Today, not just a new month has begun, but it is also the first day of a new adventure open to all and which I have decided to call Patent Escartons.
What is the Escartons Brevet?
This is the first motorcycle-touring challenge that you can decide to do when you want and how you want.
Those who follow me more closely will not have missed the challenge I imposed on myself last July: overcome the highest alpine passes in the Occitan territory between Italy and France one behind the other for a total of twelve thousand meters in altitude. To make it more exciting, I decided to do it in twelve hours riding a twelve inch bike with less than twelve horsepower.
And the great thing is that I succeeded. [ #SPOILER ]
Certo, in the end I had some’ of pain in the buttocks and especially in the neck, but it was fun. Doing it with such a small and not very powerful bike allowed me to have an extremely humble point of view in front of the great mountains and to be able to better savor every meter that I passed and above all every climb that I faced almost at walking pace.
Col della Fauniera, Col della Lombarda, Col della Bonette, Col of Vars, Col di Izoard, Col dell’Agnello and Col di Sampeyre. All lined up one after the other from seven in the morning to seven in the evening. Soon in the magazine InMoto – I collaborate with – the reportage of this trip written by me and documented by my friend's photos will be published Filippo Pandin who followed me on this mission. E ovviamente c’è anche un video in lavorazione 😉
A personal pleasure that must be shared
But that's not enough. As I suspected it is a very exciting ride as well, although it is an experience that I recommend doing alone or better with a good friend so not in a group, I decided to share it with anyone who wants to do it. Always respecting the places and other users of these delicate mountain passes.
For this I created the site www.escartonsbrevet.com on which it is possible to find all the information to be able to repeat this tour and on the history of the Escartons, ma non solo: by registering it will be possible to register your participation and be included in the’Roll of Honor of Free Men.
There are two categories:
- The Legendaries they are the ones who will go around with a vintage motorcycle (in view of 1990) or with a motorbike of less than 12 CV.
- The Free those who will do it with any other bike.
There is no time requirement:
everyone can do the tour at their own pace, deciding whether to take it 12, 24, 36 hours o… a month. It does not matter! I took it 12 hours with a small bike and my suggestion is to start from this time up, not to do it less even if technically possible with a more performing bike. The important thing is to leave, do it and enjoy these magnificent places, it's not being the fastest!
There is no mandatory direction:
the route is circular and you can do it clockwise or counterclockwise or… both of them!
Ovviamente there is also no obligation to register. But if you do, you will receive:
- the gpx track always updated,
- the map drawn by hand by myself (and sorry if it is little!)
- the stickers
- useful info and discounts for hotels, restaurants etc
- and above all, you will have the right to access the Gold Roll.
Your photo and the date of your business will be published here, after proving to have accomplished it. Ma No registration = No Gold Roll.
But what does Escartons Brevet mean??
Not everyone knows the history of the Escartons, for this I decided to tell it on this page. In a nutshell, the Alpine territories crossed by this itinerary in the Late Middle Ages were for a long time one “non-nation”, a free zone within which goods circulated freely, people and ideas. Their socio-cultural development is superior to the downstream populations most harassed by the regimes, have shown how the boundaries imposed are a limit to the free evolution of a territory that is recognized above all for the language and culture rather than for an arbitrarily dashed line on the ground.
The history of the Escartons fascinated me and I wanted to dedicate this one “touristic motorcycle challenge” to their memory and what they represented: a freedom that transcends borders. The Escartons were called “free men” and this is what I hope all those who take a motorcycle to discover this unique territory can be today.
I hope you like the idea and that you can do it by appreciating and respecting the streets, the territory and other users.