We are very happy to announce that Manivelle has become an official partner of the Tour du Massif Vosgien! For this occasion, we went to ask a few questions to Pascal Chabanse, organizer of the TMV.

“Hi Pascal! I would like us to talk a bit about your past as a cyclist, before talking about the TMV. When we were chatting while pedaling on the Gravignoble 2021, you told me about your more mountain bike-oriented background. Can you tell us more? Your beginnings, your beautiful adventures, your current practice?

Hi Silvin! First of all, congratulations on your machine competition bike: I really want it. Soon my 50th birthday and I believe that Manivelle will be part of it!

I really discovered mountain biking when I came to Strasbourg to study. Originally from Nord – Pas de Calais, my mountain biking practice was “paved” with good intentions but without too much elevation. And that’s what I immediately liked in the Vosges: the climbs, the summits and the landscapes that push you to climb even more. The reward is always at the top! The descents (in singles) are also part of the fun but it is often shorter… In short, a very nice meeting: the Vosges and the practice of mountain biking in the middle mountains: At the top!

The discovery of the Vosges massif by mountain bike was organized, then the crossings came (GTJ, GTMC, Valence-Gap, …). A desire: to discover and have fun, with the idea of having another relationship with time and constraints. Nourish and feel a sense of freedom. Too good ! My involvement in ultra distance and bikepacking must find their origin here: this feeling of freedom and the possibility of spending a long time alone with myself. I love. Nothing narcissistic, finally I believe!

Mountain biking is historically fairly well marked out, especially in the Vosges, and it is not necessarily necessary to prepare your own route. How did you come to trace your paths, for you at first?

It’s true that many official routes exist, but I discovered the Vosges with my brother-in-law who had “IGN knowledge” of his sector. He asked me: “Do you want to do technical work today? physical? trails? path ? uphill singles? downhill? And he built the itinerary as he left. I thought that was great. This knowledge that allows you to improvise, to adapt to your desires and moods and to go through beautiful sites.

My outings are organized around these themes: discoveries and “IGN knowledge” of my sector. No guide, freedom to decide and learn alone.

Why did you come to want to trace for others, to imagine an event of the magnitude of the TMV which necessarily generates a lot of pleasure on the one hand, but also implies a responsibility towards the participants, their expectations, etc.?

The desire to share is the answer. Share my knowledge, my pleasures, my spots. The desire to discover and to please.

I am not alone in this adventure to have these desires: Pierre Rehlinger (alias Piero) and Frédéric Staerck (alias Frédo) are in the same state of mind: we “write” together the different trips offered by the TMV. We exchange, discuss, modify, rewrite these itineraries… It’s a responsibility but it’s still difficult to disappoint with a massif like the Vosges…

The first edition of the TMV, already available in three formats, was purely mountain bike oriented. For this second edition, you (you, Pierre, Frédéric, anyone else to name?) think big since there will be two versions, MTB and Gravel, still with three formats (300,600 and 1000km) . It’s very rare for the same event to adapt to several practices, even if gravel takes different turns depending on who is talking about it (and their original practice, in particular). Where did this new approach come from?

At the end of the first edition, the “gravel” participants found our courses too mountain bike (too technical and brittle).

We heard them and decided to also offer specific gravel-type courses. The cycling family is growing: welcome to gravel! Each practice will thus be represented on specific routes. The underlying idea is to enjoy riding, to make efforts, to suffer but not to destroy yourself!

Can you tell us about the TMV journey in general? During the Détour evening, you talked with Piero about giving yourself a universe, a scenario, a subject, before starting to draw. What would you like the participants to discover?

The main objective of the TMV is obviously to make people discover the Vosges massif and its heritage (natural, historical, religious, gastronomic and cultural). We have therefore selected a series of remarkable sites through which participants will pass. But the TMV is intended to be a journey made up of the unexpected, encounters, exchanges and sharing, but also more solitary moments conducive to reflection and humility.

It is this alchemy that the TMV aims for: Encounters with others but also encounters with oneself…

The last time we were seen at the workshop, registrations had just opened (I think?). Where we are? Once registered, the hardest part, i.e. the decision to start, to leave, to possibly get out of your comfort zone, is done. Do you have any tips for preparing for the event?

Registrations are open since November 11, 2021 at 5:15 a.m. To date, half of the available places have gone. It’s good news. The other good news is that there are still half the places available!

My advice for preparing well for this event is to arrive at the TMV obviously with a certain foundation, but above all to be able to take pleasure in making the effort! I will add a dose of humility and patience…

On the first edition (and possibly on the second if you already know it), is there a typical participant profile? Are they cyclists already accustomed to autonomy, to “cycling travel” in the broad sense?

We have on this second edition of the re-registrations of participants of the TMV 2021. In general, they go up on the higher distance. It will be nice to see them again.

We also have bikepacking specialist participants who come to do the TMV 1000 or 1200. Finally, neo-bikepackers who come for their first experience on a TMV 300 for example.

The profiles are therefore varied but it is like the TMV (3 distances in each practice: mountain bike & gravel)

You thought of Manivelle as a partner of the TMV. Can you come back to what motivated this proposal?

I’m really happy that Manivelle is a partner of TMV because it’s a great meeting that leads to a great story. As you remembered, we met on the occasion of the Love Tour 2021, passing through the Manivelle workshop. That day, I immediately liked the atmosphere of the workshop: the day is over, you put away your tools, no one is working and yet the workshop is alive, it still vibrates. Manivelle receive the Love Tour in their workshop and the places are bathed in an atmosphere of know-how, love of good work, simplicity and pleasure to share. No sleeve effect, just the passion, the profession, the emotion of the craftsman and his universe. Pure, rare and precious moments.

The bikes on offer are beautiful, thoughtful, ingenious and practical. They invite you to travel, to adventure, to the TMV?

These two universes are made to meet: TMV and Manivelle cycles, the story can begin.

I’ll be at the start of one of the three TMV VTT formats, and I can’t wait. Until then, I imagine you have a lot on your plate. Reco? Organisation? Communication? What program for you and the whole team?

I am happy that you come with your machine on the TMV, your feedback will be precious to me.

It’s true that there’s still a lot of work to do: I’m in the process of getting out of the administrative and communication part to gradually start reconnoitring. And that is still my favorite! Especially with friends who have already started and want to share their discovery…

In short, this second edition of the TMV is organized well, we are on schedule and we will be delighted to see you again in July! “

Thank you Pascal for this exchange! For those wishing to learn more about the TMV and register, it’s here.

See you on the 2d of july in Ensisheim!