“Vide grenier” is a car boot jumble swap garage flea market sale

“I got that at a vide grenier, and it only cost a Euro!”

I arrived in France a month ago, and I heard that phrase so many times I knew I had to visit one. This weekend a handbill announced there would be a vide grenier in Lauzun on Sunday, so I decided to check it out.

Table at vide grenier lauzun france
The vide grenier spills onto adjoining roadways of the local Salle Polyvente.

The village of Lauzun has about 400 people, and I’ll bet more that double that crowded the grounds of the Salle Polyvente (local community hall).

Similar to flea markets in Canada, it’s a lot of knick-knacks, junk, and old stuff. But here, it’s French knick-knacks, junk, and old stuff. That adds a certain exotic allure to me.

Kitchen tools at vide grenier lauzun france
Tea strainers and butter knives for 2 Euros each – some rusty, some not.

I met a vendor who was selling old bicycle parts. He offered me a shoulder bag I could use as a musette when cycling the back roads.

Vendor at vide grenier lauzun france
At the corner of his blanket, boxes of beautiful French bicycle components. And for fans, a needlepoint portrait of Shirley Temple.

He wanted two Euros, but I talked him down to one, explaining (poorly) in French that it would take a Euro’s worth of savon to scrub off the grease mark on the back.

Nearby, another vendor was selling old bicycles, and an old moped.

Motobecane bike at vide grenier lauzun france
This Motobecane moped’s motor is mounted over the front wheel.

I should have asked how much they wanted, because this Motobécane moped  looked in good shape. According to Wikipedia.com, Canadian Walter Muma rode a 50V Motobecane 11,500 miles on a 3-month trip that began in Toronto, brought him to Alaska, and back to Toronto. It reminded me of my little Symba Honda Cub (100cc) adventure, where I rode 2000km around western Canada.

After a couple of hours the day had warmed up and I was done browsing. It was time to go for a different kind of bike ride—the kind with no motor.



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Writer, rider, traveller.

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