The violence of Ukrainian road has been tremendous. Fast downhill and neverending uphill at more than 10%, incredibly bad . In the last 4 days, the chain was torn away, the front rim snapped, a rim shattered, one of the solar module fell to 70% of its capacity..
The quality was were. It’s just that the adventure is huge, and challenging behind standard. And if the machine break apart, the rider suffer as well.
It’s the generosity, the careness, the enthousiasm of the Ukrainian SunTrip fans that saved me from the depths of despair.
The day Ilya saved my life
Owner of a bike renting shop , he and is friend are following us on the gps map of the Suntrip. I met them by luck at a wifi café. Their words are warming me up “You all are inspiring us, thank you ! “
Called by his friend, Ilya rush to the place with it’s camera . We spend time together and suddenly, he noticed that my front fork is shattered in two. A few moments before i was riding at 50 kmh downhill in a crazy main road of ukrainia, and i was heading for more riding. An inevitable accident was waiting me…
It’s Saturday evening, I ve got 17 days to reach Kazakhstan because of the Russian visa..
New fork, welding the old one ? new fork for now. You’re runing against time. One shop can sell me one, another can adapt the disk brake; let’s go !
Oh crap ! impossible to adapt the disk brake on it …
- A front fork that can’t accept FAT tyre , this huge tyre that enable me to ride of sandy road : I ve no idea if I will be able to handle the bike in the pists of kazakhstan
- Only one brake left …
- Ilya spend the night to chat with a bike club in the next city, Kherston , they are wishing to help..
I tell Ilya : ” The Universe is trying to tell me something, I have to choose how I understand it.”
On the road to Kherston
During a small rest I noticed a cracked of my rear rim, one , two, three , more …. The rim is shattered , the next impact it will explode …
Céline, Jean, Thomas and Marie Claire are giving up. They prepare a truck to bring back theyre bikes, less than 200 kms from me. Should I do the same ?
It’s an logical option :
It’s sunday, I’m at 25kms of Kherston. Waiting for monday… the russian visa expire too soon to loose 2 days of riding. Worst. how can I find a rim wide enough to accept my big tyres ? without those tyres, I m loosing my trump card to cross Kazakhstan..
the logical option….
I called Thomas and celine to know more about their plans. They’re will be there in less than a week. No emergency for me so …
the logical option can wait
I grab my bike, and now I can let the emotion flow. And it flow through tears and kilometers. I am riding the Suntrip, I am a man whose going to Astana.
I want to show you the black sea, I want to inspire you to accomplish dreams. I ride with and for solar energy, I want to share this joy. I want to share the idea that our world can be what we choose it to be.
Suddenly a song came to my mind , and overwhelmed me. In what I thought was the end of my adventure, this was the only words that resonate in me.
Bikekherston , the Suntrip fan club
They were waiting for me at the entry of Kherston. With those words ” it s too early to give up”
Several teams were ready. One for the fork, one for the rim , one for the brake..
On a sunday afternoon, they welded, machined, forced shop to opened to find unique piece to enable to continue my journey.
even my shoes were fixed
hard work and final result …
- a new fork with brake
- a new rim , the only one in all kherston !!!!!
- the old fork welded and ready to be used in kazakhstan
- the ability to go one
- and above all : the unique sensation that my journey in The Sun trip is connected to all of you
Ilya, Yaroslav, Alexis, Alexander, Anna, Anton, Yvor, Alona .