Françoise Denel, the dean of the Sun Trip (70 years), is expected to reach the finish tomorrow. Florian Bailly, founder of the Sun Trip, and Angélique Galvaing, project leader 2018, went to meet him today, in the midst of rice fields. They found a radiant, optimistic woman, source of curiosity and respect for our Chinese friends, for all…
Corinne Courvalin, from Team France Passion, has reached the goal! The Vice-dean of Sun Trip 2018 offers a night-time arrival, the first of this unusual edition. His journey has lasted 100 days.
Jean-Claude Viguier delivers his vision of the adventure of the Sun Trip, a human adventure above all, as can be read in these lines:
« Few adventurers have approached the sun trip as a competition. Through this comment I do not want to obscure the extraordinary performances of the SunTripers that have permanently marked their footprint solar mobility. The meeting with others, the sharing of values, the exchange are more important in my opinion than any timekeeping performance. The objective of this project was to demonstrate that solar energy was able to achieve very beautiful things without any environmental consequences. Nevertheless, we do not travel 12000 km without a thorough and long physical and psychological preparation. The trainings carried out in all the times allowed us to forge a steel mind. The stresses imposed on the winter outings have strengthened us physically and psychologically. There was still uncertainty and not least: how the organism would support several hundred km per week, for three months, without other days of rest than those imposed by weather, shipping or technological vagaries. Physiologically our organism sends us signals that are as many messages as we have to interpret. For my part for two years the internal faces of my knees are painful. Many specialists have "prescribed" me the end of my sports competitions. That there is no challenge without sacrifices. Sixty physiotherapy sessions were needed to alleviate my pain and allow me to support 150 km training on a 1000 to 1200 km/month. Even though my pain persists the temptation to go at the end of this adventure has never been altered.
« Mohamed Said and Youssef are in my opinion, the same caliber as Mike Horn, and are undoubtedly the two greatest adventurers of the Sun trip 2018. They never consider ending this project even if the weather is sparked on them. Youssef studied in France and, back in Tangier, he climbs his manufacturing workshop, designs and manufactures several trikes. Mohamed who no longer has the use of his legs contact him so that he makes him a gear adapted to his handicap. Mohamed embodies the joy of living, he accepts his handicap very well even if he had the use of his legs at birth. It was no longer necessary to Youssef, convinced by this strong personality, to imagine the project of tandem Trike. There was only one step to be taken to get these two up to the challenge of the Sun trip. Their minds are out of standard and their duo is endowed with an extraordinary complementarity that allowed them to go at the end of the adventure. Youssef has a mechanical engineering background. With a limited amount of resources, he creates his own workshop, with computer tools and design software. Very quickly he imagines, models, and analyzes the behavior of his solutions in materials resistance. It turns out that they are terribly effective. Its trike has impressive stability. The structure of its chassis is designed to collect the efforts to deform and guarantee a very appreciable flexibility by the cyclists. A major step towards industrialization could be envisaged, which would be a well-deserved outcome. Even if the market is restricted the prototypes imagined by Youssef deserve to be marketed. If only to meet the needs of people with reduced mobility. It is in my opinion the two heroes of the Sun trip 2018. If the price of self-transcendence and generosity existed, they would be the indisputable winners. »
From the moment I met Mohamed, Youssef, Paul, Françoise and I spent I drew in their mental strength what I still needed to meet this challenge. Most of them, except Youssef, have a physical deficit, caused by illness or accident, or have undergone significant operations. They deliberately excluded from their vocabulary the word failure. They replaced it with the words Joy of Life, will, success, generosity… These are probably the most beautiful meetings made during this summer among the competitors. I do not mean of course the group of Tarnis Cathy, Francois, Didier, Gilles who have become true friends and whose values of humanity are equal only the courage they have shown to overcome all the difficulties of this journey. Some of the anonymous people who met during the adventure will surprise me with their generosity. Knowing nothing about us or us on them, we shared short moments of happiness during which we received beautiful lessons of life. Self-transcendence is a subjective notion. In the most hostile part of the world, Mike Horn travelled thousands of kilometers in appalling conditions to the North Pole, often putting his life at risk. I've never heard him say "I'm putting an end to this adventure". »
Under the dumbfounded gaze of our Chinese friends, Thierry Rassat arrived in Guangzhou (Canton) This Wednesday, September 26th at 11:45 a.m. local time. Thierry had long ago programmed to arrive after 99 days of travel, a symbolic figure, which allowed him to take the time and to enjoy the most of his journey France-China.
Hosted by 8 other participants and by fans, Thierry takes the 12th place of the solar challenge. During his trip, he did not use any other means of transport other than his bicycle and he was able to operate only in solar recharge.
A nice example what can be a solar trip in the sun trip!
7 adventurers arrived today in Canton, here they are Catherine and Didier, François and Gilles, Youssef and Mohamed Saïd, as well as Jean-Claude. They are at destination after 98 days of a trip that will have led them to cross different countries, according to routes that they have shared in part:
- Catherine and Didier Pozzobon : Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China.
- François Médalle and Gilles Coural: Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China.
- Youssef El Haouass and Mohamed Saïd Jeberi: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China.
- Jean-Claude Viguier: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China.
