Find out more about Kilian Weigand in this interview regarding the Sun Trip Destination Sahara, scheduled for 12 April 2024 in Lyon.
Kilian, as the youngest member of the group, you had a brilliant first participation in the Sun Trip Alpes 2022. We’re delighted to see that you’re back on the road with your solar bike and that you’ve signed up for the Sun Trip Maroc 2024.
1. What do you think of this route? What motivated you to embark on this new adventure?
I’m very happy to be riding in sunny countries again and exploring a new continent! I really like the round trip to Morocco. I’ve already travelled around Eastern Europe on my solar bike and I’ve been as far as Asia. The question now is where to go next. Travelling to Africa on a solar bike excites me and motivates me once again with this trip to show that it’s possible to travel in an environmentally-friendly way!
2. Do you intend to take part in the race, as you did in 2022, or are you taking part this time as a ‘backpacker’, taking the time to travel at your own pace?
I want to push back the limits of solar bikes and my physical limits. So I’m taking part as a racer and I’m giving everything to get on the podium! I’m not a top-level athlete, but I’m very determined! It’s with this conviction and, of course, a bit of sunshine that I’m embarking on my new SunTrip Morocco 2024 adventure.
3. Do you intend to modify your bike for this edition?
I’m currently developing a new solar bike for SunTrip Morocco. A bike like this hasn’t seen the SunTrip world yet! More solar, more aerodynamic and better optimised! I’ll be documenting the building process on my YouTube channel “Kilian Weigand” 🙂
4. How does your community on social networks perceive your adventures so far? Do you think the Sun Trip project is of interest to everyone?
I document my solar bike trips on Instagram and YouTube and I have a very strong community of bike fans, technology geeks and travel enthusiasts. I think people are particularly fascinated by the fact that the solar bike is self-built. Solar energy is nothing new in Germany, but using technological advances to travel long distances is something new for many people!
I think that the big SunTrips offer fewer opportunities for young people, because many of them don’t have the time to travel for so long. That’s why I’m particularly excited about coming back next year! For older people, holidays are easier to manage. SunTrip is about young and old solar bike fans coming together. And that’s exactly what I want to promote on my social media channels.
5. What is your vision of this new form of mobility?
With my solar bike, I’d like to make renewable energies particularly tangible and stimulate interest in sustainable energy production. Solar bikes certainly won’t be everyone’s means of transport, but for long-distance travellers like me, they’re super practical! I can travel further in no time. I’m independent of the electricity grid and I don’t have to do without certain comforts when I travel by bike.
6. How long do you think it will take you to complete this 7000 km loop?
I can’t really estimate because my new solar bike isn’t built yet, but I hope to cover around 200 km a day. So I’m aiming for 35 days of cycling. But let’s not talk too much, in the end some things are different from what was planned, so I’m not fixated on numbers.