A solar bike for people with reduced mobility!

The Benur bicycle meets the travel needs of people with reduced mobility. Its ramp at the rear allows independent access with a wheelchair and, if necessary, to take a passenger.
Going to work, shopping, taking children to school, going to the cinema, everything is possible with Benur! And thanks to its removable bench, it can also carry heavy loads.
The Benur bike is available in a version with a solar roof, which allows the battery to be recharged throughout the day.
Learn more: https://benur.net/

This bike is developed by a company that hosted the Sun Trip on its premises on July 30, 2020.

Preparation of the Sun Trip Europe in April

Obviously, this month of April will have been marked by the re-containment and the limit of 10 km around the home! Luckily, half of my perimeter was surrounded by nature and was quite hilly. It was also the opportunity to discover or rediscover side roads and small forgotten roads … I saw spring unfold visibly, despite an episode of snow and night frost.

By knitting in this perimeter, I increased the distance covered each week. For my longest outing, I managed to do a 200 km lap with 2600m of vertical drop!
April ends with rain! Suddenly, the bike remains in the garage and I take this opportunity to refine the itinerary for this summer and publish a few articles.

Date GPS Dist.
h : mn
24/04 164 5:42 28,9 2355 1902
24/04 203 6:49 29,7 2732 2327
23/04 104 3:38 28,6 1372 1178
15/04 81 3:06 26,1 1175 633
10/04 71 2:48 25,4 825 159
08/04 52 2:00 27,9 670 171
02-04 232 8:40 26,8 2545 2010
Avril 908 32:19 28,1 11674 8380

A solar bike for the family!

While Suntripers design their bikes for long distance travel, other people imagine a more urban solar bike, for everyday use, for family use.

This is the case of the Vhélio association which wishes to promote an alternative to the car. She designed a solar vehicle that allows getting around in a practical, economical and ecological way. The vehicle can transport 2 adults and 2 children, and it has storage space (for shopping and more …).

In addition, the objective of the association is to provide the plans and the list of parts to allow everyone to build their own solar vehicle (VhéliO’tech). The finalization of the design of the VhéliO’tech kits is the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, to be found here .

The Vhélio in the media:

One solar bike capable of carrying several people!

 Grégory Barrier, initiator of the Vhélio project!

Vhélio, the solar kit bike, designed in Orléans!

 An Orléans collective is launching Vhélio, a solar bike to build yourself.

An engineer from Orleans fits a solar charger on his bike.

Preparation of the Sun Trip Europe (March)

At the end of March, I took advantage of a period of full sun to restart my solar bike. I was able to carry out 3 outings before confinement, with several objectives:
– test the various modifications or repairs carried out on the bike this winter,
– get used to pedaling again for a whole day,
– test different settings to better manage engine consumption (my average consumption in Wh / km on the Sun Trip France in 2020 was quite high).

Another objective, not the least, was to take advantage of this beautiful spring atmosphere by visiting the Côte-d’Or and the Saône-et-Loire.


Date GPS Dist.
D +
h: mn
24-03  188 1625 6:45 27.8 2129 1722
31-03  210 1975 7:44 27.2 2354 1982
02-04  232 1590 8:40 26.8 2545 2010

Solar production

In this season, the solar radiation is obviously less strong than in summer, the available energy is about 60% of what it is in July. If during the summer of 2020 I collected around 3000 Wh / d on the best days, here I have recovered up to 2000 Wh / d, which is already not so bad.
The solar charge was increased thanks to the absence of wind which made it possible to ride with the panels tilted at the start and end of the day. But the wooded parts of the course made it difficult to catch the light, even with trees without leaves!

Engine consumption

To maintain a balance between consumption and production, I tested different settings in the Cycle Analyst depending on the terrain (maximum speed, maximum power, etc.)
On the first ride, I used too little the battery in the morning. So much so that during the meal break, with the panels perfectly oriented, my battery recharged very quickly. At half-time during the break, I had the feeling of “losing” this precious solar energy which could no longer enter my full battery!
During the next 2 outings, I corrected the shooting by increasing the speed in the morning and therefore the fuel consumption. Downtime is in fact privileged moments of charging when the panels can be perfectly oriented towards the sun.

Balance sheet

Overall, I managed to balance production and consumption until 5:30 p.m., then production became too low to cover consumption. And no question of reducing consumption: I had to be home by 7 p.m., curfew time!

