"Fly'n'Roll": a non-motorized trip around the worldTue, 28/05/2013 - 23:59 — Petzl
"Fly'n'Roll" is a non-motorized trip around the world on foot, by bike, and by sailboat hitchhiking. Olivier Peyre left Grenoble in 2008. Joined later on by Nadège Perrot, they will finish their circumnavigation of the globe in 2016, completing the adventure of a lifetime.
"No dream is too farfetched!"
As a fifteen year old, Olivier read the book, "On a roulé sur la terre" (We rode our bikes around the world), by Sylvain Tesson and Alexandre Poussin, which tells the story of their one year bike trip around the world. This book was a revelation for him, "Since they proved that it was possible, I decided that I would do it my way when the right time came. This dream followed me everywhere until the day it came true."
The concept of a "non-motorized" trip
In the very same vein, the goal of "Fly'n'Roll" is to explore the Earth by bike, by paraglider, and by sailboat. The concept of a "non-motorized" trip allows for moving at a slower rhythm, taking the time to meet locals and to more thoroughly explore each region along the way. This method of travel represents the complete opposite of whirlwind tourism, which consists of seeing as many places in as little time as possible, often with complete disregard for local traditions and the environment, never taking the time to meet and converse with locals.
The various themes all throughout our trip have come together naturally and all following the concept of "non-motorized" travel. We use our bikes on land, a sailboat for the high seas, and a paraglider and our legs for the mountains and the air.
We have climbed a symbolic high point in each country we've visited, paragliding on the descent as often as possible.
Sailboat hitchhiking requires the right timing, and we had to make sure that we were in the Canary Islands by October 2008 and in Panama by February 2010 when most sailboats catch the trade winds. Spain and Northwest Africa taught us how to be "cycling-drifters." The Atlantic taught us how to sail in 2008.
South America turned into a year of cycling and paragliding mixed with ascents in some of the most remote corners of the planet. Next we traversed the vast Pacific Ocean, with a long stopover in New Caledonia before heading to New Zealand.
In April 2013, we started sailboat hitchhiking again, this time to the Vanuatu Islands, Australia and then to Asia via Singapour to start the the long trip across Eurasia back to Grenoble by way of China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey.
The website and seminars on the theme, "No dream is too farfetched," in schools allows us to share our dreams and photos of faraway places. Turning this project into a reality is proof positive that this type of challenge is within anyone's reach. An alternative, more human and less stressful lifestyle is possible, where one listens to others and shows more respect for our planet.
An excerpt from their travel log
Finally! This word doesn't come anywhere close to conveying our relief; we've reached the legendary Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. Well, let me tell you that after twenty days of dirt and sandy roads, this is simply paradise. It's 11:30am, and after riding a few kilometers on salt as hard as concrete, we stop to eat in this very strange place. We can feel light breeze from the north, no too strong, but not too week either, just enough to try out an old idea. I roll out my wing, and after a few tries, I'm on my bike with my wing above. Playing with the brakes I try to place the wing so that it pulls the bike just like a kite would in water.
Unbelievable, it works, the system makes forward progress on its own; I don't even have to pedal! Suddenly, behind me, Nadège cries out. The bottom bracket on her pedal just broke. The bike can roll, but it is impossible to pedal. The perfect opportunity to modify the "Fly'n'Roll" concept in order to overcome a mechanical difficulty and to combine the two major themes of our trip into one! We attach one of the suspension lines between our two bikes; I take control of both my paragliding wing and the Alpazone [editor's note: the name of Nadège's bike], and we continue along like this, the wing pulling Nadège and I on our two bikes. We travelled between 22 and 30 km/hr for 60 kilometers and six hours of sheer joy, traversing the entire Salar without pedaling even once!
26 countries visited; 30,066 km pedaled; 16,000 km navigated by sailboat; and 150 paragliding spots.
We wish this dynamic duo lots of wind and luck for the upcoming stages!!
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