First test of Solarduino Bike 3rd version

Yesterday I experimented with my new solar bike! It is made up of a classic bike and a motorised trailer. I built this new trailer in order to support 3 solar panels of 100Wc (I only had 2 last year).
My intention is to increase the length of my courses. With 2 panels last year, I had completed courses of a little more than 200 km. With 3 panels, I now hope to exceed 250km per day.

For this first 2-step test, I travelled a total of 129 km with 1080 m of elevation gain in 4h25. My average speed was close to 30 km/h.

Due to the sunshine conditions, I set the electrical assistance between 90W and 115W with short moments at 225W.
In quite unfavourable wind conditions (wind of 20/25 km/h with brutal gusts at 50 km/h), I was able to appreciate the good behaviour of the trailer, very stable in turns of the road.

The course of the Sun trip Tour 2019

Discover the route of Sun trip tour 2019: a solar bike route that crosses the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, from Puy-en-Velay to Valence, via the Monts d’Auvergne, Vulcania, Divonne-les-Bains, Chamonix, Val Cenis, Pinerolo (Italy) and Crest.
50 adventurers propelled by solar energy to attack the most beautiful passes of France!

Sun Trip Tour 2019

a project in partnership with EDF, EDF renewables, the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and!

Barnabé Chaillot’s low cost solar bike !

During the prologue of the Sun Trip 2018, I met Barnabé Chaillot at Le Bourget-du-Lac Campground: He also accompanied the solar bike caravan to Chambéry. His solar bike was very unusual but I did not know his approach at that time, I discovered it according to my surf on Internet.

Barnabé wants to share his ecological ideas to protect our planet, ideas that he has put into practice for years. He chose to propagate them on the internet, among other things in the form of a YouTube channel. This video shows, step by step, how to build a very cheap solar bike, or rather a solar trailer to associate with a bike.
Whether you are planning or not building your solar bike, I invite you to look at Barnabé, to admire his ingenuity and his pedagogy, to delight you with this smile that never leaves him.

The number of subscribers in his YouTube channel attests to the interest of Internet users in his alternative practices.

David Brandenberger’s world tour with solar bike!

In July 2014, David Brandenberger (Switzerland) toured the world on a solar bike to prevent harm to the environment. He chose a trike (recumbent tricycle) for comfort with a large trailer capable of capturing a large amount of solar energy. It also allows him to carry a lot of personal business, including his guitar and photographic equipment.
In 2016, he reached Turkey after travelling to many European countries. It is now in Australia after a 31 000 km journey!
Bravo to this tireless adventurer!

Social network:

The entire itinerary of Sun Trip Tour 2019

From July 6th to 20th the course of the Sun Trip Tour 2019 consists of 8 stages, always the same principle of freedom of route between each point. The course stretches on 1200 to 1500 km according to the most probable routes, with positive gradients that could exceed the 35,000 meters for the most daring!

Step by step, this is the presentation of this solar tower of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes:

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Stage 1: Le Puy en Velay – bivouac in the Monts d'auvergne (+/-175 km)

From 6 to 7 July This introductory stage proposes a smooth start of adventure through hilly areas, in often unsung landscapes. The end of the stage will however be more robust for everyone, because the bivouac in the wilderness will be positioned on the other side of the beautiful Puy Mary. The exact location will be presented later. Immediate displacement ensured with this dive in what the center of France has more beautiful.

Stage 2: Bivouac – Vulcania/Riom Limagne & Volcanoes (+/-100 km)

July 8th to 9th. The idea of this step is simple: propose a nearly complete ascent of the massif of the Monts d'auvergne! The participants playing the "challenge of the best climber" will find there a dream field to score big points, while those who want to avoid the mountains can shoot to the plain of Clermont-Ferrand. The 8 July accommodation will be held at Saint-Ours clear morning, but the real stage appointment will be well on the 9th of July in the morning on the site of Vulcania!

Stage 3: Vulcania – Divonne les Bains (+/-400 km)

On July 9th, from 10am until 3pm the Sun Trip Tour will be in contact with the public of Parc Vulcania. A time of exchange and promotion of new energies. The opportunity also for the participants to know all about the volcanic activity of the mountains of Auvergne. In the middle of the afternoon the platoon was soar for the longest stage of the edition, through the departments of the Puy-de-Dôme, the Loire, the Rhône and the Ain. Two and a half days of road for 400 km relatively flat, with however the incentive to cross the mountains of Jura just before diving on Divonne-les-Bains (checkpoint at the viaduct of Cize-Bolozon).

