Jean-Claude & Alain Viguier

52 & 53 years-old

Two brothers on the adventure

Jean-Claude is a technology teacher with a passion for cycling and running. Since 2015, he has been contemplating taking part in the Sun Trip and even prepared a pedagogical project with his students so that they design… a solar bike. 250 High School students worked for the last two years on this project!

As for Alain, he is a craftsman on eco-housing and travels by bicycle for many years already. An avid amateur photographer, he already set his wheels in motion in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium & Ireland, and also went around France.

The two middle-aged men are now ready to write a new page of their brotherhood history, a 12.000 km-long one!

Their Solar Bikes

We never really start from scratch, it would be pretentious to believe that.

We were inspired by Bernard Cauquil’s bike, but we did not want to simply copy him. The idea of ​​the Sun Trip is also to benefit from the experience derived from previous editions and improve the existing systems.

Being trained in mechanical manufacturing and design, we were able build our bikes by ourselves almost entirely.

We worked mainly four areas:

  • Maneuverability: by lowering the bike’s center of gravity as much as possible.
  • Comfort: with the mounting of pneumatic suspensions, MRP fork (with the difficulty of inserting the chain.
  • Solar Panels Orientability: (lateral and/or longitudinal). This motivated our choice to put only one panel on the bike. The trailer design also involves the possibility to orientate the panel in all directions.
  • Lightweight Design: as in the air, a low weight is crucial and since we could do the machining (milling and turning) ourselves, we removed all superfluous material.

A Few Words From The Adventurers…

Jean-Claude Viguier

I am a technology teacher and I am passionate about cycling, mountain hiking and running. I also played football and basketball.

Difficult to summarize my travels in a few words as this is one of my reasons for living. I will only mention three. In 1996, with Alain and Fanny among others, we connected Toulouse to Dakar with a Renault 12 via Morocco and Mauritania; it was probably the most confusing trip ever, but it is a wonderful memory. In 2007, I discovered the Mayan culture with my nephews Guillaume and Jérémy. With the latter, I visited Guatemala, trekked in the rainforest and climbed the Santa Maria volcano, overlooking the erupting Santiaguito and Acaténango volcanoes at 3976 meters. In 2015, we chose to discover the Inca culture again on foot and with backpacks. The highlight of this trip was undoubtedly the arrival at the Machu Pichu by the Inca Trail, the Colca Canyon, navigating on Lake Titicaca and the ascent of the Misti volcano at 5927 m.

In 2018 … It’s a story to be continued!

Since 2015, I planned my participation in the next big edition of the Sun Trip. This project only brought me happiness so far! I set an educational project up with my students. We built our first solar bike (tricycle) with them. Our participation is therefore the realization of a vast educational project. To date, roughly 250 college students have worked over the course of two years on the design this electro solar bike (from research to funding, to manufacturing and communication).

Why take part in the Sun Trip 2018? In addition to travelling, I look forward to participate in the greatest solar vehicles adventure and demonstrate, just like the participants in the past two editions, that we can travel over very long distances without using fossil energy. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful challenge:  technological, sporting, and human.

I’d like to thank:

  • Bernard Cauquil, who made us dream and gave us the will to take up the challenge.
  • All of my students without whom the project would not have been what it is today
  • The partners who helped me finance the college prototype.
  • Swiss Ezee who gave us a preferential rate on three engines (Michel Olchwesky’s, Alain’s and mine).
  • Guillaume Devot from Déclic éco who gave us some precious advice regarding the electrical part.
  • Patrick Touzet who made us benefit from his expertise
  • All my colleagues and friends who accompanied and encouraged me and who  showed interest for our journey
  • The Gambetta Rabastens College management team who gave me excellent working conditions allowing me to train for this trip.

A huge thanks to my family without whom this project could not have emerged.

When you travel alone you go faster, but when you travel with others you go further.      African proverb


Alain Viguier

My great environmental sensitivity makes me very interested in renewable energies.

My passions:

  • Recreational air activities (ultralight aviation, handgliding, paragliding), sadly not too actively in the last few years
  • Recumbent bike (14 years).
  • Travels: not a year goes bike without one trip!
  • My career: a mechanical manufacturing training has allowed me to work 17 years in the aviation industry. For the last 14 years, I have been devoted to eco-construction.

My trips :

A tour of France weightshift ultralight aircraft, then a tour of Tunisia with the same aircraft.

Egypt and Turkey by bus and train. A first trip to Senegal with a group of friends (a first trip with my brother Jean-Claude and his partner Brigitte). Another solo trip to Senegal by bush-taxi and then a third drive from Toulouse to Dakar with my partner and my brother.

Japan and Greece by motorbike, Vietnam from south to north by scooter, the Indian Himalayan province of Ladak (border with China and Tibet) by bus and collective taxi.

The Netherlands: our first family trip by mountain bike and a trailer for our daughter Romane (2 years), fed on croissants and Dutch raisin bread. As soon as our second daughter Lucile was old enough to pedal: Canal du Midi, Canal de Garonne, Canal de Nantes-Brest, the Meuse and the great Pyrenean passes (but when children become teenagers, it’s not as fun!), with our two Pino Hase Tandems. And still with a tandem and my family: Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Ireland.

Why take part in the Sun Trip 2018? Because in this adventure you have to envision, design and build your own solar vehicle. Since my early childhood, I have always wanted to design my own projects and to build them with my own two hands.

Because this adventure is above all a great trip and that travelling is for me and my family the best anti-depressant that there is.

Because this adventure is done by bike or solar tricycle and that cycling has been my main physical activity for a long time.

Thanks to Bernard Assier (a traveling cyclist friend) who made the only bike piece we could not make,

To Georgio Rios, for painting the structure,

To Benoît Lahiton, Fabien Rossignol and their team (Frayssinet Aéro) who carried out the chemical treatments of mass coloring for a part of our pieces.

To my companion who translated into French the user manual of the Cycle Analyst V3.

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