A film-worthy passion for cycling
Collectif Parlee has a filmworthy passion for cycling
The Collectif Parlee doesn’t brag about its size or founding history. It isn’t focused on growth; in fact, it only considers it cautiously.
This cycling club, located in Quebec City, protects the bond that exists within its tribe of cyclists who train hard, but don’t take things too seriously. These self-proclaimed adventurers recently increased their club’s size by one third and took on three new members this year, bringing their full count from six to nine riders.
Charles Ostiguy, founding member and sales rep for Parlee Cycles, says that even though the club started in 2014, most of the group has been racing together for almost a decade. The Collectif Parlee races in the M1 category (fastest masters category) and sees its riders on the podium on a regular basis. He says for a bunch of old guys, they share a good humour about the sport, but are dedicated to the training, which yields good results.
“It’s a small team. We want to be a group of friends, first and foremost. It’s got to make sense for us. We travel together, so it needs to be more than just a team. We need to have fun to train 12 to 15 hours a week. Otherwise, it’s pointless,” Ostiguy says.
They marked the 2017 season with a training camp and races closer to home such as La Coupe des Amériques, the Killington Vermont Stage Race and other events that make the most of the competition schedule.
Sticking close to Quebec is only part of the team’s aspirations. Riding for the “sheer beauty of cycling,” as Ostiguy puts it, the group plans an international riding trip each year. In April, the club’s adventures in Spain included 1,200 km riding and 20,000 m of climbing in 10 days. In 2016, they cycled through France. Next year, a trip to Lucca, Italy, in the works. Since travel is a large part of the club’s training goals, Collectif Parlee is sometimes accompanied by a fellow cyclist, friend and professional videographer who shoots the riders’ exploits. And since every team member brings a talent to the group, from writing to photography, it’s no wonder these short films are of such high calibre. “That’s the idea behind the Collectif: that everyone brings something to the group. One guy designs the jerseys, another writes for us, one guy is a photographer, so everyone has a role,” says Ostiguy. They currently have two choreographed, six-minute films that not only capture the thrill of the ride, but also tell a story through highly creative concepts. When asked about their next video project, Ostiguy says that it has to be considered a passionate endeavour, not just a make-do project. “I still have the idea to have a longer version, 20 minutes, but I don’t want to be doing movies for the sake of doing movies. There’s got to be a story. No story, no movies. Otherwise it’s just advertising and that’s not what I’m after,” Ostiguy says. For this intimate group that keeps adventure at the heart of each ride. It looks like they’ll have lots of stories to tell.