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STD 100

17 Oct

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Jack Butler, our Sun Trip champion

17 October 2018 | By | No Comments

Jack Butler, our champion, was the 6th finisher of the Sun Trip, this bike racing from Lyon to Guangzhou.

sun trip

Some numbers : Jack has arrived on the finish line after 64 days on the road and 12 500km. At 24, he is the youngest ‘sun tripper’ this year.

In order to be part of this adventure for a reasonable price, Jack built his bike himself in the UK. He made sure to choose reliable equipment, such as the STD 100 bike trailer.

Following the race’s rule, Jack chose his route himself before the departure. He decided to go North, through Europe, where the weather was good and the roads were quite flat. After starting the race very fast, the young traveller then enjoyed the trip and took time to make some videos along the way (Youtube channel).

Our champion also received the skilfulness price of the Sun Trip jury. This price rewards adventurers that were able to make their race fully with solar power, while sharing their experience online.

Jack is now on his way to Europe.

Find out the video of his last moments on the road and his arrival at Guangzhou :

SUN TRIP
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Here is how he had to pack his bike and trailer for the return trip :

SUN TRIP
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04 Sep

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Travelling by bike

4 September 2018 | By | No Comments

After spending 6 months on his bike, it’s time to take a break for Bertrand. It’s also the time to share his pleasure of travelling by bike with his Aevon trailer.

bike trailer

Travelling by bike for Bertrand means being constantly on the move, a way to keep routine at bay. You can only go forward. Stopping means falling or temporarily staying in equilibrium. “Movement is one of the most motivating and powerful elements to me.”

It is also a way to show your own strength (both physical and mental) and state loud and clear your attachement to the environment.Travelling by bike is being at ease with your choices. It is also, out of necessity, outdoing yourself.

Above all, pedalling is regularly cited as a synonym of freedom. Freedom of movement, of choice, of direction and desires. You can decide the day before what you will do the day after, with no pressure and no limit.

Finally, pedalling seems to naturally provided a feeling of inner peace. You also feel this when you’re looking at the beautiful landscapes and ever-present nature.

The last 6 months have enabled Bertrand to confirm these values every day. It’s still time to take a little break and let the bike and trailer get some rest for a few weeks. Bertrand will enjoy the mountain, skiing with friends, maybe meet new people on the way. By doing ‘couch-surfing’, Bertand has met many travellers like him along his trips and also back home. It’s an excellent way to create some link and it’s with people met this way that he’ll spend the month of September.

Bertrand will get back on the bike in October.

15 Jun

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Bolivia by bike

15 June 2018 | By | No Comments

After 2430km by bike in Perù, Bertrand gets to Bolivia.

aevon bike trailer

The first day in Bolivia drives Bertrand at the outskirts of La Paz. He will avoid the city and cycle in the direction of Uyuni. Good weather enables a beautiful view of the mountains Huay Huayna Potosi and Illimani, 6000m high. Betrand plans to climb those mountains later on.

bike trip

The road is quite flat and Bertrand cycles quickly in the Bolivian wilderness. At this point, he will celebrate his 10 000km by bike in South America after 18 months cycling. Bertrand started his trip in Mexico in Decembre 2016 and plans to reach Ushuaïa.

On the road to Uyuni, Bertrand will meet a Colombian guy, Luis. They decide to cycle together for a few days. It will break the monotony of these long straight roads that never end.

One of the noticeable changes between Perù and Bolivia is the food. There aren’t more than 2 different dishes to choose from, either served with rice or with French fries.

After a few days, the two travellers arrive at the famous Salar de Uyuni, under the waters in this season.

voyage Bolivie

This salt desert is located 3 658m high. With a surface area of 10 582km2, it’s the largest salt desert in the world and represents a third of the exploitable Lithium stock of the planet. Its dimensions are 150km x 100.

Bertrand than plans to take 3 weeks to discover the area, to climb the two mountains he saw upon his arrival in Bolivia. His bike and STD 100 trailer will stay at Uyuni for the moment. He will then cross the Lipez desert for 10 days in total autonomy before reaching the Chilean frontier.

