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
27/04 164 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

Visits: 178

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.

Visits: 212

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!

Visits: 123

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:

Visits: 120

April 2: 3rd Sun Trip Europe preparation outing

It was the 3rd great preparation outing for the Sun Trip Europe before the reconfinement.
I was able to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Côte-d’Or, visit corners that were unknown to me. And I even drove a bit in Saône-et-Loire. It was good to ride in the sun, without fear of miles.
To say that the confinement will soon lock us into a 10km perimeter around our home!
Tour: 232 km
Elevation +: 1590m
Consumption: 2540 Wh
Production: 2010 Wh

Visits: 100

March 31: 2nd Sun Trip Europe preparation outing

The first outing being conclusive, I wanted to continue my momentum and exceed 200 km during the day. The sun was 100% with me, but the solar power is obviously less in March than in summer (between 60% and 70%). I wanted to see the amount of energy produced by the panels under these conditions.
Consumption: 2130 Wh
Production: 1720 Wh

Visits: 97

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

Visits: 112

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.


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.

Visits: 125

Return via Jura and Saône-et-Loire

August 10, from Albertville (Savoie) to Bois-d'Amont (Jura)
Unlike previous editions of the Sun Trip where my solar bike could get on a train (TER), this year I have to return by road.
I'm not going home by the fastest route, I'm going to go up to cross the Jura where I will find calm roads and landscapes, and too bad for the drop! Or rather, so much the better, because it is the height differences that provide beautiful panoramas!

August 11, from Bois-d'Amont (Jura) to Saint-Désert (Saône-et-Loire)

From Saint-Désert (Saône-et-Loire) to Dijon (Côte-d'Or)

Visits: 89

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!

Visits: 122

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

Visits: 133

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

Visits: 443

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:

Visits: 202

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

Visits: 158

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

Visits: 172

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.

Visits: 156

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

Visits: 78

Build your solar bike
Part 3: solar equipment

Table of contents
Part 1 : the bike
Part 2 : the electric assistance
Part 3 : the solar equipment

Solar panels cannot be connected directly to the battery, they must be connected through a solar regulator.

3.1. Solar regulator

This is responsible for adjusting the voltage to that of the battery (36 or 48 Volts for example) and modifying the current (Amps) according to the amount of light energy supplied by the sun.
The most common type among solar cyclists is the MPPT “boost” technology regulator.
The regulator’s MPPT technology ensures the best possible efficiency in the conversion of electrical energy. The qualification “boost” means that the voltage of the panels at the input of the regulator must be lower than that of the battery and the regulator then adjusts the output voltage to that of the battery.

3.2. Solar panels

The preferred panels are flexible monocrystalline silicon panels: they are light and have a good conversion efficiency of light energy into electrical energy. Better to forget the models developed for the roofs of houses, in polycrystalline silicon (very heavy, lower performance).

Article: how to choose your solar panels

The solar bike builder will have to choose the format of his panels according to his bike and the structure planned to support them.
To participate in the Sun Trip, the width of the panels must not exceed 1 meter which corresponds to 7 photovoltaic cells (in the costing dimensions of 12.5cm x 12.5cm). But the traditional formats have rather even numbers of cells, in practice, a majority of solar cyclists now have panels of 6 cells in width.

2 cells =28cm 4 cells =54cm 6 cells =80cm

The length of the panels will depend on the bike chosen, or the trailer …
Warning: the size of the panel has a direct influence on its electrical characteristics, it is advisable to ensure the adequacy between panels, regulators and battery.

The quality of a panel, in terms of electricity production, depends a lot on the quality of the photovoltaic cells that constitute it. In the technical sheet, the mention of a major cell manufacturer is a guarantee of quality.
However, the big manufacturers sort their cells and sell them in different quality grades. But this clue is never mentioned by the panel manufacturer.

Article: the performance of a photovoltaic cell

Article : comparative performance test of 3 solar panels

3.3. Support structure for solar panels

How to transport solar panels on a bicycle? This is one of the important questions that the solar cyclist asks himself. This question is also related to the surface of panels that one wishes to install.
If installing 1 panel of 0.7 m² is quite simple, installing 2.5 m² of panels is much more complicated.

Article: install solar panels! Yes but how?

Article: the installation of panels solar on my bikes

Visits: 118

Building your solar bike
Part 2: electric assistance

Table of contents
Part 1 : the bike
Part 2 : the electric assistance
Part 3 : the solar equipment

The electrical assistance system includes at least a battery, a motor, a motor controller (sometimes integrated inside the motor), a control and display console. Other elements can be added: pedaling sensor, torque sensor, speed sensor, handlebar accelerator …

2.1. The battery

As explained in Part 1, the batteries supplied with some commercial bicycles cannot be charged during use, which greatly complicates their integration into a solar bicycle.

Battery specifications
The main characteristics of a battery are:
– chemical technology: today, most bicycle batteries use Litium-Ion technology.
– the nominal voltage: 36 Volts, 48 ​​Volts, or even 52 Volts,
– the capacity, expressed in Ampere-hours or in Watts-hours. This value reflects the amount of energy that the battery is able to store and restore.

Components of the battery
A battery is made up of a set of Li-Ion elements (called “cells”) associated in series and in parallel, to which an electronic protection system (BMS) is added. The role of the BMS is to prevent too deep a charge or discharge and to balance the voltages between the Li-Ion cells.
Most batteries are made up of cells called “18650”, with reference to their physical format (diameter = 18mm, length = 65mm).

Association of cells in series
The nominal voltage of an 18650 cell is 3.6 Volts.
To make a 36 volt battery, we put 10 cells in series.

 For a 48 battery Volts, the series has 13 cells.

