Travels in the dark - Pedalling to the pictures - CycleBlaze

Travels in the dark

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THEY HAD an idea...

  They went to a cinema on the edge of town and asked: "If we bring you 40 or 50 people for two days of films, and if we provide the films and you don't have to pay for them, can we have a screen in your cinema?"

  And the man in charge thought it over for all of several seconds and realised these would be tickets above those he'd usually sell. "Oui," he said.

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  As it happened, there weren't just 40 or 50 people. There were 100 for each session, everyone paying €4 which the organisers split fifty-fifty with the cinema.

  And so was born yet another cycle-touring festival, simple, unambitious, not too taxing on those who dreamed it up, and a happy time for everyone. What could be better?

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  I could describe the films we saw, but how would I convey the experience, the emotions, the time when a couple with a baby struggled through the Mexican forests or how a couple crossing the USA came close to breaking up and going their own way? Or simpler, less demanding rides, in valleys or pastures. I don't think I could. That much you'll have to imagine for yourself.

  But it does show how easily a festival can be born. Not over a beer or a glass of wine, of course, because there's work to do and money to raise, an an audience to attract. But it's not impossible. It's been done. And a wonderful weekend it turned out to be.

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