05 Jun

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From Perù to Bolivia

5 June 2018 | By | No Comments

We follow Bertrand, from Perù to Bolivia.

“I’m back on the road by bike, the sun is shining, at least at the beginning of the day as it’s still the rainy season.
The road will take me to Uyuni in Bolivia.

remorque à vélo

The first day is peaceful. The road is quite flat. I’m smiling and I have a good stride, I’m cycling along the Rio Vilcanota for a few days.

I will go through a little village, Oropesa, the capital city of the bread. Only 300m along but there is an incredible amount of bakeries along the way. They all sell the same bread.
One of the main activities around here is the culture of eucalyptus trees.

voyage à vélo

I get to cycle one last time in the hail at 4400m high in Perù and will then cycle in the direction of the Lake Titicaca that marks the border between Perù and Bolivia.

travel in Perù

The Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America (in terms of volumes of water) and the highest navigable lake in the world.

After cycling for 2430km in Perù, I’ll finally reach Bolivia !”

21 May

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Arrival at Cusco

21 May 2018 | By | No Comments

Just a few days left before Bertrand reaches Cusco, a particularly difficult part of the trip as the difference in height is amazingly high. At 4000m, air is rarer and consequently, it’s more difficult to make physical efforts.

It’s the rainy season when Bertrand reaches the plateau of Perù at more than 4600m. He quickly needs to put on waterproof and warm clothes. Here, the rain transforms into tiny snowflakes that whip his face while he’s cycling.
Fortunately, the sun comes back as soon as he gets down again, along the Río Pachachaca Abancay, on his way to Abancay. The landscape is beautiful and nature is everywhere.

remorque à vélo aevon

Between Abancay and Curahuasi (100km of mountains between and 4100m), he finds loads of eucalyptus trees. It smells good but brings an overbearing dampness.

voyage à vélo

A last day cycling from 2500 to 3400m and Bertrand reaches a high plateau for the last staight line in the direction of Cusco.

As soon as he gets to Cusco, Bertrand takes a shower and goes for a drink in a local bar with a Greek friend he met a few days earlier on the road of Huaraz.

Despite the first days which were very strenuous and the rainy season, I’m full of joy and well-being after this part of the trip. I’m discovering and rediscovering the joy of moving on by bike and I have a sense of fulfilment..”

My Aevon trailer STD100 is still working fine despite a little accident that bent my swing arm. I have been able to repair it temporarily but a new swing arm will be arriving soon so I can go on my trip serenely. Thank you Aevon for helping me with this !

14 Mar

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From Huaraz to Cuzco

14 March 2018 | By | No Comments

Still travelling in Perù, Bertrand gives us some news.

After spending a few weeks hiking around Huaraz, it’s time to go to Cuzco.

bike trailer

These few weeks in Huaraz seriously reduced the initial plans and the tourist visa will soon expire. There is only one solution : take the bus for a few miles. But when you’re travelling by bike, taking the bus is a real issue.

You’re not really taking the bus are you ? Our personal pride really takes a hit… The sense of taking it easy, betraying yourself, not respecting the rules you made for yourself…

In the end Bertrand will take the bus until Nazca, to avoid the road of Lima, particularly complicated to cycle on. Then he will get back on his bike, after 2 months without pedalling. There are 10 days to go to his next destination : Cuzco. 10 days uphill.

bike trailer

In the first 2 days, Bertrand climbs 3800m by bike. He reaches the Pampas Galeras reservation. This national reservation is located at 4200m and covers about 6000 hectares. The rangers are particularly welcoming and even have a special dormitory for travellers like Bertrand.

bike trip

Bertrand spends some nights in churches and restaurants. As it’s the rainy season, it’s really pleasant.

Father Efren, from Puquio church, will even feed me dinner and some beer and offer a hot shower and the Internet ! Awesome !

Perù by bike

The landscape is beautiful with stony mountains without a single hiker, such as Hatun Machay.

travelliing by bike

14 Feb

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Peru by bike, the follow-up

14 February 2018 | By | No Comments

We find Bertrand on the road to the White Andes Moutains.