Association of cells in parallel
Manufacturers offer 18650 cells in different capacities: 2000, 2500, 2900, up to 3500 Milliampere-hour.
In the example shown below, we have chosen 3500 mAh cells. The set includes only 1 series, its overall capacity is 3500 mAh or 3.5 A-h.

In the second example shown below, still with 3500 mAh cells, 4 series of 10 cells have been associated in parallel. The resulting battery has an overall capacity of 14 A-h.

High capacity cells (3500 mA-h) are often the most expensive, but their advantage is that they can store more energy at equal weight. In other words, at equal capacity, the battery will be lighter, which is an advantage for the solar cyclist.
As for the quality of the cells (capacity, longevity), it is often better among large manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Sanyo …

2.2. The engine

There are different types of engines, each with advantages and disadvantages. Knowing them will be an asset in making the best choice according to the intended use.

2.2.a. The Direct Drive “wheel” motor

It is inserted into a wheel instead of the hub, this Direct Drive type has no gears inside. There are models for front wheel or rear wheel. Front wheel models can optionally be installed on a trailer.
Benefits: very reliable, no maintenance. On descents, the motor can brake and regenerate electricity to recharge the battery.
Disadvantages: heavier than the reduced motor, and less efficient on very steep hills where it gets hot.

2.2.b. The reduced “wheel” motor

It is inserted into a wheel instead of the hub, it has gears inside. There are models for front wheel or rear wheel. Front wheel models can optionally be installed on a trailer.
Benefits: smaller engine, less heavy, often more efficient than Direct Drive on hills. . It does not brake the bike when pedaling without assistance.
Disadvantages: Gears to be regularly maintained and changed after long distance trips. No regeneration on descents.

2.2.c. The “pedal” motor

This motor is inserted in place of the original crankset, it has gears inside.
Benefits: smaller engine, less heavy, very efficient on hills. It does not brake the bike when pedaling without assistance.
Disadvantages: Gears to be regularly maintained and changed after long distance trips. No regeneration on descents.

2.3. The motor controller

Depending on the system, the controller can be independent or integrated into the engine block. It is very often independent in wheel motor systems and often integrated into pedal motors. Its role is to manage the energy supplied to the motor, as a function of several data (level of assistance chosen, speed, energy available in the battery, signal from the torque or pedaling sensor, etc.).

2.4. The control and display console

It gives indications to the user (eg: speed, level of assistance, battery voltage, distance traveled, etc.) and, moreover, it allows him to communicate with the system (at least to choose the level of assistance).

In advanced systems, such as those manufactured by the company Grin Technologie, the Cycle-Analyst console, allows the display and selection of a very large number of parameters: speed, power consumed, assistance levels, etc. additional equipment allows simultaneous display of solar production. It is thus possible to know in real time the amount of energy consumed and produced.

In the photo above, we can see that the consumption by the motor is 353W at this precise moment, while the solar production is 371W.

2.5. The pedaling sensor or the torque sensor

Depending on the system, this sensor may be separate or integrated into the engine block, in which case it is not visible. The most advanced systems have a torque sensor that measures the power given by the cyclist, the others a pedaling sensor that measures the cyclist’s pedaling pace.

2.6. The speed sensor

Depending on the system, this sensor can be separate or integrated into the engine block.

2.7. The handlebar accelerator

It is an optional accessory. It is authorized in France only for starting, for example after a red light. It is often very useful, especially on recumbent bikes, for hill starts.

Visits: 90

Building your solar bike
Part 1: the bike

A solar bicycle is made up of the following components: a bicycle, sometimes combined with a trailer, an electric assistance system, and solar equipment.
We will describe these elements below, and consider the different possibilities available to those who want to build their solar bike.

Table of contents
Part 1 : the bike
Part 2 : the electric assistance
Part 3 : the solar equipment

1. The bike

It is possible to use either to use a commercial electric-assisted bicycle, or to use a conventional bicycle to which an electrification kit is added.

1.1 A commercially available electrically assisted bicycle

In this case, be aware that many major manufacturers prevent the user from recharging the battery while the engine is running. This then requires having 2 batteries: one is recharged by the solar panel while the other supplies the motor, which means that the batteries must be replaced periodically. We understand that this system is not the most practical.
In addition, some manufacturers even prevent charging the battery other than by connecting it to the mains charger, which further complicates the task.
But some rarer commercial bikes do not have these limitations and can be easily converted into solar bikes.

1.2 A simple bike to which we add electric assistance

On reading paragraph 1.1, we understand that it is often easier and more efficient to install an electric assistance system on a non-electric bicycle.
Two ways to proceed:
– either by purchasing a complete kit (advantages: simplicity / disadvantages: if the system is “proprietary”, the user cannot use parts from another brand),
– either by composing a kit, by choosing each element (advantages: the choice of each element is much wider, you can better adjust the elements to your own needs, to your practice / disadvantages: the range of possibilities can confuse the beginner).

To read: note from the Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister):

1.3 Different types of bikes possible

The choice of the bicycle is important because it will often condition the way of installing the solar panels, on the bicycle itself and / or on a trailer.
Many types of bikes have been tried out, according to individual tastes:

  • classic upright bike with trailer, 1 or 2 wheels,
  • classic upright bike with solar roof,
  • straight-lying tandem transformed,
  • cargo bike, with panels on the bike or on the roof,
  • recumbent bicycle with panels on the roof, and sometimes in tow,
  • trike, tandem trike, with panels on the roof, and sometimes in tow,
  • velomobile with panels on the roof, and sometimes in tow.

See the different types of bikes on the Sun Trips since 2013.

Visits: 95

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!

Visits: 178

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.

Visits: 197

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]

Visits: 209