Nina Wollner is one of the 6 women registered for the Sun Trip Europe 2021. This will be her first experience in terms of cycling adventure.
The French-Norwegian woman has just picked up her solar bike. The opportunity to ask her some questions about her preparation and her motivations.
Can you tell us about the history and characteristics of the bike?
I chose this bike, a Canyon Pathlite 4, because the manufacturer offers a 2xs frame. I’m not very tall and I had to make sure that the seat was high enough to be able to hang the tow bar on the trailer. I had it shipped to Guillaume Devot, Déclic-Eco for conversion to an electric bike. Grinhub baserunner motor kit, 1000W motor in the front wheel, 48V batteries in two panniers. I then bring it to Corsica, there Frédéric Verrons [another STE21 participant] gave me an Aevon single-wheel trailer. We made a few adaptations and changes to the bike (saddle, wrists…) then I tried out the bike and the trailer without a panel and I quickly got used to the electric assistance system. We did some nice rides around Bonifacio and I immediately felt good on this bike.
What are your first feelings on the bike?
The panels look bulky but they are not very heavy. I’m going to do some tests with a lot of wind, to see how it holds up with these strong gusts (90 km/h). I’ve already considered several routes, there are lots of very pretty places in the Pyrénées Orientales in particular… For some time now, I’ve been thinking as a cyclist with a trailer when I’m driving, to see if the road is suitable, what the dangers are, what the interests are, the possibilities of alternative routes, etc. But above all, I’m very keen to get started and I’m sure I’ll have a great time.
You are one of the few women registered, especially in solo, is this a source of motivation or pressure for you?
Quite frankly, I don’t ask myself that question. I don’t think in terms of “male or female activities”. I work in a traditionally rather male world (agriculture) but I am pleased to see that there are also many women in this field and that they are comfortable and competent and that they assume their role quite naturally. I run, an activity in which there are many women. But the more you increase the distance of the races (maratrail, ultratrail) the less women there are. But those who are present are, once again, very fulfilled and there is great solidarity between women. So I think that in ST Europe, as elsewhere, the women who are present are well prepared and above all motivated.
What is your opinion on this ST Europe route and what pace will you take?
I discovered the Sun Trip at the time of the 2nd Lyon-Canton project. I thought it was a huge challenge and I wouldn’t have had the possibility of being away for so long. When I saw the Europe route, I immediately wanted to go there, in the semi version. I don’t know the countries of Eastern Europe and I’am curious to discover them. The distance and the duration seem manageable to me. I don’t have any experience of electrically assisted cycling or long-distance cycling, so I’m going by Fred’s estimate of about 150-200 km per day. From my long distance trail experiences, I’m more of a “get it right” type of rider when possible and then take time to visit from time to time.