Sun Trip Tour: the atmosphere of July 6th in photo!

Find all the atmosphere of the first day of the Sun trip Tour 2019 in the photo album of July 6th: the presentation of the bikes on the place of the Town Hall of Puy-en-Velay, the first kilometers through the landscapes of the Haute-Loire, the valley of Allier until Saint-Flour.

Pictures + short videos:

Sun Trip Tour: review of distances and height differences

This Sun Trip Tour 2019 was slightly sportier than the 2017 edition, a little more kilometers and more altitude. But everyone had the freedom to choose the easiest or most difficult routes. And the suntripers who dreamed of winning the challenge of the best climber had to blow up their counters, especially for the elevations more than for the distances! For me, the routes were constrained by the different repairs to be done more by the sporting challenges. But I still managed to pass passes deemed difficult, such as the Col de Finestre and Col d'Agnel, with beautiful landscapes.

Date juilletDépartArrivéeDuréeDistanceDénivelé+Trace GPS
3DijonL'Arbresle06:38201 km1410 m
6Le-Puy-enVelaySaint-Flour05:47102 km1867 m
7Saint-FlourCheylade03:5061 km1137 m
8CheyladeSaint-Ours05:56116 km1938 m
9Saint-OursL'Arbresle07:26188 km1699 m
10L'ArbresleVillars-les-Dombes02:3154 km392 m
11Villars-les-DombesDivonne-les-Bains05:52134 km1666 m
12Divonne-les-BainsChamonix07:14133 km1809 m
13ChamonixBourg-St-Maurice06:45126 km3032 m
14Bourg-St-MauriceLanslebourg04:1480 km2280 m
16LanslebourgPinerolo05:48113 km2658 m
17PineroloMolines-en-Queyras07:58124 km2664 m
18Molines-en-QueyrasAspres-sur-Buëch05:06136 km2311 m
19Aspres-sur-BuëchCrest02:59102 km719 m
20CrestValence01:1436 km216 m
TOTAL1 781 km26 170 m

To take the train with a solar bike !

The after Sun Trip Tour: from Valence to Dijon via Châlon-sur-Saône

On July 20th, I leave Valence in TER to join Châlon-sur-Saône. I use the idea that guided the design of my solar vehicle: to take the train. Principles: – a standard bike is always accepted in the TER and in some TGV, – the trailer is acceptable with the panel vertically, it does not take more space than a bike. For the moment, I have taken the train a dozen times in France and Switzerland, I have never been opposed to refusal.

If necessary, we can reduce the length by sliding the 3rd panel on the 2nd, in less than 10 minutes.

In some trains (TGV and Lyria), we can create the equivalent of a cover with trash bags and big scotch (and for the bike, disassembly of the wheels, and when I have the time, pedals and handlebars before putting it in a bag).

July 21, I finish cycling back to Dijon, at 34 km/h average speed.

From Divonne-les-Bains to Chamonix

Sun Trip Tour 2019 – 7th day
We start from Divonne-les-Bains in procession, then we scatter each at our own pace. Some choose the main route with a simple route, others prefer the route drawn by Vécolo, on small roads with calmer traffic, but more tortuous. The sun is full, and our batteries remain 100% charged throughout the day.

At the end of the afternoon, telling a bike shop, I decided to have my rear derailleur adjusted. But bad luck gets involved: the young mechanic can not do it, too bad, I'm leaving. But I will discover a few miles later that the controller does not work anymore: I can not change gears. It's past 7pm, the store no longer answers the phone. I have the morale in the socks because we have to attack a long coast to Chamonix. Ralf and Jean cheer me up, they will accompany me to destination whatever happens. By hand, I install the chain on the largest pinion and we begin the climb. Halfway through, a village party allows us to regain strength. We arrive at the cottage around 21:20 where we will be greeted by the cheers of other sun-trapters!

Copyright Zeppelin

From Villars-les-Dombes to Divonne-les-Bains

SunTripTour2019 – July 11th, 6th day In the crossing of the Dombes until the Ain, I appreciated the adobe buildings (groomed earth in a banche) and in the walls, the use of the pebbles in a decorative way in association with the brick. This morning, veiled sun, the panels produce 50W, it is necessary to roll with precaution, not to push the assistance. The improvement of the mid-day does not continue the afternoon, too bad! The itinerary prepared by Vécolo, through fields and woods, is very pleasant. But after a few kilometers of chaotic dirt road along a river, we decide to find a more rolling track. The Komoot application takes us on small roads without traffic, it's a treat. And this is how we find Olivier and Norbert, Catherine and Jean-Michel, who also use this application. Arrival in Divonne-les-Bains: Ann, Peter and I arrive together, we are interviewed by a lady very interested in our bikes; she posts her video immediately on Instagram. Thanks to the city of Divonne-les-Bains for giving us this hearty meal! PS: surprise at 3am: automatic watering starts on the beach, it's panic in the camp. Norbert and Olivier are the most affected, their duvets sound soaked. Benoit takes a laugh. Bikes have nothing. I am relieved because in a half sleep, the crackling of jets made me think of a battery fire.

