Le Filtrage: the road to freedom

Dailies -



Watch as noted French philosopher, Pierre Camembert, expounds on the transcendentalism of lane splitting as he commutes through London. Pierre was forced to emigrate to the land of potato-based foodstuffs when the Gendarmerie reminded him that filtering is, still, technically illegal in his native La Rochelle.

Thanks for the tip, Kerry.

  • je

    OHH LA LA!

    If I tried this in KC some hick in his daily driver f-350 turbo diesel with bronze balls hanging from his never used hitch would go out of his way to crush me. If he didnt get me the first day he would take a mental note to look for me on the next days commute.

    • Thom

      So I can assume you were NOT the asshole last Thursday night in KC who not only split lanes but cut me off to the point where I had to slam ( and I do mean SLAM ) on the brakes to avoid hitting the little shite on his Pocket Rocket in Mid Town ?

      Splitting lanes responsibly ? I’ve got no problem with that . What that little POS pulled last Thursday ? Suffice it to say if he’d of pulled over or I’d caught up with him I’d of had more than just a few words with the punk .

      FYI I am no ‘ hick ‘ and sure as hell don’t drive a P/U. For the record .

      • Mr.Furious

        Much anger in you.

        • jason McCrash

          Yeah that explains a lot of Thoms posts.

      • je

        Unfortunately my buell currently does not run so it wasnt me. I was the asshole in the CRX that probably cut you off at some point though :D

    • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

      No crap. Aggressive assholes on the road here! I brought this topic up on KCSB (sport bike forum) and the overwhelming consensus was that splitting/filtering is stupid but if you have a big truck you can do whatever you want because it’s bigger.

      We’re fucked.

  • robotribe

    I approve of the comedy stylings of Piere Camembert. Not a bad “filtragiste” either. Il est un vrais génie.

    • Thom

      C’est le Bullshit

      • robotribe

        C’est vrais, mais le bullshit de génie.

  • slowtire

    “it is an extension of your manhood”
    I need a longer bike.

    • The other Joe

      And a louder exhaust!

  • Roman

    To move, to dare, to flow.
    To choose the right path to go.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    I laughed. Liked the part where he threw a bonjour at the ‘gendarmes’ before he ignores the parking gate (at about 4:12 in the vid).

    The filtrage is strong with this one.

  • Chris

    Never stop for anyone or anything… Except cars… Oh, and pedestrians. But except for those two things, nothing! Except stoplights.

  • Denzel

    He puts the moveable in the feast…

  • DavidMG

    Hilarious. Merci.

  • Thom

    Congratulations HFL

    You’ve fallen head first for a Virtual Personality

    Checked every available resource . Not a respected French or otherwise Philosopher named Pierre Camembert to be found

    This one’s a Created for the Internet bit of BS .

    Funny ? Yes . Real ? Not even close .

    • Adrian

      Thom – Try not to take life so seriously. “Funny – Yes” Enough said.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Au contraire my literally minded midwestern friend. Part of Pierre’s exile to a small rock in the ocean was an absolute erasure of any public record of his name in his native land. Now, all he has left is a life of quiet isolation; writing letters to the world on Vimeo.

      • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

        J’approuve cette. Il est magnifique.

    • Mr.Furious

      One of you got the joke. Did you notice the cars driving on the left?

      By the way, vive la papillon rouge!

    • Danielsohn

      You are headed for timeout

    • MotoRandom

      I think HFL really needs to get off of Thom’s lawn.


        I think we need to stop feeding the troll.

        • Sean Smith

          I think the HFL comments would be a lonely place without Thom. I’m not sure exactly what it is he adds, but I know it’s definitely valuable and entertaining.

          • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

            I don’t always agree with Thom, but I do appreciate his presence. I dig dissenting voices.


              Thoughtful dissent is interesting, sure. That’s not what’s happening. One Thom is fine, but what about 10? I’ve seen good websites go to shit that way.

    • Zach

      Man, thanks for catching this for me. Someone should notify Oli333 that his vimeo account (linked in the video) and his YouTube account (linked on his vimeo account) have been hacked by some miscreant looking to pull a fast one on us all.

    • super20

      As always, Thom, you are the only one to see the truth here. Keep on keeping it real, brother.

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      I don’t know who he is or supposed to be (and don’t care, the video was funny, they could have left out the cliché accordeon though, seriously guys the only place you’ll hear accordeon in france is in the subway in paris, an everybody hates it) but i don’t need to google anything.
      This guy is not french by a long shot. His accent isn’t from La Rochelle or from anywhere in France. A french won’t call a red light a “lumière rouge” but a “feu rouge” (which you wouldn’t know unless you’re french, because it literally translates to “red fire”) and “eat shit little fish”? That’s not a french insult.
      Won’t list them all, but that is some dreadfull “french”…

  • Wereweazle

    Can someone enlighten me as to the meaning behind the “The man who has the grand fromage has no time for the cognac” quote? I get that the grand fromage typically means big cheese or important person and that cognac can refer to a beautiful woman, but a clear meaning still eludes me. Is it really simply that someone who gives all his time to the big man like a boss has no time for the ladies?

