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Marieke

27 Mar

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Travelling through Kyrgyzstan

27 March 2018 | By | No Comments

Here is an idea for your next trip : Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan is a country from Central Asia, close to China. The country is mountainous but the main cities are located in the lowest parts of the country, which offers the possibility to do a part of the trip by bike. In the North, the capital city : Bichkek is ideal to start your trip. This city offers a pleasant stroll to visit several monuments built at the time of the USSR, such as the Erkindink statue. You will also find beautiful parks. The park Ala Archa offers visitors several kilometers of hiking through the mountains to the tops with a moderate climate. This park also shelters some rare species of animals, like the snow leopard, wild goats and some marmots.

Discovering Issyk-Koul lake

To visit Kyrgyzstan, you must visit Issyk-koul, the largest alpine lake in Central Asia. It’s at the top of a mountain. Many travellers choose to do a little mountaineering. While climbing, visitors will admire the beautiful landscape that you can see among the farmers’ villages. The village of Tamtchy, located along the lake, should be visited. Travellers will enjoy bathing in the big pool as these waters have healing powers.

Why not stay a few days in Och?

With this particular name, this area seems very mysterious. It’s the second biggest city of the country. Tourists will be attracted to this place because of the numerous sites to visit. Among them, the mountain Takhti-suleyman, considered as a place of pilmigrage. Some religious buildings are quite famous, such as Dom Babura mosquee. The Och bazaar, one of the biggest markets of Asia, will seduce visitors with multiple objects displayed : hats, traditional knifes or fruits, but also clothes and shoes.

21 Mar

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Doing a safari by bike

21 March 2018 | By | No Comments

Cyling in Kenya, an activity offering beautiful emotions

You need to get in touch with African nature ? There are thousands of ways to realize this experience and cycle touring is part of it. This activity enables to see beautiful landscapes and lots of wild animals. While pedalling, you will discover new places but also reduce stress as cycling is very healthy. Many tourists go to Africa to do safaris by MTB. You’d like to know how that feels like ? The best way would be to go to Kenya and visit authentic addresses by bike.

Doing a MTB safari at the national park of Hell’s Gate

Are you determined to make a trip to Kenya ?
Why not doing it by MTB ? This activity will offer you an experience full of emotions. Travellers can for exemple cycle through the national park of Hell’s Gate, a huge site at the South of the Naivasha lake in Kenya. Easy to reach, this reserve is located at 14km from the old road that connected Nairobi and the Naivasha lake. It’s also close to the Valley of the Grand Rift, which will enable you to do some hiking and climbing. People in search of sensations will be happy to cycle in the direction of the beautiful red cliffs of this natural space. There you can take a break to take a picture of this amazing landscape. Explorers can use a hybrid bike to visit the places where the girafes, zebras and impalas leave. To end this tour, a passage at the Buffalo circuit is recommended. After 15km, this part of the park will certainly please those who like to take risks.

Cycling in West Kenya

Kenya is the ultimate touristic destination and will give foreigners the chance to come accross bike tracks. If you like cycling, this African territory is the ideal place to do this activity, considering the diversity of landscapes you can find there. In order not to miss one thing, you can cycle with a MTB from Nairobi to the North and then reach a track that will bring you to the Bogoria lake. If you go on pedalling you will reach Eldoret, then Kabarnet before camping in Iten.

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.”

29 Jan

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From Scotland to Lille : the movie

29 January 2018 | By | No Comments

Elisa & Valentin share with us their adventures by bike and Aevon trailer. From Scotland to England, from Holland to the North of France, they tested the transport of their trailer by plane, by train and even by ferry :

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Their trip enabled them to test their material in all weather conditions as rain was falling in Scotland but most of all in Holland.
For this kind of trip, especially on the road, they recommend to use the UNO 100 trailer. It helped them to carry their stuff but also to start a conversation with people. Some of them allowed the couple to camp in their gardens. Their trailer was a real curiosity.

They found Scottish landscapes beautiful but it was hard to live with the ‘midges’, which were particularly greedy at night.
Elisa & Valentin are athletic but they rarely use their bikes. However they quickly cycled for miles at a time. Downhill they reached up to 70km/h with the trailer.

Their trip made them take the plane, the train and then the ferry, attesting that the trailer can follow you anywhere.

The UNO 100 is dedicated to a use on passable roads because it’s made of steel and isn’t equipped with a shock absorber. For your trips on hard tracks, prefer a trailer made of aluminium and equipped with a shock absorber such as the STD 100 or the KIT L80. The KIT L80 is handy for plane trips as it’s entirely foldable.

26 Jan

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Cycling About tested the KIT L80 in Japan

26 January 2018 | By | No Comments

Alee is an expert in bike travelling and manages the website Cycling About. His trip in Japan enabled him to test the KIT L80 trailer and give us a feedback about his experience.

Handling ability

KIT L80 trailer

Alee underlines the handling ability of the trailer compared to the use of bags. He also finds that you quickly forget you’re even towing a trailer.

Of course, you need to adapt your driving when you’re cycling in narrow spaces, in town for example, by taking larger anglers. But the trailer is narrower than a bike saddled with bags on all sides.

Cross country

bike trailer

That’s where Alee found the trailer the most useful.
As weight is entirely at the back, the bike seems light and can change direction quickly. It’s perfect when you’re riding on single tracks.

The KIT L80 is equipped with a shock absorber on the rear, a real asset when you’re riding on difficult tracks. It’s possible to adjust the pressure to adapt to the weight you’re carrying.
For long distances on tracks, Alee would definitely choose the trailer over side bags.

The waterproof bag

bike trip

Alee added some smaller bags inside the waterproof bag of the trailer. When he parked, he took out what he needed and left the waterproof bag inside the trailer.
He confirms that the bag is perfectly waterproof. If the bag is full, it may be necessary to use an extra waterproof protection on the top, to prevent the rain that fell on the bag from getting inside when you open it.

Meeting with a bear

remorque vélo

It wasn’t really part of the plan but Alee had the ‘chance’ to test the strength of the KIT L80 when a 500kg bear decided to jump on it, leaving the trace of his claws along the bag.
To know more about this trip, watch this video :

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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!”

    20 Dec

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    On the road to South America

    20 December 2017 | By | No Comments

    After New-Zealand and Australia, our adventurers : Cyril & Elodie are getting ready for their trip by bike and Aevon trailer in South America.

    Before their departure, they are back in their families in Belgium to rest for a while and enjoy some time home. This pause is also the moment to check the material, repair some of it and replace others.

    Going on a new continent also means a change in the weather conditions. The weather will certainly be a little different from Australia and they need to get ready for winter temperatures. So they change their tent for a stronger one. Cyril also replaces his sleeping bag for a model adapted to temperatures below 9°C.

    They also add some clothes : winter jackets with goose feathers and technical underwear so they can wear several layers.

    Their bikes need some replacement parts such as the cassettes and the braking systems, which is easily understandable after thousands of kilometers on all types of roads.

    And we changed the wheel’s bearing of the Aevon Kit L80 bike trailer : even if the trailer was riding fine, a little noise made us think it might be safer to change it.. It’s easy and quick to do ! .”

    Here is the video of this operation that only takes a few minutes :

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