From L'Arbresle to … Villars-les-Dombes

Sun Trip Tour 2019 – July 10, Day 5 A day like the others: this morning, the attachment of my trailer broke (Dirke had noted this weak point while examining my bike), it is normal, the diameter of the bolt was too weak. I continued to Villefranche-sur-Saone by fixing the drawbar with 2 Rilsan (these necklaces are great!). Finally, I imagined a solution that will be more durable, I hope: at a garage I soldered the fastener directly on the wheel nut. Thanks to this welder who saved me! I make a break for various repairs and suddenly, I drive little: 25 km in the morning and 30 km in the evening. Cherry on the cake: I have new shoes, it's great because by dint of braking with the feet, the others had more sole! Life is beautiful …… until tomorrow! And tomorrow, what will be the challenge, the problem situation?

From Saint-Ours – Vulcania Park, in L'Arbresle

4th day of the Sun Trip Tour: 9th of July A beautiful morning at the Vulcania Park, the public discovered all the prototypes of solar bikes, we took advantage of the Park's animations. Special mention for the packed lunch with local and artisan dishes served in glass containers. Departure by caravan then the 55 participants scattered to follow varied routes: we have indeed 3 days to arrive at Divonne-les-bains, about 325 km. I traced straight through Thiers where I met Christophe Bayard and Silvia Plozner. Thanks to a faithful sun throughout the day, I managed to reach L'Arbresle at 20:30, after 187km of road. Nice day, the heat wave has finally left it helps to pedal!

From Cheylade to Saint-Ours-les-Roches

Sun Trip Tour – July 8, 2019: Everyone cares about this day of 120 km with a lot of elevation. Me, I have other concerns, in the first place, my brake pads that weaken again: after an hour of driving, I am forced to brake with feet to go down to Condat! Fortunately, Gilbert and Jean de Vécolo are waiting for me: they have been warned of my worries by my friends. Thanks to them, I can find in Super-Besse 3 pairs of pads of the right model! I warmly thank Fred of VTT ÉVASION for having kept in his store these plates became vintage today. Thanks to Vécolo's friends without whom rescue would not have been possible! But another surprise awaits me: my solar panels no longer produce 1 Watt! I put 1 hour to find the fault: the fuses of my solar regulators melted to the heat. I beckon on the side of the road, it is Gisele who saves me by offering me two beautiful new fuses. Thank you Gisele! It is almost 13:30 and I have 100 km and a lot of altitude! I will arrive at my destination at 8 pm, in extremis for the meal!

From Saint-Flour to the Cascades Lake in Cheylade

Sun Trip Tour- July 7, 2019
Today, the stage in Cantal is short, without significant elevation. We cross wild landscapes, villages with old houses in volcanic stone in various shades, from warm brown to gray. I think of the times when these villages were populated and productive, around agriculture, handicrafts and small industries. My bike pulls me from my daydreams, he recalls to me: the brakes work less and less well, despite the pad sanding done this morning. I am forced to brake with the foot and it heats strongly in the shoe!

In the evening, we all meet for a bivouac around the lake of Cascades Cheylade. While the sun recharges our batteries, swimming refreshes us and allows us to do a bit of washing. The day ends with a dinner on the terrace of a restaurant at the lake, in a cheerful atmosphere.

From Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Flour

Sun Trip Tour – July 6, 2019
After the speech of the elected officials and Florian Bailly, this is the long-awaited departure: we jump on the road, impatient, some are wrong itinerary, retrace their steps. Finally, we drive through these landscapes of Haute-Loire, between woods, moors and fields … Wild and rough atmosphere. Suddenly arise basaltic organs at the bottom of the valley of the Allier. Further on, there are other groups of sun-trapers, stopped around a beer. At the end of the day, the campsite welcomes cyclists who are tired and happy.

Sun Trip Tour, the big start!

Sun Trip Tour – July 6, 2019
We are 55 solar cyclists to start this morning from Le Puy-en-Velay: each suntripeur installs his solar bike on the Place de l'Hotel de Ville in an atmosphere of excitement and enthusiasm . A great animation reigns, the exchanges with the public are rich, the passionate conversations …

Speech of elected officials, presentation of the Sun Trip by Florian Bailly:

A beautiful atmosphere of enthusiasm, sharing with the public. The happiness of finally embarking on this adventure, to finally take the road after months of work, preparation, tests, joys, disappointments sometimes and always creativity!

