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Pavé jersey: an act of “cyclist philanthropy”

Pavé, edición especial Gobik

 

 

John Degenkolb is one of those cyclists who looks like he has been taken from a typical movie of Cold war times, from east Germany on the other side of the wall. John Degenkolb is one of those cyclists that goes against every logic, he has found a paradise in hell located on the middle of the path between Paris and Roubaix.

Because John Degenkolb best days have happened in a place which is cyclist material heritage, for bicycles world and its lover’s universe, place of worship that go through many kilometres, as countryside’s and forests, abandon land mines and military paths.

 

 

A worship that has an element in common, the pave and cobblestone, that annoying and screeching stone, whose vibrations are thrusted into the kidneys and destroys the lumbar when we are cycling. That stone is the one that muster hundreds, thousands of amateurs on the ditch and millions of glances through television to watch The Paris-Roubaix, the most emblematic classic of the cycling tour that defines the best its essence on horse between regression and atrocious hardness that carve out the cyclist character. 

 

 Pavé, edición especial Gobik

 

 

Going back to John Degenkolb, he lived the sweetest days of its sport career in hell. He won Roubaix four year ago and a Tour stage last year here, hours before France became world champion.

The German, who suffered a terrible accident while he was training on Levante mountains, he is a grateful man who have collaborated for years with an entity named “Les Amis de Roubaix” which safeguard those Pavé and cobblestone stretches that embellish each Paris-Roubaix.

 

 

His task is extended on the field and specific on the target. They look after, indulge and ensure this cyclist worship as the great peaks of the Dolomites, Pirineos ports, flamingos walls… Landscapes that drink from the greatness of this sport and vice versa, a priceless task.

They have been working on the land for three decades, being the key not only maintaining cobblestones carpets, also in discovering new stretches, as when the mythical passage of Arenberg appeared forty years ago. This Group set on the cover all the risk that modernity involved on Pavés paths to Roubaix. They moved, made noise, took signatures. All of these was at the beginnings of eighties when they ended signing “Les Amis de Paris- Roubaix” statutes.

Actually, they are 200 people, who clean, renew stretches battered by the passage of time, divulge the worship between teenagers on the area for stop losing love towards the stone and making three years care plans.

 

 

 

Pavé purpose

 

 

Thousand of kilometres to the south, in Barcelona, in one of Llobregat bends, there was a shop which was Roubaix´s worship in the heart of Prat del Llobregar. Its name was Pavé.

Its creator, Javier Maya, wanted to create something different, a type of realization to his platonic love for the bicycle and in the image of a car dealership, he gave the bicycle the power of filling an industrial warehouse with its beauty.

 

 

 Edición Especial Gobik - Pavé Cycling Culture

 

There, during years he had created a meeting point for cyclist lovers and each one took a bit of those days in theirs heart. Some of them are even keeping a black cyclist outfit with letter and purple patterns. It was the group outfit for those who left and arrived to Pavé.

Remembering that outfit, after a while of the shop closure, Javier Maya contacted with Gobik to set that outfit again on the circuit. I saw that so many people have mourned due to Pavé´s closure and get once on course, I think is a good idea to recover the outfit that lot of people have kept on theirs wardrobes since 2012, but with 2019 qualities.

 

 

 

 

“Pavé” is not going to come back, but its jersey will and it will do it with one condition: “I do not want any garment benefit for it sell, I just bid that 10% of the levy goes to “Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix”.

“Pavé” is not going to come back, but its platonic spirt for the bicycle stays, there is a aid left, another, as John Degenkolb, small or big, to keep Roubaix writing the best cycling history pages each Easter Sunday.

 

 

 

 

Text: El cuaderno de Joan Seguidor

Photos: Javier Maya and Simon Connellan [Unsplash]