Special congratulations to the Moroccan duo : Youssef & Mohamed Saïd. They carried out an unusual adventure on a tandem entirely built by themselves.
These 7 suntripers are not classified in the challenge 100% solar because, to get to destination in less than 100 days, they had to make by train part of the trip to China. Emotion was strong when they sang national and regional anthems :
At the end of his trip France-China, Jack Butler reviews the various parts of his solar vehicle, bicycle, trailer etc… He took stock of the use of these equipments after 13 000 km travelled on sometimes difficult roads that tested the material as man!
Romain Neauport (Team O2Feel) is interviewed on WEO, the TV channel of Hauts-de-France. He tells his journey, the good times, the difficulties too. This interview is illustrated by images shot this summer in Kazakhstan by Guillaume Devot of the Sun Trip organization team.
Will all suntripers arrive in Guangzhou within the allotted time of 100 days? Let's make the situation point for all cyclists on the road since now 94 days:
- Thierry Rassat is the closest to the goal, he has just exceeded the threshold of 12 000 km travelled, it only remains 300km to arrive in Canton,
- Françoise Denel has travelled almost 11500 km, she is 500 km away from Thierry,
- Michael Polak then arrives, after a detour by the Tibetan plateaus and in the high mountains, with almost 11000 km travelled,
- Gregory Lewyllie, the eternal traveller, closes the walk with a little over 10000 km on the counter,
- And there are also François and Gilles, Youssef and Mohamed Saeed, Catherine and Didier as well as Corinne who chose to make a part of the road by train not to arrive too late in Guangzhou.
Françoise Denel shows us the circulation in which she must sneak each day: Françoise presents her "Hotel" Last night:
Still in Guangzhou, Jack Butler wonders about the different ways of coming back from China if not taking the plane. In this video, he explores the advantages and disadvantages of different routes, different means of transport, crossing Russia or Kazakhstan, or Azerbaijan and Turkey…
The suntripers who are still on their way will arrive in Guangzhou within the deadlines, that est_à in less than 100 days? At J-7, all strive to arrive on time.
- Thierry Rassat is confident: He is in great shape and continues to fetch the most original itineraries, discoveries in discoveries, always in 100% solar mode, always with a smile.
- Michael Polak also traces an original itinerary and does not retreat to any obstacle, like a col at 3800 m altitude.
- About François Medale and Gilles Coural, no more news since their phone broke down.
- Françoise Denel and Corinne Courvalin put all their efforts in this race against the clock but the weather hardly helps them offering wind, rain and clouds…
Corinne saw her battery drowned in the rain!
Day 91: After a great week in Istanbul, he resumed the road this morning, the sun is getting more and more rare. Tomorrow, Bulgaria!
Day 92: As expected, he arrived in Bulgaria today. And in Europe at the same time and he felt a feeling which he did not expect, that of the return to home although he is still in 2000km far from France. Tonight, first non-wild camping for a long time!
Michael Polak at the top of the Sun Trip 2018! He is the first suntriper to pedal on his solar bike at an altitude of more than 3800 meters! Closer to the sun?
Françoise Denel confides to us: Thank you to replace on 19 July by 19 June, on a trip we lose some landmarks, especially dates and leggings by waders yes to no longer speak French we forget… In any case I am super happy, thanks to all those who encourage me publicly or in the shadows, thanks to the organizers of this crazy thing, thanks to all the suntripers who each in their own way help me. Good do not sell the skin of the bear… Canton is in sight but I'm not there yet. But this descent to the south is a great moment for me. »
Since arriving in Canton, Jack Butler continues to film the other participants: here, Peter Helsen who delivers his impressions of travel and tells us about his adventures.
The Sun Trip was Saturday in Shenzhen for the launch of the Low Carbon International Forum. For its 6th edition, this forum of international renown bringing together the main actors of the ecological transition has chosen to highlight the French initiatives, starting with the Sun Trip 2018.
Michael Polak crosses beautiful mountain landscapes, typical, but the cloud laden Sky has severely limited its solar energy production, thus reducing the distance travelled in a day: only 125 km today.
Mohamed Saïd rides with his teammate Youssef and 5 other Suntripers, in the direction of Canton. Arrival scheduled for September 25th or 26th.
Thierry delivers enthusiastic photos of his Sun Trip to China every day. Follow him on https://www.facebook.com/Thierry.Rassat.Suntrip
Françoise Denel has to deal with many problems: solar recharge, bad weather, difficult roads and muddy, bike and solar panels covered with mud…
Françoise can no longer tell us with poetry her days as she did before, she hired a race against the clock to arrive in time in Guangzhou (in 100 days).
But she did not lose the smile as you can see in these pictures!
I discovered by chance this friendly video, recently published on the net, which touts the merits of the solar bike trip, near the Salagou lake famous for its fossil footprints of dinosaurs!
For three days, the Sun Trip was present at the International Tourism Fair in Guangzhou, thanks to the partner Lingnan Group for the organization and to Cedric Vinatier for the setting up of the event, helped by An Van Dyck. It was also an opportunity to look for Chinese participants on the Sun Trip Tour 2019 where 5 inscriptions are reserved for them!
Many thanks to the ambassadors Suntripers 2018 Jack Butler, Dirk Huyghe and Daniel Jenni who took the time to come and share their experience with the public during these three days.