Stage 4: Divonne les Bains – Chamonix (+/-110 km)

On 12 July and after a musical bivouac on the shores of Lake Divonne, the Solar bicycle platoon will make a stopover in Switzerland, in the centre of Geneva. The opportunity to promote the Swiss teams involved and to talk about the Sun Trip in a country passionate about solar projects (solar Impulse, solar Planet, Solar Stratos…). The return to France will be through the Green lane connecting the town of Annemasse, then the participants will have the opportunity to complicate or not the task by going up the White Valley to Chamonix.

Stage 5: Chamonix – Val Cenis (from 200 to 250 km)

July 13th to 14th. Certainly the key step for the climbers, through the mountains of Savoy Mont Blanc (Ascent of Megève, col des seizures, Cormet of Roselend, etc…). The real starting point of the Sun trip 2018 to China, Chamonix will be for the adventurers of the Sun trip Tour 2019 The real starting place of the Alpine crossing. Some might also opt for a detour by Switzerland and Italy, taking the passes of the Grand and Petit-Saint Bernard, before joining the summit of the Alps on the Col de Iseran, at 2770 m altitude! It should be noted that those who want to save their strength can opt for the Albertville plain and the Maurienne Valley.

Break Day in Haute-Maurienne Vanoise

On 15 July the participants will be able to enjoy the grandiose landscapes of Haute-Maurienne, welcomed at the Gîte Ethic CIS stages of Val Cenis. This time of relaxation will be the occasion of planned animations with our partners. Also the opportunity for possible stragglers to join the group.

Stage 6: Val Cenis – Pinerolo (+/-100 km)

A short but explosive stage, programmed on July 16! The start will be marked by a passage imposed at the Col du Mont-Cenis, at 2081 metres above sea level. A climb that should be approached in a grouped platoon, for the first time on a Sun Trip. Beyond the dam of the Lac du Mont-Cenis, the participants will descend to Suze in Italy, and from this point the most courageous can try to climb the terrible Col de Finest, whose last 10 km are not paved. Pinerolo will be the only real step outside of France, a city that has already hosted the Tour de France and that receives the tour of Italy in May 2019. The meal will be held at the boulodrome of the Veloce Club and the night in the convent of the Sisters of the Visitation Santa Maria.

Step 7: Pinerolo – Die (from 350 to 450 km)

From 17 to 19 July, this stage is certainly the least predictable of adventure. The return to France can be done either by the very difficult Col Agnel (2744 m!), or by the "Sestriere – Col de Montgenèvre" web. The Massif of the Ecrins will then be bypassed by the south (more likely) or by the north, while some might have the idea of firing to the National Park of the provençales. Opportunities to go scratching points and visit breathtaking scenery will not fail! One thing is certain, coming to Die the difficulties will be passed.

Stage 8: Die – Valencia (70 km)

A day of parade to close the loop, Saturday, July 20, 2019. The adventurers will be happy to find the plain and will be welcomed in the city centre of Valencia, capital of the Department of Drôme, a city at the crossroads of several major cycling routes in the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

A communication shot around the concept of solar bike and the Sun Trip will turn its gaze towards China, in view of the 2020 edition!

The success of the Sun Trip 2018 welcomed by the Ambassador of China

The success of the Sun Trip 2018 Lyon-Canton was yesterday hailed by the Chinese Ambassador in Paris, its excellence Zhai Jun. French adventurers Mickaël Joguet and Eric Morel, respectively 2nd and 3rd in the solar challenge, were rewarded on behalf of all the participants.

This ceremony was organized at the opening of the 2nd forum of new silk roads, in the presence of Alain Galliano (Vice-President of Greater Lyon), Xing Qu (Deputy Director General of UNESCO), Pascal Boniface (President IRIS), Christian Cambon (Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee) and Xinchen Deng (European representative of our Chinese partner WAE Logistics).

New participants in the Sun Trip Tour 2019

The portraits of 8 new Suntripers are published! Four of them had participated in the Sun Trip 2017, we had rode together: Jean-Louis The Super Fighter, Ryan who had repaired his trailer with old recycled skis, Francis and his trike "Tribellule", Alain who had unfortunately to give up because technical problems.
Welcome to the 4 new suntripers : Rain, Fabrice, Michel and Dario!
About forty participants are known, there are still a dozen more that we will soon discover.
For we will be 50 to take the start, on July 6 next in Le Puy-en-Velay, a record!

Étienne Sauze's solar journey across Europe

By chance, I have just discovered the solar bike journey of Étienne Sauze who travelled Europe taking care to visit each of the 28 European capitals. Gone in May 2015, his 7-month journey was rich in encounters and discoveries. Another fine example of ecomobility, associated here with a positive message about Europe, its richness and its cultural diversity. Read MORE:

Solar panels on a bike! How?

