Music maestra !

To cover the longest possible distances on my electric motorcycle, my riding style had to be ‘moderate’ to say the least. Or say adagio to fit this post. Riding at 45-60 km/h through ugly suburbs, too much traffic or too much of the same, it is —admittedly— boring. VERY boring at times. If on top of that, sun strikes at +35° and it’s after lunch, NOT dozing off is challenge number one.
Enters one of the best insights I had creating this project: MUSIC !
Not just any music. I wanted suitable music. Music matching the nature of my ride, demanding a fine ear and attention. Over the last few years, I became acquainted with contemporary classic music. Thus it happened: two good friends, composer Annelies Van Parys and mezzo Els Mondelaers, compiled a playlist each. Though some bits became challenge number two, most was JUST right. New worlds unfolded; it was a treat. Gliding through the ugliest urban mishaps, I smiled largely. Their music kept me company on the lone rides and saved me from standing on my head on the saddle or riding backwards.

This video gives a very good impression of how I lived many hours on my silently whistling electric motorcycle, including the music in my helmet.
This was what I heard and saw.

[to have a better quality HD view, please click to watch in Vimeo]

Music: Sofia Gubaidulina
‘Jetzt immer Schnee’ (Теперь всегда снега) on verses of Gennadi Aigi for chamber ensemble and chamber choir (1993)
[no data about the musicians and singers of this particular recording]

Soundscape: Xena, the electric Zero DS motorcycle

Recorded during a ride in Bulgaria on the return leg of my journey.


‘Traveling is all about unwinding.’ – the first publications

Here is a journey on a motorcycle that offers, or maybe I should say obliges just that: to unwind.
And isn’t that what we all look for on our journeys and holidays?

On top op that, Xena, ‘my’ Zero DS, and I proved one of the main prejudices of electric riding to be wrong, even that of the manufacturer: YES you can ride long distances on a stock standard electric motorcycle. Though this is of course not what most people will do with it, the Zero is a powerful, maintenance free and silent motorcycle, for any journey, SHORT or LONG. It’s all about an open mind, an appetite for adventure, and curiosity. Though power supply will be tricky in these regions, I can’t wait to take an electric motorbike to Pakistan and Tajikistan. Really.

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You thought #elektrogirl had fallen asleep, off her motorbike, or just plainly off the globe?
Nothing further from the truth.
I arrived home safely —by total surprise welcomed by a good bunch of friends and family (banners and drums included!)— and plunged into writing articles, giving interviews and meeting some extremely interesting people at the heart of the electric motorbike development.

Here are two of the results; more to come.
[these are in Dutch only, but I’m preparing articles in English, en Français, und auf Deutsch as well. Published in spring 2016]

I can write forever and a day, but my advice is: just go and TESTRIDE these bikes. And get back to me afterwards. I’d be happy to learn from you too and to talk.

Entering Albania via the back door, the valley of Han i Hotit

Entering Albania via the back door, the valley of Han i Hotit