↑ Return to Ride in 2011

About the project

From Brittany to the North Cape, a 5,700-km bike ride

Start: May 1, 2011 – Nantes, in front of the town hall (Loire-Atlantique, France)
Finish: June 26, 2011 – North Cape, Norway

Targets: raising funds for an association (“Chiens-guides de l’Ouest” – Guide dogs for blind people in Western France) and helping a disabled person purchase a wheelchair

 

Bretagne – Cap Nord à vélo” (“Riding between Brittany and the North Cape”) is a challenge that Michel Fontaine decided to take up in 2011. During this two-month journey between Nantes, France and Lofoten, Norway, he cycled across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

Michel is a long-standing cyclist who rides about 10,000 km a year. Riding to the North Cape and discovering this European region had been a long-held dream when he finally decided to take up the challenge. But he did not want to do it on his own. Since he had already ridden tandems with blind and sight-impaired cyclists, he turned to the“Chiens guides d’aveugles de Loire-Atlantique et de l’Ouest” association, which helps blind and sight-impaired people in their daily life.

To carry out the project, Michel asked for help from his family, friends and colleagues.
His relatives got strongly involved in the project, and wrote texts for a dedicated website that gave details to the general public and anyone wishing to support this great human adventure.
An original way to help was set up: purchasing kilometres. Raised funds were donated in full to the “Chiens guides d’aveugles de Loire-Atlantique et de l’Ouest” association.

A local radio, “Radio Côte d’Amour”, followed him during his journey. Many interviews were made and broadcast all along the way.
The local weekly newspaper “Les Infos de Redon” also published articles about the journey in each edition.
Semitan, the company that manages the public transport network in the urban community of Nantes, also helped by inserting a link to Michel’s blog on their official website from the very beginning of the preparations.

The adventure was also shared with schools and teachers, in order to raise children’s awareness of human relations and environmental issues.

On their side, Michel’s colleagues, who were convinced that he would succeed, offered him to ride a few more kilometres. This new challenge aimed at purchasing a new wheelchair for Hacène, whose both legs were amputated at the knee. Hacene needed this new chair to use public transport and have an easier everyday life.

May 1, 2011. Nantes, in front of the Town Hall. Everybody was there for the beginning of this human and sports adventure.

 

A few words from Hacène:

“Hello, my name is Hacène. I am 32, I have been disabled for 10 years. After a road accident, my legs were amputated at the knee. Despite many health problems, I have been living my life at the fullest: my relatives say that I have nerves of steel. I like sports, particularly swimming, sailing and wheelchair basketball. I keep my hopes up thanks to my family and my friends of any nationality or religion. I also enjoy helping associations in Nantes. I regularly talk about disability to children in schools and activity centres. I want to show them that it is possible to live a real life despite disability, and that it is essential not to lose hope. Thank you.”

Hacène

 

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