<b>Defying the laws of science:</b> The Tunisian Moto Tour

Defying the laws of science: The Tunisian Moto Tour

What does it feel like to defy the laws of science at the Tunisian Moto Tour? On roads so bad they’re only meant for goats?
07-18-2018
Adventure

Article

LAURENT COCHET

After working for many years as a journalist for the French Moto Journal magazine, Laurent Cochet decided to branch out on his own.

In 2012, he started creating his own videos about his adventures on two wheels. The Frenchman is known for his imaginative digital content filled with action and humor.

According to his philosophy, riding motorcycles is all about having fun. And it shows. His clips are thoroughly entertaining and enjoyed by millions of motorcycle fans all over the world thanks to his rapidly growing YouTube channel.

Laurent Cochet

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I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to defy the laws of science! As far as I was concerned, there was really only one law: one that was clear, unyielding and unchangeable. It was the law that said: “I have never been so close to the next one and so far from the last one.” 


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What I’m talking about, in case you’re wondering, is my next fall. Based on this law, I had always been pretty philosophical about the fragile balance of us bikers whenever we’re on two wheels. In fact, this law stripped me of any illusion I might have had of invincibility. After all, you might be cautious and think you’re a good and experienced biker, but sooner or later – like all the others – it’ll happen to you: you’ll end up missing a curve and swerving off the road.

So, I was perfectly conscious of my fate as I was getting ready to start the fourth time trial of the Tunisian Moto Tour behind the handlebars of my Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak. I was resigned to the situation without feeling any particular fear, because – as Josh Randall says – the law’s the law, and no one can escape it!

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Niels, the competition director, did the countdown before I headed off: 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! Again, I got that insignificant feeling that I should have interpreted that count as some sort of sign... Anyway, who’s to say? This unlikely race was carried out on a gravel-paved road; a road really only fit for goats. The fact that it was so uneven led you to believe you had to be prepared for anything. There was gravel followed by sandy spots and pavement seemingly made from kitchen tiles as slippery as if they were coated in oil... These were all, no doubt, other warning signs!

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Anyhow, halfway through the race and while taking a dodgy blind left turn, sloping downhill and becoming narrower (these are always the worst!), I realised I was in trouble. But I believed in myself, and managed to keep my cool.

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Because you need to keep believing, as you will be able to see the end of the bend instead of fixating on the critical point where you get out of this mess. Very carefully, I managed to hit the brakes and keep the bike on the ground without needing to manoeuvre too much (thanks to the Öhlins suspensions of the Multi Pikes Peak) while managing to steer it in the right direction.

Phew, I was no longer in danger! I slammed on the brakes one more time in front and – damn, too late – I was lying on the gravel, biting the dust. Game over, in other words! Imagine my absurd fall at just 10 kilometres an hour, with my beloved 1260 Pikes Peak, which I’d just barely broken in. I did not fall down at full speed and did not get physically hurt, but the tumble I took ended up ruining my fresh-out-of-the-bag REV’IT! gear.

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Who knows why a biker’s normal, competitive reflex is to get up, run to his bike and finish the race, ending at the bottom like some idiot? That’s another law, which I will explain later on! But that’s not really what I did at all... I stayed there, lying perfectly still, taking my time, with my head on the gravel and lying flat on my stomach.

I felt fantastic, and do you know why? Because it was at this moment that I defied the laws of science and its calculations of probability. As long as I was on the ground and hadn’t got back behind the handlebars of my bike yet, I reversed the law, which momentarily turned into: “I’ve never been so close to the last one but, above all, I’m far from the next one.”

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So, what am I talking about here? Why, falling, of course! This is the kind of moment that needs to be seized. Then again, you can’t simply remain lying prostrate on the ground forever, just to savour the moment and defy the law. You need to get back up and reverse the process. In other words, you need to get back behind the handlebars and finish the race... which is exactly what I did.

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During this Tunisian Moto Tour, a whole bunch of us guys got to be daredevils and defied the law. By the end, the place did not resemble a racing course as much as a bomb site.

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Dislocated shoulder blades, broken hands and feet, black eyes and bruised lips: these Tunisian races really allow you to get intimately reacquainted with your various body parts. I’m also reminded that you need to make sure you’re well protected, which I was thanks to REV’IT! In addition to impeccable security, the motorcycle gear also provided great comfort. Wearing leather for 12 hours a day five days in a row is never easy, and you really do wear your gear like the proverbial second skin.


~ Laurent Cochet

Extra

Intro text

Article video

Je vole chef!

RALLYE TUNISIE
DUCATI 1260 PIKES PEAK

Episode 1 / 2

Article video

J'ai glissé chef

RALLYE TUNISIE
DUCATI 1260 PIKES PEAK

Episode 2 / 2