On the first day of march 2022 , I started a trip with my selfmade e bike trailer from Linz to Mallorca. The time limit was set to 26th of march.
To find out how me and my team built the music e bike trailer – called Freequencer – together, have a look here.
Day 28 – Another bike breakdown …
The best view you can get in the morning. A sunrise behind big mountains straight in front of you across the wide river Isére. Laetitia and me chose to spend another chill camping day together. In the late afternoon we wished each other a loving goodbye and I headed towards Valence.
Without turning my motor on, I drove a few km and at the first uphill street the wheel came out of the holder in the middle of the hill. It was a fight to get the heavy trailer by hand to the next flat area around. I tried to fix it with my tools but it didn’t work out. So I looked around and found help at a house nearby. So lucky that the inhabitants Camille and Fabienne could speak perfect english. We carried the bike to their garden and got to know each other.
A little later Camille‘s uncle Jean-Pierre arrived and was very keen on repairing the bike, since we couldn’t fix it quickly. It was getting too dark and we decided to repair it the next day. Later we had a dinner with Camille‘s aunt Christine & her husband, who could speak german well. When had fun together, when I played a ukulele version of the song „Ein Freund ein guter Freund“ to them. I could stay the night in their nice garden… So cool.
Day 29 – Excursion to Pont-En-Royans
The first job in the morning was to repair the bike. Jean-Pierre was super helpful and worked with passion and perfection on the problem. He found a very good solution to fix the wheel even better than the original and after a few tries it was done. He was proud and I was extremely thankful to find another great person to repair my bike – now already for the fifth time on the trip.
In the afternoon I called Laetitia to see her again & we visited the beautiful city Pont-En-Royans with her car. A grotte was also close to the city, so we went for a tour and it was very cool – especially with my short jeans and tshirt inside the grotte. 😀
For the rest of this day I save the words and let the pictures tell the story:
Day 30 – Public Camping Concert
After an emotional goodbye to Laetitia, I headed towards Valence. Only about 30km into the day, I got a flat tire on the wheel with the motor, which is the hardest to change. And more than that, I had no tube for a 26 inch wheel. I pumped it up with my little hand pump to get to the next camping area. I saw a couple from switzerland with bikes on the back of the trailer. Perfect opportunity! They had exactly what I needed and gave it to me as a present. Thank you very much! Now I was able to repair it with the help of Max, a friendly biker from Tyrol.
Then I asked at the entrance of the camping area to charge my bike and have a rest, cause I didn’t sleep a lot in the night. The also helped me and I wanted to thank them with a concert in the evening. While I rested they told their visitors about it. I also met Eric who brought me a Leff beer and we had a very good conversation. The group he was with trained for a Triathlon.
So it happend to be that at 8:30 I played my first public concert in fron of 30-40 people at the restaurant in a camping spot. : ) The atmosphere there was very beautiful and Eric helped me with translating my song announcements to french. Later I sat down with the triathlon group and I could join their dinner. So I didn‘t get far the day, but still it was a great one.
Day 31 – ViaRhona I am coming
No more time to loose. I started early on was very fast. Only one time I chose the wrong route and ended up a extrem steep downhill slope in a little town. I had no other choice as it was the only way to continue. It was on easter monday and most of the citizens still asleep in the morning. As I went down the slope, both my breaks worked at their limit. A very high, awful and loud sound echoed through the town. It was embarrassing but what else could I do…
After this little challenge, I arrived in Valence quickly. A wonderful city on a sunny day, but very few people in Downtown on easter monday. So I headed down to a big park called Parc Jouvet with many people enjoying their spare time. Still tired I needed another nap there. Meanwhile I reloaded the battery with the solar panel. Later I worked on the DC-DC adapter to improve the loading capacity from the 12V system to the 48V system.
Then I decided to go on. Finally on the famous bike way ViaRhona, which many people had told me about. I went about 15 km further south and stopped on the side of a field with a great sunset and moonlight. Even if experiences getting more and more routine, in my humble opinion it’s a well known secret of life to never stop appreciating them.
Day 32 – Daytime party!
I set the goal to 100 km and close to Avignon for this day. ViaRhona was build across nice landscapes but also ZickZack and longer to drive. This part of France was called Ardéche and it had one very special surprise for bikers:
The gates were narrower than in other regions, so it was very very hard to navigate my trailer through – on some spots impossible. Also they built so many gates there.. So it took a lot of time and energy to get ahead. Suddenly I heard loud music from a garden and saw a guy with a blue hat chilling in his hammock in the garden. I turned around and he welcomed me. Jean Luc and me had fun, danced, drank Jack Daniels and beer, eat a cake and smoked … oui.
He offered to stay the night and have barbecue together, but I wanted to ride on. Thank you for the great time in your garden there Jean-Luc.
After a while I reached an ancient and narrow steel bridge. First I was scared and doubtful if I should pass it with my heavy stuff, but I decided to try. It was a good choice. In the middle of the bridge I met Orelie, a lovely woman from a town nearby. We talked for. while and then she offered me a place to stay the night. On the way to her flat we stopped at a water fount, with special quality water. Many people from all around the area came here to fill their bottles. So did I.
