Through Margot Nicodemus
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They made the ultimate effort to make the round trip to the Flaubert Bridge, from where they set off on January 3, 2021, before officially ending their journey at Novick’s Stadium in Rouen (Seine-Maritime). Héloïse and Pauline, 24 and 32 years old, come back a year, or more exactly 350 days, from bike trip, worldwide. At 3 p.m., Sunday December 19, 2021, the ” 2 girls on bikes“, As they were called, found, on the quays of the Seine, friends and family, all more proud of each other of the couple’s achievement. In total, they have driven more than 13 000 km and crossed 16 pays. Just that !
How it feels, after traveling the world at #bike for one year ? Heloise and her partner Pauline, alias “2 girls by bike” have officially arrived at #Rouen this Sunday, after having cycled through 16 countries… The story of their formidable journey soon on @ 76actu 🙌🚴♀️ pic.twitter.com/SwYXCMql3n
– Margot Nicodeme (@MargotNicodeme) December 19, 2021
11 countries that were not planned!
However, this is less than the incredible goal they had set themselves, a global pandemic requires. “It’s almost half the 25,000 km we had planned,” explains Pauline, who has trouble realizing that she is treading on her land in Normandy again. We could not respect the initial itinerary, between quarantines, PCR tests to be provided, and the path dictated by such and such a country which wanted us well… ”To take the measure of the radical changes made,“ on the 17 countries planned [avant le départ], we made five, and eleven were not planned! »Which makes a total of 16 territories.
The arrival in South America, for example, opened the doors to Chile, and even the United States, then closed to other continents. Pauline and Héloïse have mostly slept with locals or in tents, surrounded by nature. What was the most difficult after all? “We felt alone, sometimes, out of step with France. We tell ourselves that we want to be disconnected from life here, but this is not always the case, ”continues Pauline, who also recounts the weather conditions at times trying, physically and mentally. But this Sunday, the heart is with joy and satisfaction.
“Like on a cloud …”
“We feel good, it’s an accomplishment. We do not yet realize. I feel like I’m in a cloud… ”The girls were able to benefit from the support of their relatives, from a distance, but also of strangers, who followed them in their progress via their social networks. Hélène, a friend, was one of those who took advantage of their return to Europe to meet them, before the final return to Rouen. “We went to see them three times. Before their departure, then in Finland and finally in Chalon-sur-Saône [en Bourgone-Franche-Comté, NDLR], last week, to give them the final boost! The couple’s bikes were also named after Hélène and her companion, “Lulu and Ralou”. “I want to say that Lulu has never punctured …” laughs Hélène, whose good humor illustrates this day of reunion.
If she had to choose a stage, Pauline would choose Chile, for the landscapes. ” It takes [au cœur] what we saw there was superb. “Far from being sated, the Rouen women are already planning a fast-paced next expedition, from March 2022, this time leaving the bikes aside. “We would like to go on a trek in Nepal… We want to take advantage, it is easier once we have removed the housing barriers, etc. But for now, we still plan to reboss the next two months, to put money aside, ”concludes Pauline, mischievously nicknamed“ Popo la Chouine ”by those around her.
The most difficult, for these two sports enthusiasts, will undoubtedly be taking the time to rest …
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