During the first 10 days by bike, Bertrand notes that Peru is not better on the environment issue than its neighbours. The roads are lined with garbage.

perou à vélo

On New Year’s Eve, he arrives in a town called Sullana, North of Peru.

remorque à vélo

It’s hard to find a place to stay that night. “3 firemen stations won’t let me stay as there is almost no one on site that night. They’re all going to party ! At a bend, I find a family. They own a car wash and parking lot. They offer me a roof for the night and a shower.”

There follows 2 days cycling in the desert for 250km. Quickly, cabins are getting scarce, bushes too, the wind is stronger and the sun is hot.

Wind, day and night. That’s the plan for the following days .”

voyage à vélo

Out of the desert, Bertrand finds green lanscapes again, with rice, onions, hot pepper and potato fields. “Peru is famous for its diversity : in the landscape, the food and culture in general.”

Soon follows the ‘Cordillera Negra’ and its mountains. “No vegetation. Rocks, sand. I feel like I’m cycling in a quarry and I feel very small.”

Crossing a pass at 4219m, Bertrand sees for the first time Huaraz and the White Andes Mountains. “My first snow ! To celebrate, as there are only 25km left to reach Huaraz, I get an extra piece of chocolate, my best friend on special days.”

voyage

Bertrand arrives at Huaraz under the sun despite the rain season.

08 Feb

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Peru by bike

8 February 2018 | By | No Comments

In Ecuador, Bertrand gains altitude with his STD 100 trailer. Time to think about this one year bike trip : “Time goes so fast !

In the direction of Cotopaxi park and Rhuminaui mountain (5897m), the road gets very difficult, with rocks, under the rain and uphill.
bike trailer

bike trip

The day after, departure for the Quilotoa volcano with a descent in the crater and 3 days hiking. The landscape is breathtaking.
The Quilotoa is a dead volcano. Its crater is filled with water. We are 3900m high…

bike traveller

The goal is to reach Huaraz (3000m), cycling for 3 weeks. It’s opposite the White Cordillera.
The first few days are quite hard with a passage 3880m high. I can feel it in my muscles …

Bertrand gets back into his routine of finding a place to stay at the end of each day. For Christmas, firemen offer to share their meal with him.

Finally comes the Peruvian border.

Peru

January, Feberuary, March. Three months in the full winter season. There will be rain and temperate climate in the mountains. The coast will be dry with sun and wind. Here the seasons imply different climates depending on the location.”

He meets little vultures and lizards sunbathing along the road.
For his first night in Peru, Bertrand finds shelter in a Jehovah community. He sleeps in a little cabin with his hammock.

After a week, Bertrands takes a break at Mancora, a seaside resort. “Last swim and last beautiful sunset on the Pacific Ocean.”

17 Jan

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Colombia by bike

17 January 2018 | By | No Comments

We meet up again with Bertrand at Medellin in Colombia, famous for being the most dangerous city in the world. From the 80s to 2000, the city was affected by violence and acts of revenge. Today the city is much more peaceful and young people use street art and hip hop to give energy and happiness to the Comuna 13 area, particularly affected by these difficult times.

bike trailer

After one month in Colombia, it’s time to get back on the road with bike and STD 100 trailer in the direction of Quito in Ecuador.

On the road, Bertrand meets lots of trucks towing at least 4 trailers each. They are filled with sugar cane to be transformed into organic fuel. Teams spend their day on the side of the road waiting for these trucks so they can close the road to other users and let the pass through.

Colombia trip

On the famous Panamérica, Bertrand also comes accross roadblocks organised by the indigenous people of the South of Colombia (Naza people). Treaties were signed between these people and the state and were not always respected. This kind of event happens from time to time at special dates.
“You need to negotiate at each roackblock with people armed with machetes, hoods and shovels, in order to pass through. It’s quite hard for about 2 days. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to take pictures as they threaten to seize my camera.”
Luckily, the bike and the trailer help to communicate with these people.

bike trip

To be noted on this trip :

  • I cycled up to 3300 metres high for the first time
  • I reached the speed of 75km/h, with a total weight of 140kg (bike + trailer + load + me) !!!
  • 10 Jan

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    My adventures in South America

    10 January 2018 | By | No Comments

    Bertrand has been travelling in South America for 1 year by bike and STD 100 trailer. We have asked him some questions about his experience.
    bike trailer
    What is your everyday budget for such a trip ?