A regional edition: the Breizh Sun Trip!

The “Breizh Sun Trip” will take place in Brittany from June 27 to July 7, 2021. This tour will offer ten stages, from 60 to 120 km, to discover some of the most beautiful sites in the region, in the cities, on the coast or inland.
About thirty participants are already pre-registered!

Here is an overview of the route in preparation, from Lorient to Saint-Malo!

If you are interested in joining the group, register on this form: https://forms.gle/dJY2K6onKWE6H7U46

Sun Trip 2021: discovering Europe!

In spring 2020, the departure for China had been postponed to 2021. Unfortunately, the global health situation still does not allow such a destination.
It is the reason why the 2021 edition of the Sun Trip will take place in Europe! We all hope that spring will bring an improvement in the health situation and a relaxation within the European area.

After a prologue between Lyon and Brussels in the first half of June, the big start will be given in mid-June in Brussels for an arrival in Lyon in less than 100 days. Participants will have to go through 5 compulsory check-points:
– Stockholm in Sweden,
– Constantza in Romania,
– the Passo dello Stelvio in Italy,
– the Pico del Veleta in Spain,
– Porto in Portugal.

Between these compulsory passage points, participants are free to choose their route.
Some countries are essential: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, Portugal.
But in Eastern Europe in particular, many alternative routes are possible between Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria …

Voir en plein écran

Solar bikes in Corsica, with Vécolo association

Cycling as therapy is an objective pursued by the Grenoble-based association Vécolo, which promotes a return to sports. To encourage people to resume physical activity after a long battle with illness or medical treatment, she organized a challenge on the road to GT20 (Grande Traversée). A bike ride through Corsica, which took place in 8 stages from Bastia to Ajaccio, with nearly 500 kilometers covered for more than 8,000 meters of vertical drop.

© viatelepaese.tv

In total, 16 participants took part in this first edition, which was held from September 19 to 27, 2020. All were equipped with an electric bicycle, in order to offer more autonomy and mobility to everyone, everything. by enhancing self-esteem.
Beyond physical and mental performance, this challenge is a vector of social diversity. The different stages were punctuated by moments of conviviality, which united the whole group.
Interview with Jean Bizet, member of the association, and Christophe Bayard, project manager.

Nice meeting in Bresse

Saint-Germain-du-Bois, 4 p.m.

I sip a soda in the shade of a bistro. Someone is walking down the street. Seeing my bike, all panels exposed to the sun, he stops. And he looks for his owner on the terrace.
Here we are at a table and we are talking about cycling. Tanguy has been riding a bicycle or electric trike for more than a decade, as have his 3 children. For all their trips: work, studies, shopping etc …
His solar panels are installed on the roof of his house, not on the bikes!

Note that Tanguy wears a motorcycle helmet and a motorcycle airbag vest to protect himself from cars … in memory of a bad experience.
Bravo Tanguy, for your radical commitment to the planet!

Beautiful meetings in Switzerland

In Lausanne, a deviation from the cycle path leads me into inextricable meanders with my long trailer. I pity, I tell myself that I would have done better to follow the road.
However, after an umpteenth detour, surprise! Under a bridge, I discovered Emmanuelle’s installation. It intrigues me … Is it Contemporary Art? I question her.

Emmanuelle finds that people live isolated, they cannot imagine how much they would gain from being in contact, sharing, helping each other, exchanging, in order to achieve their dreams. So, she decided to launch here, under this bridge, a solidarity sharing scholarship. Everyone is invited to write down their dream, the help they would need to make this dream come true, and everything they can give to others.

I start to write my contribution when Nanga arrives by bike also stops and discusses. Born of a Congolese father and Angolan mother, both of the same ethnic group, Nanga is acutely aware of the artificial boundaries drawn between men, of the links that have been lost …
Emmanuelle, bravo for your project which sparks meetings and exchanges!

– Are you doing the Sun Trip? this cyclist asks me.
– You know the Sun Trip ??? I asked him.
I will discover that she is the sister-in-law of Paul Baudry, a Suntripeur from Plouguerneau!


In Divonne-les-Bains, meeting with a family of English cyclists attracted by my bike: Tom, Joe, Anna, May, Katy, Esther, Sam …
Have nice holidays!

