In Xinyang 3 weeks ago Sam knocked on my hotel room door and I first time saw a new friend I only knew up to then from Wechat... Since then we have been travelling 2500km together, crossing a big part of China , sharing a hotel room and experiencing what happens if you mix:
- two very different concepts of solar bicycles into one tour
- two guys in the 50's with a very different cultural background
- an electrical and an mechanical engineer in one team.
Last one is easy, since we complement each other and emphasize daily, that one cannot work without the other.
The cultural background comes across with essential questions. How does society work (sheep and tigers), what is important to grow up your children, how to handle rubbish and food. How to take care of health. And I am sure, we both learn a lot from each other. With culture comes food: And this is really a challenge for us: Sam as a South Chinese person loves rice, and I like local food. But we are North of Yangtze River, so noodles are the local main dish.... Nevertheless, this can be overcome, we switch between both...this evening good luck for me, they even had no rice....
Our two concepts of bikes comes up with hourly key questions:
- What is your voltage?
- Why don't you go faster and have a break to unfold your solar panels?
- Shouldn't we clean our panels more often?
Each evening after moving into the room first thing is a comparison of how many Watt hours per kilometer has been consumed that day by whom. And then endless discussions, why it is like it is.
But by writing these lines, I realize, that I am strongly influenced by my cultural background to first look on the differences of us two. More important should be, what is making us and keeping us as a team? It is the passion to travel with solar E-bikes, to use our technical experience to think about improvements and to combine this with challenging our physical capabilities....
For me it was a great luck to get in contact with Sam and to go on this trip together. We have lot of fun together!
Without him, I would never have made it until Guazhou, where we stay tonight...
I am looking forward to these daily discussions and I am sure, there are coming up new interesting topics to enjoy and discuss!