Installing a solar panel on a bike may sound simple at first. But if we want to do long distances, we are tempted to embark a large area of solar panels and the installation becomes more complex. The creativity of each suntriper has given birth to many original solutions.
The table below shows the variety of combinations selected by the participants in the different editions of the Sun Trip.

Position of solar panels
Bike Type at the front roofing at the back on trailer
2 wheel bike classic Bike + ++++
tandem +
cargo bike ++++ + + ++
recumbent bike ++++ ++
3 wheel bike trike ++++ +
tandem trike ++++

In the Sun Trip, the regulation allows a surface of solar panels of not more than 2, 5m ², for a maximum power of 450Wc (visible panels). The installation of such a panel surface is not simple and can also steer the choice of the type of bike: tandem, cargo bike, reclining bike, recumbent tricycle (trike), or encourage to add a trailer. The constraints encountered sometimes require the designer to install a lower surface of panels, at the expense of the vehicle’s autonomy.

On the reclining/seated tandem of Raf van Hulle, the seating position at the front is sacrificed to accommodate a panel, supplemented by other panel on trailer (Sun Trip 2013, 2015, 2018). This front layout is found on cargo bikes, except for the cargo bike experienced in 2013 by Lionel Candille with roofing panels. In 2018, Éric Morel had a sign attached to the back of his cargo bike.

On recumbent bikes and trikes, the panels are frequently installed in “roofing” and are sometimes supplemented by a trailer panel.

On conventional bikes, the panels are very frequently installed on a trailer.

One exception, Daniel Jenni installed his “roofing” Panel on a classic bike for the Sun Trip 2018.

Sun Trip 2018 trailer !

The Sun Trip's organizing team today publishes a video that traces the incredible adventure experienced by the participants of the 2018 edition, from Lyon to Guangzhou in China, 12000 kilometers of efforts, wonders, discoveries, encounters, under the sun or in the rain, in the wind…
An adventure that has transformed them all, and that shows us the efficiency of this new form of mobility on solar bike!

A must see:

Blog or social network of the participants of the Sun Trip 2018

To relive the emotions of the Sun trip 2018 or follow personal news, here is the list of the social network or blog of each Sun trip 2018 participant.

     Prénom   Nom  Pays  Blog ou réseau social  
Raf Van Hulle
Mickaël Joguet
Éric Morel
Stéphane Bertrand
Herman Segers
Jack Butler
Laurent Souchet
Auguste Colle
Camille Colle
Romain Neauport
Daniel Jenni
Dirk Huyghe
Peter Helsen
Thierry Rassat
Françoise Denel
Michael Polak
Catherine Pozzobon
Didier Pozzobon
Youssef El Haouass
Mohamed Saïd Jeberi
François Médalle
Gilles Coural
J-Claude Viguier
Corinne Courvalin
Gregory Lewyllie
Eymeric Thuliez
Juergen Burkholz
Patrice Plozner
Paul Baudry
Lionnel Serra
Alain Viguier
Bernard & Yann Cauquil
Justin Lemire-Elmore
Anne-Sophie Rodet
Michel Bamps

For Gregory Lewyllie, the end of Sun Trip 2018!

Curiously, for several days, the GPS trace of Gregory Lewyllie did not progress. Was it a time of rest? Well no, Gregory was the victim of a bike fall, here’s what he just published on his Facebook account:
“Over the past two weeks, I have enjoyed my gratitude throughout Laos.” It was almost too good to be true… Just before the final farewells and on the way to Cambodia, fate unfortunately struck. I lost control of my bike on a narrow path along the Mekong, and I fell 10 meters lower. I broke my right shoulder! After a lot of thought about the situation, I decided to temporarily stop the trip and go home. I have stored all my equipment here and I hope to return in 2019 to continue the trip. I am comforted at the idea that it could have been much worse and that this is not the end of the solar Bamboe bike trip. »
Best wishes for a good recovery to Grégory Lewyllie!

The video is impressive: we understand the height of his fall by seeing the inhabitants recover his bike. It is easy to imagine that the consequences of this accident could have been much worse:

Gregory Lewyllie still on the way

Gone in June on his bamboo solar bike, Gregory Lewyllie continues his journey through Laos. He attended for a week at a Buddhist festival in Luang Prabang (World Heritage of Humanity – Unesco).
On the eve of November, he is crossing the province of Xieng Khouang and his GPS track shows that he takes time to discover the country.