Just before the French border, in a café in Saint-Cergue, Siméon asks me about my solar bike. We are also talking about the other bikes on the Sun Trip. Automotive engineer, he is very interested in the concept of transmission known as “series hybrid” of the bikes of Edgar Tournon and Bernard Cauquil.

And a big thank you to Simeon for paying for my soda. He saved me while I was grappling with a restaurant manager, barking every word: I had no Swiss money and she refused my credit card!

On the way back home from # SunTrip2020 #SunTripFrance

Installing solar panels on a bike

Installing signs on a bicycle raises many problems. The solutions are many and varied, as we can see during the various Sun Trips.
The designer is led to make choices, according to his priorities, his taste and his budget.
Most often, priority is given to a type of bike (classic, recumbent, cargo bike, trike …) the solar equipment will then have to adapt to it.

But sometimes, other constraints are chosen as priorities and guide the design:
– have a large solar surface, to capture a maximum of energy,
– have a large capacity battery, to store more energy in poor weather,
– design a very light vehicle to easily climb the mountains,
– design a very solid vehicle, to avoid breakage during long journeys,
– have a foldable vehicle easily for transport.

We dream of the ideal vehicle, light, solid, powerful, with a long range. Very quickly, you realize that all these wishes conflict with each other. Increasing the surface area of ​​the panels and the supporting structure contributes to weighing down the vehicle. Likewise, with increasing battery capacity. Lightening the vehicle as much as possible can make it too fragile to face the road and vibrations.

Since 2017, I wanted to have a vehicle that can be taken by train: I opted for a classic bike and a folding single-wheel trailer. In 2018, I tested a folding bike with a foldable trailer to be able to take the vehicle on international buses. The maximum area of ​​panels that I managed to install on a trailer was 1.5m², corresponding to a power of 300Wp.

I have not explored the possibility of installing panels on the bike, on the roof, as did Daniel Jeni during the Sun Trip 2018. Maybe I would try this idea one day?

Preparation of the Sun Trip 2020 Lyon-Canton

I wanted to have the maximum authorized solar surface, 2.5m². For this I first considered using a cargo bike and then a tandem.
Finally, it was thanks to Guillaume Devot of Déclic Eco that the idea of ​​using a recumbent bike came to life. Installing 1m² of panels on the bike completes the 1.5m² of trailer panels.
But a concern remained: would this configuration be easy to drive on the road, even in the case of a strong side wind? Experience has shown me that it is.

It remains for me to test the efficiency and solidity of the supporting structure of the panels on the bike.
The trailer structure has proven itself in 2018 and 2019 over 6000 km. It’s reassuring because I could observe that the vibrations and shocks of the road, over thousands of kilometers, really test the load-bearing structure of the panels.

For learn more about choices adopted by other participants in the various Sun Trips

D-5 before the Sun Trip France!

In the last issue of Télérama magazine, the article entitled “Happy traveling differently” offers the reader to “give character” to his vacation by visiting Bourgogne-Franche Comté.
For my last test trips, I followed this advice with a tour of Southern Burgundy. Because testing your solar bike does not prevent you from discovering the heritage and the landscapes!
The excellent sunshine of yesterday allowed me to cover 207 km in just over 6 hours.

July 8:

July 7:

Training with the Solarduino Bike 2020 solar bike

Two months is the time, from May 11 (deconfinement) to July 11, to test and test my new solar vehicle. You have to work hard!
The challenge # 1: taming the recumbent bike, for me it’s brand new! Know its road behavior with the solar roof, with the trailer, in turns, potholes, in gusts of wind.
I also have to test the mechanical part, in particular the supports of the solar panels on the bike as on the trailer.
Finally, I need to know my new engine, its performance, its consumption …
A beautiful program!

Voir en plein écran

Date GPS Dist.
H : mn
08-07 207 1290 06:11 33,5 1536 2456 4,1
07-07 103 800 03:08 32,9 707 1264 2,3
01-07 82 965 03:00 27,3 592 985 8,7
30-06 132 1245 4:15 31 881 955
27-06 55 768 1:55 28,5 370 424
26-06 72 430 2:19 31,1 465 441
23-06 157 1395 5:15 29,8 1085 2171
20-06 63 170 1:44 36,3 420 76
19-06 29 130 0:51 33,4 208 52
17-06 108 617 3:21 32,1 713 443
16-06 65 570 2:04 31,1 461 287
15-06 72 590 3:20 25,2
24-05 111 710 4:20 25,4
21-05 93 705 4:25 21
H : mn

The Sun Trip 2020 will finally happen in France!

