Agilo tour 2023

Agilo is on the road again. Destination? :unsure:

Day one Saint Jean de Luz -> Pissos, Landes about 140 km, If you don't get lost. I need a GPS... This is not about going fast but getting to. That said the first 100 km in 4 hours 22 seconds. Overweight... 20 km of road surface from hell, I had to slow to below 20 km/h. Camping closed but where there is a will there is a way.

Day two -> Montguyon about 130 km on paper, see above. First flat battery and 10% on arrival. Wonderful Warm showers host.

Day three started well on the road to Civray. Great velomibile roads. Then head wind, strong. Hills, lots. Lost again turned back and 60 km/h with the tail wind over a few km. Then the battery ran out again in the middle of nowhere. 40 km of pain...

Day four is a rest day!

To be continued...
Day five to Châteauroux, a velomibile day!

Rain in the night and for an hour or two on the road. But I have the Axel wiper! (y)

Then some sailing and dolphining, strong tail wind all day.

BRouter decided to be friends and I didn't get lost!

The 150 km went like a dream, a couple of nice conversations on the way. And I was in a road race! I could follow them at speed until the first speed bump.

Cold an rain again today I think
Day six to Dornes.

Another very good start. Then I wished I had selected a road surface option in the router... This is not a fast velomibile route!

Breakdown, the chain jumped out of the bottom of the idler pulley. Impossible! I thought so too but harmonic vibration on very bad surface and no tension on the drive side then it can. When you step on the pedal bad things happen... 10 minute repair.

Heavy rain near the destination and of course thunder and the sky opened. Stopped on the side of the road with the hazard lights, even with the Axel wiper I couldn't see past the nose. Camping closed, more wild camping on the village playground.

Day seven to Chalon sur Saône.

Lots to see, I have never been here before. A long stretch along a canal which was relaxing. Then the "mountain", 436 meters, 10% gradient (at least) and no battery, main and phone, so neither assistance nor GPS. Please do not try this at home...

Very long and cold downhill in the dark, my high beam works but may be a bit limit for some. 135 km in 10 hours, thank goodness I spent all those hours in the gear calculator! My legs only wanted to know 1st gear from a certain point.

Day eight, rest day!!!

Destination X (we never pronounce the name Harry Potter...) is getting closer. Yes there are a few photos, maybe I will make an album later.
Day nine to Cromary, nothing much at arrival except a camping ground full of NL. No bar, no boulangerie, a dead town. One family gave me 2 eggs and another a beer.

Day ten coming after food... Well no, I have WiFi at the tent now, and So to Bartenheim and no events except I lost the Warmshowers host's address... Saved by a route copy I left for the home base.

Day eleven a short stage to my camping ground 7 km from the Spezi... :cool:

Tram tracks in Basel? Yep did those, trying to avoid one I ended up sliding for a bit at 90°. I managed to stop before hitting the central concrete division. I learnt to drive on gravel roads so my brain just reacted like back then.

The CCU doesn't like Swiss white lines, another sideways situation when a big truck pushed me too far off the road.

But I am here with 1326 km on the Sigma. That means getting lost an going off the track cost me about 100 km.

See you tomorrow!

I did spot a familiar face hanging out a car window as I was grinding up the wrong road to the camping ground. You know who you are! :giggle:

And I saw my second ever velomibile (other than mine) when walking back from shopping, a bordeaux DF if I am not mistaken.
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Back from the Spezi

Starring the same cast as the way there!

The rain started at 3 a.m., great another wet ride... The traffic was light, no trucks on the German road. I followed the BRouter route I should have followed on the way.

Crossed into Switzerland and a few trucks. Just after crossing what is happening at the rear? Oh great, a slow puncture! Wheel out, new AV7 in and off we go. Hello, 5 km later another front left, now where is the second tube? Ok so I'll patch. 10 km and the patch didn't hold, normal seeing the wet conditions it was applied in. Stuff out and I find the tube.

Back into Germany and once again that familiar feeling at the rear... Normal patch this time, and the tube is new it will hold.

Tram tracks tested again, this time dry. Easier to control the slide. At just before 19:00 I am at the camping ground in Belfort. And... the rear tyre is flat :eek:

More punctures in one day than the rest of my life!
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Second day, a late start and yet at the camping ground earlier than usual :unsure:

A nice rolling section in the middle but the end was brutal with no assistance. Still about 300 km in two days. Yesterday I got 313 meters closer to sea level and had a strong tail wind at the end.

Today is a rest day. May have to take some photos :sneaky:. Not so easy when your camera and GPS are the same device on the road and when getting to destination is the priority.

