Françoise Denel

 

– 69 years-old –

Françoise is a retired medical doctor with extensive bike travel experience including a trip through South America.

Suffering from a rare type of neuromyopathy, she will break beyond herself and carry on to the road the the Sun Trip values!

She discovered  solar bikes thanks to the Sun Trip Tour 2017 and means of transportation became for her a synonym of cycling freedom. As she trains in the mountain passes of Diois (Drôme), she get every day more familiar with her beautiful machine. Loving challenges, she could not resist trying out for this great adventure.


Her Solar Bike:

Bike: Custom-built bike from Vagabonde Cycles with hydraulic breaks in order to compensate for my lack of strenght and the palsy risks
Engine: RH205 (8 rpm/volt, with injection satorade, temperature probe), 38X11/42 10V gear, FOC controller, CAV3 variable regen + potar, PAS + accelerator, fitted by Declic Eco .
Batteries: 2 x 48V 11A 1085Wh
Solar Panels: Sun Travel trailer with a 220Wp solar pannel and an additionnal foldable 120Wp panel.


A Few Words From The Adventurer…

It is a real pleasure to know that I will celebrate my 70th birthday during the Sun Trip 2018! I like cycling, traveling, mountains, nature (more than anything), writing, painting and so much more, I love life!

I have been on many bike trips: one week per year with my children, then one month a year during the holidays (Santiago de Compostela, Turkey, Thailand, Madagascar, Mexico, and France here and there).

As far as I can remember, I have always said that when I get to retire (as a medical doctor), I will cycle around the world… I do it by bits, continent after continent! I began with South America, from Caracas to Ushuaia solo and independently by bike, climbing a summit in each country. 19 months of travel, 19 months of happiness…

Then, I went to New Zealand, Vietnam, the Three Seas (Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic, and Black Sea) and this summer I engulfed montain passes, crossing the Vercors, Chartreuse and the Alps.

I am tiny (1.52 m) and weighs only 50 kg, it seems that it is to my advantage… I suffer from a rare neuromyopathy from which one does not die, but gets a harder life and a round zero in PhysEd in high school. It’s my revenge to take…

This disease is not progressive, such I am born and such I will die. It affects muscles that are used wilfully (respiratory and cardiac muscles being spared), so it’s not deadly. I have to train ten times more than others to achieve a lesser result. If I push it, my muscles let go and if I insist, I find myself on the ground unable to get up. It can last for several days and plague me with atrocious pain, then everything comes back in order. Another trigger: cold, in contact with the muscles (a temperature below 25 ° in the air, 28 ° in the water) triggers or accentuates the disorder. Boiling water allows faster recovery in case of paralysis. All of this is accompanied by a slight muscular hypertrophy that makes you look beautiful and athletic – this is called an invisible disability.

But do not worry, Suntrippers friends and followers, I can manage and if you see a « Michelin Man » passing you while you are sweating to death, do not make fun of me and remind yourself that paradoxically, I am also sweating…

An advantage of this disease: I am gift with a foolproof mental, a boundless energy, an immense thirst for life and success, a passion that always animates me, the happiness of tasting every moment… Oh yes, I laugh all the time!

The solar bike? To me it means traveling with freedom…

Oh and before I forget, my main supporters: my 3 children, their spouses, and my 5 grandchildren.


 

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