The Sun Trip France will take place this summer 2020, from July 14 to August 9. The start will be in Lyon, with an arrival in Albertville. Thank you to the organizing team for their energy and responsiveness!

The route represents a 3000 km loop, divided into 7 stages. Some stages will be long, up to 850 km, other stages will allow participants to ride in groups (notably in Brittany, in Tourmalet and in the Alps). The route will also offer optional crossing points.

Learn more and / or register: Sun Trip France

Sun Trip 2020 France-China will not happen !

Today is June 1 that we were to set off for China!
For months, all of us, solar cyclists registered for the 2020 edition of the Sun Trip, have imagined ourselves en route to Guangzhou (Canton) in China. We dreamed of the countries we were going to cross. For some Turkey, Uzbekistan, for others Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and for all, China. We imagined discoveries, meetings, happiness and perhaps some misfortunes …

The images of the 2018 edition had largely contributed to fuel our imagination:

But the Sun Trip 2020 will not take place as we had dreamed!
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic!

Despite everything, the Sun Trip 2020 will take place in another form! Thanks to the energy and creativity of the organizing team! It will be Franco-French, over a period of one month, with a course of 3000 km.

Anatomy and weight of my Solarduino Bike 2020 solar bike

VéloVélo Nazca Pioneer, pneus Schwalbe
Marathon Plus Tour,
moyeu Rohloff
25,5 kg
Moteur Nine Continent FH2126,0 kg
Contrôleur0,3 kg
Batterie5,5 kg
Panneaux (2)1,6 kg x 2
Cornière alu,
tube horizontal,
supports verticaux
0,9 kg x 2
0,9 kg x 1
Régulateurs solaires0,29 kg x 1
0,46 kg x 1
Câblages0,30 kg
RemorqueTimon Bob Yak1,30 kg20,8 kg
Structure remorque5,00 kg
Roue1,35 kg
Planche bagage0,55 kg
Panneaux solaires1,50 kg x 3
Cornières alu, traverses bois,
tube carbone kevlar
4,15 kg
Régulateur solaire (1)0,29 kg x 1
Régulateurs solaires (2)0,46 kg x 2
Système d'inclinaison0,80 kg
Câblage0,30 kg
et bagages
12,5 kg
Total58,8 kg

Crossing a Chinese desert, on foot and in solar mode!

I discover this amazing video made by Olivier Coste. He designed a solar powered machine to carry his equipment in a desert environment: “Solar Explorer”. In 2018, he crossed the Badain Jaran Desert in China. His vehicle allowed him to tackle the highest dunes in the world loaded with more than 150 kilos of equipment, water and food. Without such a carrying system, these arid areas would be inaccessible to a single individual. Congratulations to Olivier for this innovation!

Sun Trip 2020 preparation seminar

Preparation for the Sun Trip 2020 was organized this weekend in Lyon. It brought together 30 participants from the fifty or so registered participants and took place in an atmosphere that was studious, fascinating and friendly.
To effectively prepare for this solar bike rally, many themes were addressed:
– administrative aspects, border formalities and visas,
– possible routes and variants,
– the cultural differences of the countries crossed,
– the operation of solar bikes, the technical regulations,
– monitoring of meteorology and its impact on navigation,
– communication: video, social networks etc …

This weekend also allowed everyone to meet the other participants. There were many informal exchanges, between conferences and workshops, around meals or over a beer, at all hours of the day and night!
It was an opportunity for rich meetings between experienced suntripers and newcomers, between French and English speakers, between technicians and travelers … The enthusiasm and the joy of sharing were visible on the faces.

Saturday evening, we celebrated the Chinese New Year in the presence of the Chinese Consul in Lyon and the 3 Chinese SunTrip managers. On Sunday, Luc Giros presented his tour of Europe: more than 18,000 km traveled on the solar bike used by Mickaël Joguet during the Sun Trip 2018.

We would like to thank Florian Bailly for organizing this fruitful moment, as well as all the members of the organization who contributed to the smooth running of the event: Béatrice and Yannick, Christophe Bayard (Vécolo), Benoit Ganivet, Annick-Marie who brilliantly provided case-simultaneous translation for non-French speaking participants.