I can now tell when the air pressure is not right in the front wheel, the new tube had lost about 0.3 bar. Ah! experience... :giggle:

Only 900 km left!
I have retraced your route by the names of the places you stopped at and from the looks of it it seems that you took a route north of Dole-Besançon-Montbeliard and not along the Doubs-canal. What a shame, that is a really nice route. (But maybe that is a routing error caused by your night stop in Cromary.)
BRouter does my routing. I am not very happy with what it thinks a fast velomibile route should be. Not sure what is worse, road surface or weather :unsure:

Yesterday a speed bump took out the indicators, not very comfortable... A 5 minute repair this morning but I would prefer legal speed bumps, at the end of the day I am not happy to see one. So far I have touched at the front about 4 times at very low speed.
. I am not very happy with what it thinks a fast velomibile route should be.
Well, the profile was made by someone in the northern part of Germany with good road surfaces and few ascends in mind. For me personally the lack of usage of bigger roads and the lack of minimization of climbs are the main points I try to mitigate by tweaking the profile. For you the small roads with minimal traffic often mean the dreaded french bumpy asphalt and the low priority for bigger roads mean no routes nationales, which is an even bigger impact in terms of speed and comfort than for me in southern Germany.


160 km, because I can :giggle: Parray le Monial tonight.

But I was punished... The wind started after about 25 km, of course a strong headwind...

It was hot so the side windows are in summer mode, the sliding part stores nicely in the front luggage compartments.

And the final km were French road surface hell again. When I had too much pain I just stopped, a camper told me they even felt the bad surface in their camper van. It was like corrugated iron in places...

The camping ground is very nice and they have a bike tariff, the lady has already had velomobiles here, they were often yellow. :giggle:
So to Saint Amand Montrond another 150 day, nothing much to say other than I have more and more pain on the bad surface. A bicycle friendly camping ground with a bicycle friendly tariff. Woke up at 8:10, no rush today after more than 300 k in two days.

Here I am in Belarbre, 110 km further on and only 30 k short of where I had planned. There is still some juice in the battery! Tomorrow is a rest day (no fun trying to find food on Sunday) and tonight the thunder is all around. I had fun this morning, I ignored BRouter and took the main road to Châteauroux. Flat, smooth road and a very light easterly breeze I was seeing 35+ and even 40+ km/h for very long stretches. It must be going downhill! On the flat 27 km/h to 31, getting stronger it seems. That section was done in under 3 hours. With stops... :cool: Then the usual BRouter fantasy, I don't remember the road so bad on the way :unsure:. And yes, I took the same road.

Today was the first time someone said we saw you going the other way last week (y) I also passed the 2000 km mark and am less than 500 km from home.
Châteauneuf du Charente 169 km... :oops:

I am fit now I think :giggle: Maybe I can drive the last 329 km home in 2 days, maybe I will take 3 (2.5).

Nothing much to say other than it is definitely going downhill, lots of sections over 40 again and also quite a few hills climbed with the head more than the body when the battery was finished. The advantage of the Rohloff is that you don't have to get out and push...
Where was I? Oh yes Chateauneuf sur Charente, so off we go again.

I stop for a pause about 17 km from Montguyon, one of the places I stopped on the way and... the positive wire from the XT90 is there in my hand. No more electricity. No assistance is fine, I am only 17 km from the place I stayed, surely they have a soldering iron. But driving without lights in the daytime and in the rain is not much fun. Then I come across a very big John Deere garage in the middle of nowhere, they lend me a soldering iron, the repair is done and the sun comes out again.

Off down the road through Libourne to Créon where I discover there is a campground amidst the vineyards of Bordeaux! A very expensive campground, but nice neighbours from Germany cycling from Narbonne up the canals to Bordeaux. And Daniel from Toulouse cycling to a wedding in Nantes.

Down through the Landes to Lesperon, bad roads, bad mood, flat battery. Another expensive camping ground but the quietest one of the whole journey.

And today it is done! The worlds first Agilo to cross France from south-west to north-east! We made it! 2469 km on the Sigma (sometimes EMF emissions make it stop counting) and 4 kg less weight on board (76.5 kg down to 72.5 kg). Because the wind was quite strong I stopped at the Asian supermarket and picked up 1 kg of udon and ramen noodles and another kg of rice plus a couple of other things. Not quite 4 kg but some more weight on board just in case :giggle:

Today I tightened the elastic on the chain tensioner and checked tyre pressure, Ooops 2.5 BAR is comfortable but 3.2 BAR rolls a little better, tyre pressure gauge added to the shopping list.

Tomorrow le bilan as we say in French.
It's a bit late, but better now than never:
I was glad to have met you at the Spezi and have a look at your wonderfully unusual velomobile in all its wooden glory.
You seemed to have so much fun to build and ride it all the way to Germany! I could never do that because I'm such a coward...
Well, I read some of your adventures on the way and wish you a pleasant ride as long as it may take you.
You're my hero! (y)
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