Training for the 2019 Sun Trip Tour

In May: first technical test outlets to bring out any weaknesses of design, make improvements that will then be tested in turn (~ 1000 km approximately).
In June: outings to train the cyclist and test the machine on long journeys(~ 2600 km approximately).

Ver en pantalla completa

H : mn

From San Daniele del Friuli (Italy) to Nötsch im Gailtal (Austria), by Tarvisio

Preparing for the Sun Trip Tour – June 14
Today, I begin my journey back to France, while Daniele stays here, in Italy. I start the day by misleading myself. When I realize it, I say "not serious, in a few kilometers, I'll be on the right track again". But suddenly, I have to climb, climb, climb a terribly steep coast that never ends. The engine heats up! And at each turn of the road, inscriptions painted on the parapets and the road itself. I will know later that the Giro 2018 has been there: 3 km to 11%.
But I am rewarded for this unexpected detour: arrived on the ridge, I have a magnificent view of the Tagliamo valley and its turquoise waters.
Further, I take this beautiful bike path, from Campiolo to Tarvisio, on an old railway. Very gentle climb in the greenery, punctuated by refreshing tunnels, bridges with impressive panoramas, dotted with abandoned railway stations.
After Tarvisio, a few more kilometers and you have to think about finding a campsite. I have to climb and sweat to find a nice campsite. Campers are interested in my solar bike, beer and friendliness are waiting for you!

Excursion from San Daniele del Friuli to Grado, for a swim in the sea!

Sun trip tour preparation – June 13
After a 1500 km journey, we are now entitled to a well-deserved rest day, right? Daniele offers me to go to the sea, to Grado precisely. The idea pleases me, here we go, with our solar bikes lightened weight luggage. In the morning freshness, we go on country roads and bike paths. We cross Palmanova, an amazing star-shaped fortified town with 9 branches, surrounded by moats, built at the end of the 16th century. Monumental doors allow us to enter and exit.

Shortly before Grado, we go along the lagoon for several kilometers in a wind carrying marine fragrances. The sea is coming! Swimming and lunch. Back to town pace, pushed by a friendly wind. Stop at Aquileia which was one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire. We admire the Byzantine basilica founded at the beginning of the 4th century, which houses Romanesque frescoes from the 12th century, while enjoying ice cream and pastry ….
Review of the day: 150 km traveled at 27 km / h, charging 660 Wh (the battery remains full!)

Last stage from Oberdrauburg (Austria) to San Daniele del Friuli (Italy) by Tarvisio

Preparation for the Sun Trip Tour 2019 – June 12
After a solid breakfast, we leave Oberdrauburg to attack a small pass. No worries, a few hundred meters of altitude difference, with fresh calves. We leave the Drava Valley to follow a parallel valley. The sun gives and on this road without traffic and flat, we run at a brisk pace. Soon we arrive in Italy, in Tarvisio. Daniele announces 40 km of descent, on an old railway converted into a bike path! And indeed, it's great: we hardly need to pedal. We take our time, we savor the beautiful landscapes! The bike path runs through old train stations. Some are decommissioned, others rehabilitated in cafes. Great, it is the occasion of a contemplative pause accompanied by a tasting of local pastry … The route of this railroad takes bridges a little dizzying. As for the many tunnels, they give us a welcome freshness and plunge us into a mysterious atmosphere. Then, we leave the mountains, we arrive in the plain crossed by the turquoise waters of Tagliamo. I would like to take a break to bathe. But Daniele accelerates, he approaches the goal of this journey, the house of his family in San Daniele del Friuli. No need to fight against this call … Yet I make a short stop: impossible not to stop at the edge of this lake unreal blue! Daniele understands. Finally, in the last rays of the sun, on a place at the top of the city, I discovered the majestic home of Daniele's parents. I realize that we have reached the end of our journey!