A solar bike tour in the Pyrenees on France3 TV

In the show “Faut pas rêver”, Carolina De Salvo makes us discover the landscapes of Cerdanya and its solar installations before continuing a great crossing of the Pyrenees to Aragon in Spain.
Carolina’s journey begins on an old train to the isolated Estavar station. She joined Bernard Cauquil, inventor of a tandem that runs on solar energy. At the handlebars of the Twin Dragon Fly, Carolina continues her journey thanks to the sun, a wealth of this region where it shines more than 320 days a year! In Mont-Louis, she meets Denis who demonstrates the first solar oven in the world.

[Extract from the program dedicated to the solar bike]

Carolina continues her journey marked by unforgettable encounters, placed under the sign of the unconditional love of those who live in the heart of the Pyrenees!
[Link to the full show in replay ” Faut Pas Rêver: for love of the Pyrenees “ broadcast on Wednesday January 15 on France 3]

The Sun Trip 2020 in L’Équipe.fr magazine

Today, a very nice article on the Sun Trip was published by L'Équipe magazine. Find the full article online at: https://www.lequipe.fr.

Here are some extracts below:
“In June, Sun Trip competitors will ride from Lyon to Canton in China on electro-solar assisted bikes. On the program: 12,000 km and fifteen countries crossed.


Browsing the Internet without looking at the compass too much, Jean-Marc Dubouloz, amateur cyclist, comes across a film relating the 2018 edition of the "Sun Trip". The images showed strange cyclists progressing on alpine slopes, over the plains of central Europe, or under the overwhelming sky of the Kazakh steppe. Pedaling lying under cover under their solar panels, or towing them on a trailer attached to their traditional bike, the Sun Trip competitors joined Lyon … Canton, 12,000 kilometers further!
Love at first sight from Jean-Marc Dubouloz: “I was amazed,” says this audiovisual entrepreneur. I immediately knew I wanted to do this. ”


Launched in 2013 by Florian Bailly, this extraordinary event aims to be a sort of “Terrestrial Vendée Globe”. […] The rule is simple: reach the final destination independently on “electro-solar assistance” bicycles (traditional or recumbent, cargo bikes, etc.). Any recharging on sector being strictly prohibited, the competitors will advance all the more quickly as the sky will be blue. Conversely, rainy and dull days require more muscular effort, promising both fatigue and shorter distances. […]

"What attracted me was this unique blend of human adventure and technology," says Dubouloz. The fiftieth is also passionate about the issue of soft mobility: […]the energy required for each participant to join Canton is for 1/3 of muscular origin and for 2/3 photovoltaic. […] On such a long adventure, you must reduce the risk of damage, and above all plan to repair by yourself. […]

The time limit for joining Canton is set at three and a half months. Our amateur cyclist is aiming for less than 60 days. June 1 will begin for him "the adventure of a lifetime".

Author: Olivier Haralambon
Posted January 13, 2020 on


The Suntriper Christophe Dugué interviewed by France 3 TV

Christophe Dugué participated in the Sun Trip Tour in 2017, and also in 2019 with his wife Stephanie. His professional world has allowed him to build himself powerful, rigid and lightweight solar panels. Indeed Christophe works at Photowatt, a French manufacturer of panels.
In front of the cameras of France 3, he talks to us about his motivations and his approach, and Stéphanie explains to us how much his solar bike helped her in the ascent of the big alpine passes.

Pour la planète : Christophe Dugué à vélo solaire

Parcourir les Alpes ou pourquoi pas rouler jusqu'à l'autre bout du monde en toute autonomie dans des conditions plus écologiques qu'en voiture ou en camping car, c'est l'avantage du vélo électrique solaire. Christophe Dugué s'est lancé en participant au Sun Trip, une course à vélo solaire unique au monde. #pourlaplanète The Sun Trip

Publiée par France 3 Régions sur Mercredi 20 novembre 2019

The Sun Trip Tour 2019 in the 200′ magazine!

The magazine 200 makes cycling a daily adventure, it feels a love of cycling in all its forms, it grants letters of nobility to the little queen, whether the bike in town, wilderness, mountain , on all the roads of France, Europe and elsewhere. The magazine 200 does not segregate between cyclo-sportsmen, competitors, cyclotourists, travelers, adventurers …
That's why he devoted an 8-page article to the participants of the Sun Trip, and recounts their adventures on the human level as well as technical and sporting.

A number available in kiosks until the end of January 2020