Ariège: this Sunday about thirty tricycles made their engines vibrate in Prat d’Albis
More than thirty convertibles, from the four corners of France, went to the Prat d’Albis this Sunday May 21st. In Ariège from Thursday 18 May, the approximately 70 members of the Amicale Tricyclariste de France (ATF) were able to share a last moment of conviviality.
Fleece, k-way, gloves and helmets on the head. It is just 9 o’clock this Sunday May 21st and already about seventy members of the Amicale Triclyclariste de France (ATF) association are rubbing their hands in the Lac campsite, in Foix.
For their last journey on the Ariège roads, after four days of exploring the Labouiche cave, the Col de Port or the Forges de Pyrène, they are really preparing to climb the Prat d’Albis. All aboard their pre-war three-wheeler. This is the case in particular of Daniel Bonniaud, president of the association and happy owner of a 1936 black Morgan super sports car.
“I got a ten-year-old and he’s crazy. Once you start, you can’t stop!” he yells as he heads for the purring engine. And seeing him drive it almost seems like an art in the face of the climb and the many hairpin bends. “You mustn’t go too slowly otherwise you’ll turn badly and not too fast, otherwise the front wheels risk lifting,” he explains.
At the same time, one of his beacons falls to the ground and breaks. “We are used to this kind of disappointment. During the stay, many broke down. With these old cars it’s a game!”, she says. This little mishap does not affect the good mood of this enthusiast because driving at ground level, without glass around, with the mountains as the only landscape “multiplies the sensations”.
A strong moment that he shares with his teammates who follow him closely. This is also the aim of these visits organized twice a year in the departments of France: to meet and create links between the refined connoisseurs of these convertibles. “I am from Saône-et-Loire, and when my son died, everyone came to his funeral while they lived in Nord-pas-de-Calais or in Brittany”, slips the president moved.
After all, everyone is unanimous, you have to be a little “cold” to drive with this type of car. David Déramond, in charge of organizing these few days in the area, also took the opportunity to rename the association “Ariegeois tous fous”, on the dishes, which some have not hesitated to integrate time travel into their three-wheelers. “You must be crazy because this type of vehicle is nothing but everyday shit,” admits laughing one of the members, Pierre-Etienne. But for the latter, the important thing is above all to preserve this heritage and “distribute smiles” to the inhabitants.
It is almost 11 this Sunday when the enthusiasts start their last stage in front of the town hall of Foix to make young and old dream, many of whom have come, before they all go home forever. “It reminds me of my grandmother’s sewing machines,” then snaps a Fuxéenne, smiling, hearing the engines reverberate in the city.