    • Thom

      @ Wereweazel

      The entire thing , including the caricature of a ‘ French ‘ philosopher is a Made for the Internet bit of fictional BS

      Therefore the stupid bit of wisdom at the end ? Strictly for effect I’d imagine

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      He is supposed to be french so my guess would be that that your interpretations don’t apply here, they are not used in france.
      “Grand” can mean big but also great, so my guess would be that he meant that taking the time to enjoy a great cheese (during a meal) doesn’t leave you any time for the liqueur (“digestif” in french, that you traditionally drink at the end of the meal).
      So the meaning would just be that time is precious i guess.

      • Mr.Furious

        The name “feu” (fire, as notre ami above indicated) comes from the fact that the first traffic lights were gas lights.

  • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

    I lol’d. Thanks for this one. Allons-y!

  • Paul

    I wonder if M. Camembert’s lazy eye gives him added peripheral vision when engaging in le filtrage?

  • Filipe

    c’est brillant!

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    Dear Sirs:
    Congratulations to you, certainly, but first I must strongly protest the use of “Hell for Leather” as your blog’s denomination. I have checked every available resource and could not find a single reference of a bargained-for-exchange that would equate x for y where x = Hell and y = Leather. You have been duped again and fallen head first like Lucifer cast from Heaven. Hell is for sinners, and leather is for gloves and what not, but no, one should not assume that Leather will be allowed for the sinners who roast in Hell. No sir. Not a chance.
    Adieu, to you and you and you and you. Now, back to your regularly scheduled … mmm… camembert.

    • DavidMG

      Hahaha. Win!

  • Campisi

    How many tax horsepower does that thing have? I doubt its fromage forbades the cognac.

  • Gregory

    I lane-split here in Portland, OR. Oregon law still says that only one vehicle can occupy a lane space at one time: basically, the law treats the lane as a two-dimensional area. For parking in the city of Portland, however, you _are_ allowed to park two vehicles within one white-lined space.

    I tend to only split on the freeway– mostly I5– and only when it’s bumper to bumper. If it’s bumper to bumper, no Crown Victoria can catch me… heh heh… unless it has a front video cam… which it probably will have… oh well…

    I’ve had a few middle fingers pointed in my direction. I’ve also had a few California-plated cars move to the side to avoid me: very thoughtful.

    All in all, though, Portland doesn’t have the traffic to require lane-splitting and Oregonians are much too polite and law-abiding to do anything like this.

    Me on my KLR, however…


    • Tony T.

      I wish I had the balls to split in PDX but drivers just don’t pay enough attention and the lanes are juuuust narrow enough. That and the painted lines don’t feel great when the roads are wet for 9 months out of the year.

  • jason McCrash

    3 things:
    -Cool video. Didn’t notice guys filtering when I was in the UK 10 years ago.
    -I love lane splitting and almost never need to do it here.
    -I wonder if he wears skinny jeans.

    Oh wait, it’s Europe. To them they are just ‘jeans’.

  • Gregory

    In one of the shots, it says “Bus Lane” (or “Lane Bus”) on the road. Could this be in the UK?

    The license plates look vaguely British, but I can’t tell one European license plate from another.

    The streets and houses and other such scenery are clearly European… but, again, I can’t tell for sure.

    …and the parking lot at the end has English signs.

    …and the direction of traffic is on the left.

    So the clip is British. That might explain the cheezy fake French names and the silly “cheese/ cognac” quote.

    Or did I miss a joke somewhere here?


    • Campisi

      Or did I miss a joke somewhere here?

      You simply haven’t grasped the full complexity of the wonderful art, the depth of the transcendental French philosophy of filte-le filtrage.

  • jason

    Goofy. He should do one on ‘Le Stuntage’.

  • Cro-Magnon

    Thank you HFL – It’s the end of another hump busting work day but at least I was able to filtrage my ass off to and from on the I5 in San Diego’s North County.

    This little gem put the smile back on my face in anticipation of tomorrow mornings ride in the rain with my new mantra on my lips: “Eat shit little fish.”

  • Edward

    So did you know Sartre was a goofy looking french philosopher and get an image of him on purpose or did you google “funny looking french philosopher” and get a picture of Sartre?

    • Edward

      Having actually watched it now, I have to say it is both hilarious and oddly heartwarming. And I like the music.

      • M

        i had the same question when i saw sartre up there.

        it’s also difficult to tell if transcendentalism was just thrown out there as the most philosophy-ey term hfl could come up with, or there was some notion of an intuitive or sublime transcendence in the video.

        but, yeah, it was pretty funny.

  • oldblue

    Very silly, so very welcome.

  • http://www.twowheelsplus.com/ Anders

    Jean-Paul Sartre on HFL. What a day.

  • Keith

    Le Filterage, dans la ville de Toronto?
    Mon Dieu…Impossible!
    Je cherche mon Grande Fromage…

    • Mr.Furious

      La folie!

  • ak


  • RSassi

    Hilarious. Thanks.

  • Michael

    Not real?! Pierre Camembert is a world renowned personality.

  • craha

    If anyone knows about the big cheese, it’s Pierre Camembert. His name is cheese!