    “I don’t really have a daily spending limit. I left with a certain amount and it should last for about 3 years. It is quite difficult to imagine how much you will spend as each country has a different cost of living. After 1 year, I have spent about 500€ a month, knowing that I spent 90 days on the bike and the rest was surfing and climbing mountains.
    This implies that for 8 to 9 months, my living cost was much higher as I had to pay for lodgings. On the bike I sleep outside or at the firemen, churches, etc… I only have to spend money on food.

    For 2018, my living cost will be reduced as I will spend more time on the bike.”

    When is the end of the trip planned ? Do you think you’ll go back to la Rochelle when your trip is over ?

    “I think the end of the trip should be in Autumn 2019. And I don’t think I’ll go back to my place. When you leave like that, you make new experiences and meet new people everyday. You evolve and grow up all the time.
    In what I call “the life before”, these experiences were rare, you don’t evolve so fast.

    Coming back is always a shock, as you feel like nothing has changed around you, whereas you are totally different.

    The rest of the trip is planned this way :

    3 months in Peru enjoying the mountains with 2 big breaks at Huaraz and Cusco for hiking and climbing.

    Then Bolivia for 2 months where I’ll climb Huayna Potosi and Illimnai (2 peaks at 6000m).

    Finally 1 year in Argentina, stopping at El Chalten to work for 4 months during the summer. In February or March 2019, I will be in South Patagonia and will reach Ushuaia and the end of the famous Ruta 40. ”

    What was your job before you left ?

    “I had been working for 7 years in a little company of 25 people at Périgny (close to La Rochelle), specialized in the design of high and very high pressure equipment. I was an engineer in mechanical design. It was very interesting but the need to travel was stronger.”

    Have you already thought about your next project ?

    “During this trip I had the chance to travel by boat from Panama to Colombia and I must admit that a boat trip will be one of the projects in my life but I need some money for that.

    When I’m going back, I’ll work for a few months in Switzerland and then I’ll go with my brother and his truck in East Europe, enjoying some skiing and hiking.”

    What does travelling mean to you ?

    “I’m living a life I chose, I enjoy new experiences every day, I see things in a more positive way, even in situations that might seem tricky, I meet beautiful people, I learn all the time, learn to communicate. I discover myself and my hidden skills.
    Travelling makes you richer, opens your eyes, ears, frees your spirit, gives you energy !”

    Which country did you enjoy the most so far ?

    “It’s not really the country, it’s the experiences you lived there and the people you met.
    I’m a big fan of Mexico. People are super cool and the country is rich with history, culture, landscapes, colours.
    Guatemala is also rich with history and culture. My experience with the people there was different, I didn’t feel such energy when I crossed it.

    Nicaragua is full of history, varied landscapes. I surfed a lot there.

    Costa Rica is a holiday destination, life is more expensive there. But this country gathers 3 to 5% of the world bio-diversity, so it’s beautiful to see.

    Colombia is very pleasant. I had the nicest bike experience there.

    To sum up :

    · Good atmosphere with the bike : Columbia

    · Where I could easily stay for a long time : Mexico

    · To chill and surf : Nicaragua & Mexico

    · Tourism : Costa

    · Tourism with history and cultural sites : Guatemala

    · A little of everything (mountain, surf, kite) : Equador

    · The people : Columbia & Mexico

    Do you think the same trip could be made by a girl alone ?

    “OBVIO !!!! (Obviously in Spanish)

    Yes, I think a bike trip can be made by most of us. The bike is a means of transport but also helps to communicate. People on the road are curious and very positive. This helps to generate a situation of trust. And we’re far from what is being told about these countries.

    As a man, I certainly meet less situations where I should be careful but girls have an easier contact with the local people.
    You should always keep your eyes and ears open and communicate. Learning the language is one of the keys for a good trip.

    I meet girls a lot on the road and seeing the smile on their faces, I’d say we’re all enjoying this a lot!”