Solar bikers traverse Iran en route from France to China
TEHRAN – A North Vancouver-based couple Justin Lemire-Elmore and Anne-Sophie Rodet has recently toured parts of Iran along their adventurous itinerary commenced in mid-June in Lyon. China’s Guangzhou would be the ultimate destination for the couple who are riding on a DIY back-to-back tandem with an aim of promoting solar-powered vehicles. They are two of approximately 40 participants in this year’s Sun Trip, an event that challenges participants to ride on solar electric bicycles. We arrived Iran crossing Bazargan border post and our itinerary includes some cities dotted on the south Caspian Sea region and ends in Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Khabaronline quoted Lemire-Elmore as saying on July 18.“It is very unfortunate that we cannot visit other Iranian cities such as Isfahan or Shiraz, and this is the path that the company has set for us… moreover, our time is very limited.”Our biggest challenge in this journey is that we have to go 200 kilometers each day and there are some great attractions that we would like to visit… but every time we do that we fall behind the schedule… seeming a probability of losing our flight from Tehran, the couple added. Before they hit the road, Lemire-Elmore told the North Shore News: “I’m super looking forward to facing backward on a rowing machine and looking at all the reactions.”This is our first foray doing anything directly with solar,” Lemire-Elmore explains. “Now that I’ve actually experienced what it’s like to have the battery pack just charge itself throughout the day with no hunting around to find a spare outlet – it’s such a liberating sensation.” “When I found out that this trip for 2018 was going from Lyon – which is the hometown of Anne-Sophie – to the Guangzhou region of China, which is where we get a ton of components and parts supplies … it seemed pretty special to be linking those two parts of the world by solar-powered e-bikes, which is the entire domain of light low-powered electric assist that intrigues and interests us,” he said.
“I’m really interested in the beginning, so the first five days we ride all together and we get to know the other teams. I think it’s going to be interesting because after that we’ll be really interested in following and knowing where the other riders will be,” Rodet says. On a 12,000 km route crossing 10 countries, the Sun Trip 2018 rides along the “New Silk Roads” to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Lyon-Canton (Guangzhou) twinning, the cities being respectively the second- and the third-biggest cities of France and China.
PHOTO: Anne-Sophie Rodet and Justin Lemire-Elmore ride a solar-powered tandem in Iran and en route their adventure from Lyon to Guangzhou.