Thursday, March 7, 2013
Sun Trip - the 7300 kilometer solar powered electric bicycle race from France to Kazakhstan
The format is part eco-adventure, part advocacy, part bicycling, part solar energy, and part race.
What do these bikes look like? Going by the website the teams have chosen a wide variety of designs. The basic idea is this:
It's a normal electric bicycle - that is, a normal bicycle with an electric drive system on it. THe bicycle carries a battery pack, a motor that's usually in the hub of the wheel, a controller, etc. Most of them have a trailer that carries gear and solar panels.
Here's another example:
Here's a video provided by the organizers to explain it in five minutes. The speaking is in French, but there are plenty of pictures to get an idea. Looks exciting to me.
To give a sense for the race, here's a map provided by the organizers showing several routes the teams could take. In actuality each team is free to choose their preferred route.
There are two prizes - one is for the first to arrive in Kazakhstan. The other prize is for the one who has the best adventure, and will be judged by the content of their travel blog.
Adventurers are required to travel with no outside assistance. They will fund themselves, and may arrange for sponsorships to help cover costs.