‘I laugh saying “elektrik!” and ride two small rounds’ – more publications

Here you go, 9 more publications about the #elektrogirl journey to choose from, in English, Nederlands, Français, Deutsch and Italiano, each featuring a PDF-link below to the full article. Enjoy!

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1. Overland Magazine (UK / international) – December 2015 – (spread)

’… behind the lens…
Trui Hanoulle is freelance photographer, designer, travelling student and motorbiker. Combining a Belgian sense of the uncommon, a potion of nerve, and a keen eye for beauty, she constantly realises her passport is sheer luck. Bikes have taken her to a variety of places over the last 20 years – Iran, Pakistan and Yemen some of her favourites. We’ll be exposing more of her work soon, following her electric long distance return journey to Istanbul on a Zero DS. #elektrogirl is now her middle name.’

  • Text and photographs: Trui Hanoulle // download the pdf here.

Overland Magazine (UK / international) – December 2015 – (spread)

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Once upon a time in Gilgit, Pakistan

I came across a nutty video (at the bottom of this post) which brought about an old story.

  • Pakistan ! (how badly I want to return when seeing this…);
  • the roads or rather tracks these two guys are riding;
  • the way they are riding, a bit… well… say eh… sloppy? (does wearing an Afghan cap as a helmet adds to the thrill?);
  • the biker’s age;
  • THAT BRIDGE + THAT TUNNEL as of minute 2:45………………

Here is my story about the very same bridge.
2002, Gilgit, Pakistan

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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


de niet-aanval en de niet-foto

We zouden nog even gaan wandelen. Dat was tenminste wat Nurgül en Mariana, mijn vriendinnen in Istanbul, me zeiden. Halfweg de namiddag was er ook ineens een bericht uit de lucht gevallen: een vrouwen-voor-vrede-actiegroep zou een sit-in houden in het midden van de belangrijkste winkelstraat, İstiklal.
Ik had eerder die week al riot police in full force een kleine machtsontplooiing zien ontwikkelen, precies daar. Geen betoger of anderssoortige groep te zien toen maar wel een volledig bataljon met traangasgeweren, schilden, helmen en maskers in de aanslag zoals ik ze had gezien tijdens de opstand in Gezi Park twee jaar geleden. Zelfs zo’n imposant waterkanon torende bovende shoppende menigte uit. Ja, er waren die aanslagen geweest. Zelfs aan de grens hadden de douaniers zich bijzonder pesterig gedragen. Maar die dag zag ik geen enkele aanleiding en ik heb er ook niet op gewacht. Mijn naïeve ervaring met Turks traangas stond me nog bijzonder helder voor de geest. Nee dank u.

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softly whistling to a gay marriage

My first week was one of testing, wondering, looking, listening. And keeping a sharp eye on the counter of Xena, my electric motorbike.
Day 1 with a fixed appointment in Sedan, France. I rode 226 km on a full charge + recharge of 2 hours (some 10 km to spare, probably). Day 4 : I squeezed 252 km (!) on a 100% charge out of her with some 5 km to spare upon arrival, ups…! Last 50 km I slowed down to 40-50 km/h and tried not to brake even once, as the bike regenerates power when letting her roll to a stand still. In the mountains I managed to regenerate a couple of percentages and smiled accordingly. How special, ‘refueling’ while riding!

As it happened, sun and heat stroke strongly —up to 35° and more in the shade— and riding generally at a grandma’s pace, more then once I tended to doze off…! Came in the MUSIC. For I had taken a box full of contemporary classic music, neatly divided into three playlists: one by composer Annelies Van Parys, one by mezzo soprano Els Mondelaers, and one with bits and pieces I gleaned myself.

I will publish the full playlists later, but here are some bits from playlist 1 :

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And I had an appointment. Friends-for-over-thirty-years, Sandro Romagna and Armando Pederzoli, were having their marriage party on July 17th in Brescia, Italy. They checked my whereabouts every day, feeling ill at ease that I wasn’t simply flying in.

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Départ de l’expédition

‘La présidente annonce le départ de l’expédition’, zo kondigde ik het vertrek aan, vrij naar bovenstaande foto uit een oud klimexpeditieboek.
Op vrijdag 10 juli gleed-reed ik weg uit de turbinezaal van De Centrale in Gent, uitgewuifd en heftig besprenkeld met rozenblaadjes en modderwater naar aloud Iraans gebruik door alle aanwezigen.
Toeters, bellen, drankjes, en zakdoeken voor wuiven & wenen kwamen aan het evenement te pas. Het binnen- en buitenrijden met de zoemende elektromotor, in de lift en door de concertzaal, vond zelfs ik echt spannend, en er was het unieke, made-to-measure optreden van het hedendaags-klassiek Odysseia Ensemble. Tussen de buizen, hoogspanningsborden en turbines brachten Dries Tack en Katrien Gaelens drie bijzondere stukken muziek: van José-Maria Sanchez-Verdu (luisteren kan hier Inscriptio), van Isandro Ojeda-García en van Frederik Neyrinck.
[op 11 december 2015 zijn Dries en Katrien nog te zien/horen met het Nadar Ensemble in de Bijloke, Gent.]

Twee reeksen indrukken: de eerste van fotograaf Bob Van Mol; de tweede van aanwezigen Sabien Hanoulle, Tiene Depoorter en Katleen Dejonghe.


Over de oorsprongen van de expeditie:

‘Over de oorsprongen van de expeditie: haar ontstaan, haar trage volgroeiing en haar kronkelige wasdom, en hoe de bleke lezer niet alleen zal zien dat de wetenschappelijke overdenking iemands visie op de wereld kan veranderen, maar ook de hindernissen zal opmerken die op de weg van een onderzoeker rijzen, en tegelijkertijd ruimschoots de gedegenheid zal hebben de slimheid en moed van de onverschrokken expeditieleden te bewonderen’

Julio Cortázar & Carol Dunlop – uit De autonauten van de kosmosnelweg

[eerste uitgave 1983, simultaan in het Spaans en Frans, Los autonautas de la cosmopista / Les Autonautes de la cosmoroute ]

Ontdekt door Charlotte Mutsaers, heruitgegeven na twitterstorm door Das Magazin + Meulenhoff: De comeback van een snelwegtoerist