From Aicha (Italy) to Oberdrauburg (Austria) via the Puster Valley and the Drava Valley

Preparation Sun Trip Tour 2019 – 11th June
This morning we depart from Aicha, in South Tyrol, Italy, and we ascend quietly to the East, towards East Tyrol in Austria. I have already driven 2 times in this green valley, each time with great pleasure, this 3rd time is no exception: it is an enchantment, a succession of short climbs followed by crossings of meadows, woods, villages .. . We walk along a lake. And snow-capped peaks on each side, as if to guide you, prevent you from getting lost … a pure happiness. Suddenly, Daniele stops in front of me and plague in Italian! What is going on ? Oh I see… we have to cross a ford of 50 or 60 cm of water, maybe more, we do not know. I leap boldly, phew, it's past! But Daniele refuses to pass, he fears for his engine and his battery. He prefers to face the road traffic. He will admit later that it was the most unpleasant road of all his trip: trucks and cars touch to touch, without respite. Daniele and I are therefore road apart for a moment, but no risk of getting lost because now we have the telephone network! In San Candido, we meet a couple of Austrians who invite us to their house for a snack: coffee, beer, brioche … Very nice moment! We finish our journey in an inn in Oberdrauburg, at the foot of the pass that we will pass tomorrow. It was time! A storm of hail and rain is unleashed. Thank you Daniele for having preferred this old inn to the village campsite.

From Innsbrück (Austria) to Aicha (Italy) via the Brenner pass

Preparation of the Sun Trip Tour – June 10
After Innsbrück, the climb to the Brenner pass attacks from the start at 11 or 12%. We advance to 6 km / h and it makes much heat our Direct Drive technology engines (95 ° C for mine!). At times, Daniele pushes his bike to avoid overheating. During breakfast, the sun had recharged my battery and I thought it would last all day. But very quickly, I was disappointed. Further on, we walked along the valley on a really charming road for cyclists, crossing hamlets, meadows and villages. Real roller coasters, steep descents followed by equally steep climbs. While Daniele was cursing, I savored the landscapes. The arrival at the pass was the occasion of a memorable video selfie. The descent of the pass, on the Italian bike paths, was a real pleasure, despite our referral errors and very narrow baffles.

From Wildhaus to Innsbrück via the Arlbergpass: I meet my teammate!

Preparation for the Sun Trip Tour – June 9th
Without a telephone network, we managed to reconnect last night, Daniele and me, thanks to WhatsApp and the WiFi of the campsite. This morning, I drive 40 km to join him and resume our journey together. We will try not to lose ourselves anymore! A few tens of kilometers down the valley then we attack the Albergpass. The landscapes are always beautiful even if the sun is missing. I set the engine assistance to minimum to save battery power. Short appearances of the sun, by chance in the steepest climbs. If it does not give a lot of watts, it at least boosts morale. Snowy landscapes at the col. Then nice descent, the wheels warm up and suddenly, I worry about exploding the tube (it happened to me in tandem!). For a future trip, I may be equipped with tubeless tires or disc brakes … Balance: 172 km, 1500 m of elevation gain, almost 600 Wh of solar charge (so average sunshine).

From Frick to Wildhaus (Switzerland): how do I lose my teammate!

Preparation of the Sun Trip Tour – June 8th
Daniele repaired his brakes at the campsite which had a very well equipped workshop. We leave shortly before noon. A beautiful day is coming: a blue sky, a sun full of watts, wind in the back! We ride together, Daniele on the road, and me on the bike path along the road. Switzerland is full of attention for its cyclists! But sometimes these bike paths move away from the road to join after a village, for example. But all of a sudden, I realize that it's been a while since we've lost sight of each other. Nothing serious, you will tell me, a little phone call or SMS to meet. Unfortunately, it happens today that I change my telephone network operator. So, it was impossible to join us to tell us where we were. I find nice Swiss people ready to help me out: they agree to join Daniele with their cellphone. But Daniele does not answer, I leave a voice message at random (I'll know the next day he believed in harassment advertising!). Further, in a service station equipped with Wifi, I try with Whatsap and email. In vain ! After all these unsuccessful attempts, I resolve to resume my journey. I am the GPS track concocted by Daniele, without knowing if he was in front or behind me. At least we drive in the same direction, on the same road.

The scenery is beautiful, with snowy mountain scenery, scenic bike paths. The day of sun gives a max, more than 1000 Wh, she would have given much more if my battery had not been full by 8am. My 330Wp solar panels work wonders. At the end of the afternoon, I roll by tilting them well to better capture the evening sun. Arrived at a campsite, the wifi and WhatsApp allow me finally to reconnect with Daniele. He is 40 km ahead of me and will sleep in Lichtenstein. Phew, we'll meet again tomorrow morning!

From Lomont (Haute-Saône) to Frick (Switzerland) by Basel

Preparation of the Sun Trip Tour – June 7th
Another excellent day that took us from Lomont in Haute-Saône to Frick in Switzerland. From small roads to cycle paths, we reached Alsace. Change of scenery ! But it was on entering Basel that we really entered another world, with a real place given to cyclists in the city. Awesome! The storm had threatened all afternoon but the tent was already planted when the rain began to fall around 20h.
What ask for more ?