Ten days ago 62-year-old Jean-Yves Brochard set off on his own Tour de France – by tractor. And no ordinary tractor, but a vintage Vierzon tractor that he has specially repainted for the trip. Jean-Yves will be covering 5,500 km mainly keeping along the French borders at an average speed of 20 km per hour. This is his first long trip with the tractor. He’s a little anxious about descending some of the steeper cols that he’s taking in over the Alps and Pyrenees, even though he’s fitted new brakes! And of course breaking down, but with a vintage tractor, that’s bound to happen somewhere or other. Going wrong is an senior tractor’s raison d’__être, as we know from our pair of old timers.
Jean-Yves will either sleep in the covered trailer he’s bringing along with him, which he’s fitted out with a mini-kitchen and a bed, or prevail upon the kindness of strangers to give him overnight board and lodging. I imagine you’d get some interesting stories in return for your hospitality.
So, if sometime in the next five weeks you find yourself being held up in a narrow country lane by a slow moving vintage tractor with a wagon behind it, try and be patient. It’s probably Jean-Yves fulfilling his long cherished ambition of making this sedate trip. Not everyone is brave enough to live their dream like that.
The full details of the tractor Tour de France route are here.
Pic from Mon Quotidien.