.
9. THE FAMILY FUN. It's truly an all-ages thing.
10. THE POST-RIDE CRÉMANT. Entre Amis.
Alcohol & castles after a day of cycling. Heaven.
10b. ...and DAY-AFTER WINE SHOPPING. Moments d'exception, indeed.
Love & peace, AVV forever! We don't know why she has a plastic doll in there either.