My search for a way to travel had 3 major requirements:
1. Travel reasonable distances
2. Keep doing what I like to do ( kitesurfing, kayaking, freediving)
3. Keep it as low cost possible
The many (ultra)lightweight bicycle tourers might not be fond of this creation. And online they have already commented. Strangely in the real world people tend to be impressed. It is obvious to see that lightweight bicycle touring is an other game then the one I’m playing. My ideas diverted from the mainstream track.
Obviously I keep the weight down, it’s an aluminium trailer, I have a lightweight tent, and just basic camping gear. I have also a lightweight kayak.… in it’s category… and freediving gear is less weight then scuba diving ( it’s also an other sport, but just keep it now in the favour of proving my point😉) …
The inspiration came mainly from pictures from the ‘sun trip‘. When the idea formed I talked with last year’s winner and his advice was very interesting.
I like to see the bike as a kind of hybrid between a bike and a small car. And there is an important part played by technology: This thing couldn’t be built functioning so well with technology from the beginning of this century.
It’s coming closer to a car in carriage load, it takes some practice to manoeuvre, the power of the electric motor is enormous, in a hill climb it comes certainly closer to a car then a bike.
Of course it is big. It is gigantic. It just fits in a garage, just. In the city it’s not so much fun. But already long before, I was more nature- then a city-guy. I mostly avoid cities where I can. On the other hand I have been surprised on how well it handles once on its way. Mainly thanks to the big wheels ( 28′) and the strong high torque motor ( Crystalyte ht3525) it just wants to roll and keep on driving. I have – mostly accidental- driven some km’s on mtb- tracks and even single tracks, where the ends of my solar panels brush the vegetation, and even there, i have not been stopped. As long as the rear wheel grips, I continue.
As for the enormity of my luggage. I decided to take my toys with me. First 5 months there was a kayak with all it’s necessary equipment, that then changed to my kitesurfing gear. My freediving gear as well as my camping gear for the cold and warm days and nights. Although very big, I wouldn’t change the concept. Being able to go kayaking / kitesurfing / diving where I arrive and without the constraints of rent-a-kayak or a local guide, it gives me unbelievable freedom.
After 9 months: did I reach my requirements?
1. The system is easily powerful enough to do more then 100km per day, every sunny day. On regular days, my physical limits are earlier reached then the limits of my machine. Although, this is of course a game of balance, if I use full power all time, without padeling myself, then the limit is reached easily. Getting the solar power to the battery is quite easy, as I said, it’s an other game, with new rules, interesting rules. Likewhen someone starts talking to you, intercept the first question and turn the panels to the sun! After that, let the conversation go on and on.
2. The question often comes up, if I wouldn’t be better taking nothing and relying on rentals. Well, quick answer: No way.
Most of the times I got my toys out, there was no rental in the neighbourhood, and when there was, the opening hours made it a restriction. Obviously in Tarifa everything is possible. On the other hand, My trip on the Ounasjoki river or around the inhabited islands in Luleå wouldn’t have happened.
3. €300 for 14.500 km. A few repairs, 3 new tyres, 2 new chains and cassette. So yes, this is the most amazing part. The solarpanels are firstly for economical reason, the ecological benefit is actually the great side effect.