‘Light & Fast’

‘Light & Fast’

One Planet worked with Raf van Hulle of Belgium, to help write and translate into English, his adventure book about the 2018 Sun Trip race of 12,000 km along the Silk Road, from Lyon in France, to Guangzhou in China, on a solar-assisted tandem bike. Raf won this race in a very convincing 44 days, nearly 1500 km ahead of his nearest rival who came in after 50 days.

It reads like an exciting novel. You feel the heat of the competition in your neck, nipping at your heels 24×7 as you try always to keep ahead. You have to travel light and fast and use every tactic and trick at your disposal to get to the end goal first. In some places, Raf was the first to ride over the fresh new asphalt of the Silk Road, leaving a pioneer’s stripe in the soft tarmac. Sometimes you have to live off bush meat, swim with a snake, or sleep in the wild to the howl of a wolf. And cross searing deserts where the fearsome winds can threaten to sweep you to oblivion. The most dangerous episode of the whole trip was when a drunken driver in Russia swerved to avoid Raf, crashed his car, injured people and the mob wanted to lynch Raf. Whew, that policeman arrived in the nick of time and told Raf to ‘get out of here quick!’

Only when man and machine work perfectly together, do you stand a chance. It’s not for the faint-hearted. On this link you can order the book in Dutch, or you can contact Paul Heistein below to get a copy in English. Then you can re-live this adventure from the safety of your armchair!

The book took One Planet a lot of work to complete but we gained much practical knowledge, insight and contacts for our own ‘Solar Explorer’ ambition to ‘ride with the sun’ 26,000 km from Amersfoort to Brisbane without using one drop of fossil fuel.

Contact:  Paul Heistein, paul.heistein@oneplanet.org tel +31-6-52 40 19 47

Below: man on a mission! Far ahead of the pack on the empty road…

Below; the solitude of a pioneer resting for the night in the empty deserts of Asia…

Below; hmm …  question mark… you have to eat local foods along the way, there’s no avoiding that, but Raf gets the uneasy feeling this might be dog- or cat meat they are serving him …

 

Below; it’s only you and the camels and the wide horizon as you ride with the sun to the East…

Below; the book is full of technical and practical details, in case you too get bitten by the adventure-bug and want to ‘head out’ to discover the world from the saddle!

Below; Raf weaving his way through unknown and crowded cities, where people talk in strange tongues …

Below; who is this blue-eyed stranger on a weird bicycle crowding onto the ferry with us!

Below; at last, after 12,000 km, all glory to the winner! But where’s the competition? Oh … they are all so far behind it will take another week before the number two arrives!

On this link you can order the book in Dutch, or you can contact paul.heistein@oneplanet.org tel +31-6-52 40 19 47 to get a copy in English. Then you too can ride with the sun!