The SunPedal Ride – France Edition – June 2017

Day 1: 1st June 2017 – Istres to Montpellier
1st June 2017. Sushil & Rajendra started the ride from Istres, France at 8 am from Guillaume Devot’s home – an amazing host and the technical guru of the Sun Trip organisation. After seeing him & his family off – Angelique, Julliet and Gabrielle, Sushil & Rajendra started the ride from Istres.

At the start point –
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All set for the ride –
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Rajendra on the route –
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After reaching Arles in 70 kilometres, we had a sandwich and a dessert to continue the ride ahead.
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The weather got rainy in the afternoon. After the final dash, we reached MontPellier at 7 pm. It was a long day and getting used to the France riding conditions and the cycling lanes.
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Couchsurfers hosted us at Montpellier.
CS hosts

Day 2: Montpellier to Narbonne
Early morning start from Montpellier and a scenic ride along the canal to begin to day
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Post lunch, the ride was along the beach. A 10 kilometre stretch. We took a dip in the icy cold water to take a break and resume in the afternoon heat. Bright sun helped to charge the solar ebike.
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Charging the solar ebike during lunch –
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After a long day of more than 100 kilometres, we reached Lea’s place in Narbonne who hosted us for the night.

Day 3: Narbonne to Toulouse
A long day of riding via the vineyards and chateaus to reach Toulouse and we were excited for our first interaction with the students and showcase of the solar ebike.
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We rested in Novotel, Toulouse for the night

Day 4: Rest day in Toulouse
The first rest day and the first interaction at “Quai des Savoirs” – a public interaction session organised by Dr. Pascal, a professor at INP Toulouse
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Me and Rajendra visited the Toulouse city in the afternoon and tried some local speciality – Crepes!
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pascal dinner toulouse

Day 5, 6: Toulouse to Bordeaux

The next two days we rode for more than 250 kilometres with a nightstop at Agen. We were hosted by Amanda at Agen.

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As we approached Bordeaux, we could see the vineyards!

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In Bordeaux, we were hosted by a lady.

Day 7: Rest Day in Bordeaux
We had a seminar at IMS Borbeaux university with the showcase and display of the solar ebike. This interaction was organised by Corinne Dejous via the French Embassy in India.

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In the evening, Deco showed us around the centre town of Bordeaux on bicycles –
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We stayed at the couchsurfer’s place for the night at Bordeaux –
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Day 8: Bordeaux to Royan
A windy ride along the coast to the port city of Royan.
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We were hosted by the parents of Chris in Royan

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host in Royan

Day 9: Royan to La Roche Sur Yon

Passing through the French scenic countryside via La Rochelle and La Roche Sur Yon, we reached home of Clemence Holleville. She agreed to host us and also write a story about our journey in France

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Day 10: La Roche Sur Yon to Nantes.
Day 11 to Day 14 – Rest Days in Nantes
A short ride to reach Nantes in the afternoon. Half way stage with more than 1000 kilometres done on the solar ebike.
A short tour of the city, a night spent at Ibis hotel and 3 nights with our superhosts – Chris and Cecile. We cooked Indian food for them! A welcome change after all the wine and cheese.

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nantes host

We had an interaction with a solar energy software monitoring company – QOS Energy
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Day 15: Nantes to Rennes
A peaceful ride through the countryside of France entering Brittany
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Nico Huchet, the innovator of the artificial arm, met us in Rennes.
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Day 16: Rennes to Le Mans
An interaction with a group at the workshop organised by our host Benoit in Le Mans
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le mans interaction

The town was bustling since it was the day before the 24 hours car race in Le Mans. Benoit showed us around and hosted us for the night.
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Day 17: Le Mans to Chartres
A long riding day as temperatures started to soar as we neared Paris.
We were received by Phillipe of The Solar Cup team at Chartres who also hosted us for the night.

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Day 18: Chartres to Versailles
We stayed at Ibis budget hotel at Saint Quentin. We met Pierre Trotobas of Wattway(COLAS Group) as he showed us the demonstration of the solar road at Versailles.

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The same day, we visited Chateau of Versailles.

Day 19 to 23 Paris
Reaching Paris was a milestone. We took photos at the iconic Eiffel Tower
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Then, we had seminars at HEC university, INSEAD university and Maison de L’Inde

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We were hosted by Nitish, an IITB student doing his internship in Paris
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Day 24: Paris to Auxerre
After a long ride down south from Paris, we arrived at Auxerre and welcomed by this sweet couple –
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Day 25: Auxerre to Dijon
Day 26: Rest Day in Dijon
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Hosted by Elena and her cat – Gustav at Dijon

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Day 27: Dijon to Macon

Long riding day to macon via the cycling “Green” route
A couple of road interactions –
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Hosted by Cecile

Day 28 to 31: Macon to Lyon and rest in Lyon

We had Indian food with some people from the IIT community in Lyon.
There was a solar awareness session organised by INSA Lyon for their international students workshop

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lyon interaction

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Day 32: Lyon to Clermont Ferrand

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The end – The SunPedal Ride – France edition – 32 Days, 2254 Kilometres

We thank our sponsors and partners – SolarEdge, LAVA International, Exhibitions India Group, QOS Energy, Fastrack, SunTrip Organisation, Declic Eco, La Sun Travel, The French Embassy – Science and Technology Division, Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Accor Hotels.