A solar-powered cycling adventure in France

Published by Andrew on 11 May 2017

Indian engineer Sushil Reddy is on his way to France for a solar-powered bike adventure. Here's more about the technology and the trip.

Solar ride in India

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Solar powered bikes are essentially electric bikes that have been tailored to charge their batteries from the sun. Sounds easy, but in fact they are technically challenging to make because of the balance required between physical limitations, such as the weight and size of the solar panels, and effective use of the generated power.

Nevertheless, there is now a growing solar bike movement across the world, especially as the technology can be applied to many styles of bike, including recumbents and hand bikes.

We like the idea of solar bikes because they can open up a world of off-grid adventure to everyone, especially as you can ride almost 300km on some models.

We recently heard from an Indian engineer who already has some epic solar-powered cycling behind him, including a Guinness World Record for the longest journey on a motor-assisted bicycle (7424 kilometres over 79 days across north west India in 2016). 

In June, Sushil Reddy and his friend Rajendra Bhaskar will cycle around France, stopping en route to talk at prominent engineering schools and academies to share his knowledge about solar-powered bikes. He’s keen to see as much of France as possible while sharing his passion and expertise. His main aim is to spread awareness about renewable energy – in particular solar energy – and cycling.

Here is the route Sushil will take on his trip, which is being backed by the French companies Declic Eco, La Sun Travel and Sun Trip.

 Sushil route

Sushil’s French itinerary (overnight stops)

May 28-29: Paris (includes seminar)
May 30-31: Istres
June 1: Montpellier (includes seminar)
June 2: Narbonne
June 3-4: Toulouse (includes seminar)
June 5: Agen
June 6-7: Bordeaux (includes seminar)
June 8:  Royan
June 9:  La Roche Sur Yon
June 10-14: Nantes (includes seminar)
June 15: night at Rennes
June 16: night at Le Mans
June 17: night at Dreux
June 18-19: Versailles
June 20-22: Paris (includes seminars)
June 23: INSEAD University (includes seminar)
June 24: Auxerre
June 25- 26: Dijon
June 27: Macon
June 28-30: Lyon (includes seminar)
July 1: Saint Etienne
July 2-7: Clermont Ferrand

And if that’s not enough, after his initial trip, Sushil will take part in the Sun Trip 2017, a showcase of solar-powered bike technology. 

This event has taken place twice previously – once in Kazakhstan in 2013 and again in Turkey in 2015 – and this year it will take place in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France over 14 days in July.

 Sun Trip 2017 route

If you'd like to find out more about Sushil's visit to France, or if you can help him with accommodation (backyard camp pitches, spare B&B/hotel rooms or sofa), local advice or sponsorship, you can contact him at sushilr25@gmail.com.

You can also help by making a donation at his fundraising page

More on riding electric bikes in France here

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