Then we bought some food, cooked very healthy and experimental food together and enjoyed the time. I was great to meet you Orelie!
Day 33 – First day of rain
Can you imagine. On my 33rd day of traveling across middle Europe, it was the first day raining. I was prepared and put my big condom over the trailer to save it from hard rain. A stopped a few times under bridges to dry a bit and made it almost to Avignon. It was the most beautiful ride so far on my journey. In the middle of the forrest along the river on a great quality bike road.
On the way a biker couple had a flat tire. A swiss couple and me stopped to help. I also played two songs for them. Good vibes to repair. : )
Before darkness I asked at a random house if I could recharge and park under a protected roof. An old Couple welcomed me and I was save for the night. Not more to say about this day.
Day 34 – Close to give up
I felt my first journey with the mobile e bike trailer comes slowly to an end. Still a bit more to go…
I arrived early in Avignon, where I was before 12 years ago. A great place to make music on the streets and I was keen on playing for the people there.
But plans changed quickly when I got a flat tire at the entrance to the city. I screamed. Anyway no time to loose I repaired it. Because it was the back wheel of the trailer, I had to put all my stuff out on the side of a big street.
I make it short: The same procedure happened 3 times till I finally changed and repaired not just the inside tube, but also the wheel. Licky I had exactly one extra wheel with me all the time for the 20 inch trailer. Now was the time.
I have to admit that I was close to give up and leave the trailer there. At the right time a guy helped and motivated me to continue…
I headed to Avignon but no more time and energy to play now. Big traffic and bad streets made my decision clear. I continued further south direction Arles. In the fields before the city I stopped at a very lonesome rice farm before it got too dark. I could not enter because 8 barking dogs made me stop immediately. I was quite scared didn’t move.
Then a big man came out of the house to see whats the matter. I introduced myself friendly and asked for my usual demands. We found a place inside a barn to stay for the night. It was my best option and I agreed.
First I was scared of the 8 dogs, but in the night it made me feel quite safe to sleep next to them. Just that I had a good sausage in the trailer made me feel a bit uncomfortable. ; )
Day 35 – I made it to the sea!
The ferry to Mallorca goes from Toulon, so I headed to Marseille after I passed by Arles in the morning hours. I used the motor to be fast and recharged and slept for 2 hours on one of big farms along Salon-De-Provence. The woman showed me a nice place in the shadow, because it was a hot day and sun, but this should change soon…
I did it… After a few hours I reached the sea. What a feeling to get here with a heavy bike trailer from Austria.
It was super wind and the weather prognosis expected rain and strong wind for the next two days. I went further to Aix-En-Provence. On the way I stopped under a huge Aqueduct to be safe from the rain.
I felt my body batteries and muscles were getting more and more empty and tired, like before Geneve. I saw a Supermarket with a roof on the parking area snd also power sockets to charge. Perfect combination and timing because now it was raining very heavy.
Too bad the shop was closing to early for me snd I had to leave. It was almost dark and still raining, so I just rode the bike 300 meters back where I came from to a gas station.
I didn’t ask for permission and just parked it somewhere close to the shop under the roof. And because I was very cold I plugged in the battery and went to sleep on a busy saturday night at a gas station…
Day 36 – Lost and found
I didn’t sleep very well of course and was still tired in the morning. When I crawled out of the trailer I saw a security car watching me. Ups.
So I quickly packed all the stuff together and moved the bike beside the security. Then I grabbed the Ukulele and played a song. This is always my emergency plan haha. The guy drove away and let me stay. 🙂
After two more hours with rain, the next stop was a little boulangerie a few km away. I arrived and a couple greeted me and asked about the trip. The woman could speak german, because she worked in Austria for a while. When they offered me a place to stay and a shower I was super happy and agreed with a big smile.
I met the whole family! Xavier the father, Delphine the mother and the three kids Flavien, Adéle, Titouan and the crazy Dog Rösti – also called Dogpotato haha. We celebrated the birthday of the youngest. Because the owned a nice german piano Titouan and me jammed together. A nice spontaneous improvised music piece. I loved it.
Then we drove down to Marseille, visited nice spots and drove along the coast street with a great view of the city and the sea.
On the way back to Aix, I asked them about the possibility to leave my trailer at there place for a few month, so I can fly back to work in austria for the summer season. Xavier and Delphine said it’s possible and I felt so relieved to solve that problem.
Now I made it from Austria down to the sea with my bine trailer and because it’s only a jump in the ferry to Mallorca, for me personally the challenge and race to Mallorca was archived and I could finish here without a guilty conscience.
Anyway I will come back at the end of the year and continue my way down to the south coast Spain and then Portugal or somewhere else.
Last but not least some final expressions:
(Video will be available soon…)
If you liked the blog and stories its a very good idea to let me know about it with a comment below. Thank you for your time reading and I am happy if it made you smile and gave you inspiration for your own trip.