12 Heures de l’Auge

“Drat, double drat and triple drat”, to quote Wacky Races’ Dick Dastradly, this city keeps the wonder in my eyes each time I discover something new. This year I finally got to see the 12 hours of Auge humorous bike competition and I completely understated why friends raved about it.

It reminded me of a cartoon I used to watch as a child on Cartoon Network – Wacky Races, a Hanna-Barbera production from the 60s (famous for The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo or Yogy Bear), featuring funny crazy cars racing against each other with each driver hoping to win the title of the “World’s Wackiest Racer. And just like back then, I was mesmerized.

12 heures de l’Auge is a humorous bike tandem race going back to the late 90s. It was interrupted in 2004 for a period of 8 years and in 2012 it made a successful comeback. Ever-since it is organised every June in the Auge neighborhood of Old Town Fribourg.

Photo credit: https://www.notrehistoire.ch/medias/27112

For 12 hours starting 10 am, participants pedal on a fixed route, occasionally stopping to replace team members who need a brake. A minimum of 2 participants per vehicle is required,  see rules here.

Each team is free to create and decorate their vehicles as they want, provided that everything is muscle powered. There are some prizes (funniest team, funniest vehicle, creativity) but the main purpose is to have fun, which is what I liked best about this competition. People were so engaged that I had the feeling I was watching children play.  It looked like the neighborhood kids came out to race their bikes, only that they were way above 18 and some of them brought their own kids to race.

I love how some people take this so seriously that they come up with over-the-top ideas just for fun and I think this is one of those events that just adds value to the quality of life in a place.

It was a hot day, kids used their water guns on the participants

I definitely want in next year and so does FriBoy. Registration starts on the 2nd of July here.

 

 

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