Latest news on the Sun Trip Guangzhou
A second edition is planned for mid-November 2024, once again aimed mainly at the Chinese public, but with the idea of inviting a few former Western Sun Trip participants!
If you’re interested in this experience, in discovering China in a different way, on board a locally-made solar bike, please fill this form: https://forms.gle/1RMnrPUEsQ88q4Lr8
More information to follow in the coming months.
From 18 to 21 November 2023, the first edition of the Sun Trip Guangzhou took place, an adventure aimed at the Chinese public and inspired by the Sun Trip Lyon-Canton 2018. Organised from Guangzhou (Huadu) to Shaoguan (Lechang and Pingshi), over 400 km, this first edition brought together around ten participants, all solar bike pioneers in China!
In this article, you’ll find a video summary and a wide selection of photos to accompany a text written by Florian Bailly, the Sun Trip founder.
Teaser movie :
Text by Florian Bailly, Sun Trip founder
(automatic translation with Deepl.com)
“The idea originated with my first trip to China in 2010, and was written after the success of Sun Trip Lyon-Canton 2018. Now, in November 2023, the idea has come true, with the first edition of the Sun Trip Guangzhou..
Considerably ahead of the West in the development of electric mobility, able to invest massively in renewable energies, with its immense unspoilt natural areas and good road network, China has always been for me a country where it was appropriate and useful to develop the Sun Trip message.
Taking this step here means multiplying by 1000 the impact we’ve been trying to have with our solar adventures in Europe for the last 10 years.
For me, it’s also the idea of following through on the flame that has driven me since 2010: not allowing ourselves to be trapped in a navel-gazing approach to ecology, not allowing ourselves to be paralysed by the idea of a world in crisis, but always continuing to drive forward actions that bring people together and make human beings the agents of change, and not just the poor victims of their own system.
Change will take time, and we’re proud to be part of it, step by step, without catastrophising.
A selection of photos from Day 1, departing from Guangzhou (Huadu).
Turning the Chinese into SunTrippers was no mean feat, given that cycle travel is still very uncommon there, and because the relationship with leisure is different from what we know in Europe.
In 2010, I was struck by the fact that the Chinese thought my idea of travelling by solar bike was a good one, but they didn’t understand why I was doing it just for fun and not to make money…
After thinking long and hard about the subject, I came to the following conclusion, by way of a wager on the future: “Doing things for pleasure is an area where France has a competitive advantage over China. All that remains is to find a way of selling the idea to them, so as to become credible in their eyes”!
At the finish of the 2018 Sun Trip Lyon-Canton, we sowed the first seeds, showing just how much can be achieved with a solar bike. Raf Van Hulle, who won in 45 days, became the fastest man in the history of the oil-free Silk Roads. It was enough to touch the heart of the Chinese collective imagination and inspire others to follow in his footsteps. What a source of pride!
Selection of photos from Day 2, on the way to Shaoguan.
And since 2018, China has evolved. Strong measures have been taken to reduce pollution in the big cities (where you can sometimes say that your suitcase makes more noise than the cars…), a change has been made to encourage the population to take up sport and the idea of promoting the natural and heritage riches of the countryside is also gaining ground. There is also reason to believe that the three years of hell that the Chinese went through following the outbreak of the Covid epidemic may have contributed to some people’s desire to take part in outdoor activities.
All this creates a very favourable breeding ground for the development of the Sun Trip in China, and what has been achieved here over 4 days is just an introduction.
Selection of photos from day 3, from Shaoguan to Lechang.
For 400 km, from Guangzhou (Huadu district) to Shaoguan (Lechang & Pingshi), what I saw totally blew me away:
- The local authorities are keen to boost relations with the rest of the world, and particularly with France, and President Macron’s recent visit to Guangzhou has only served to encourage this.
- The Chinese participants were admirable. They were as disciplined as any other SunTrippers, demonstrating the ability of the Chinese to live together and put collective strength before individual pride. They were also good technically. The bikes were all different but functional. The pace was brisk and there was only one major technical breakdown in the group. For a first-timer, that’s incredible. It proves that they have perfectly mastered the techniques of electric mobility. What’s more, half of them did the project using 100% solar power, which is also good for a first. They have been perfect pioneers of the solar bike in China, becoming a source of admiration in their own right.
- The itinerary imagined with the Chinese participants and partners was sumptuous. The exit from Guangzhou followed the route of many SunTrippers 2018, along an impressive river. Then after Shaoguan, the route was entirely on small roads, immersed in nature, unspoilt and alive. The third stage, on the tourist route around the Danxia mountains, was certainly the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced on a Sun Trip.
- The curiosity of the Chinese people is still there! It amazed me in 2010, it inspired us in 2018, and this time it was written in a different way, with 100% of the participants playing the role of ambassadors.
- France still holds a special place in the hearts of the Chinese, and they like to support the development of an idea that originated in Savoie and Lyon.
Selection of photos from day 4, from Lechang to Pingshi.
The future remains to be written. Firstly, with the idea of one day being able to organise a major France-China event, if the state of the world allows us to do so. Then there’s the plan to expand the regional Sun Trip project in Southern China, still mainly aimed at the Chinese public, and also the sweet dream of involving a few former Western SunTrippers, who would come to represent their country and share the Sun Trip’s humanist and progressive values.
Because the world cannot do without peaceful intercultural relations, every good idea must do its bit to unite us around what brings us together.
The solar adventure in China is just beginning!
Florian Bailly – Sun Trip Founder
FULL MOVIE – By Bruce Wang and his Team
The second Sun Trip Guangzhou is already being planned for November 2024. This adventure will be aimed mainly at the Chinese public, but we would also like to invite a few international guests to represent their countries, using solar-powered bicycles provided on site.
If you are interested in the experience, you can apply via the link below. A selection will be made once the foundations of the project have been laid.
Application form : https://forms.gle/Ed8J1F4H3UVi8vfr7