The planning and preparation for my journey has taken the best part of a year. During that time I have made many local runs on the Solex to see what sort of distance I think would be reasonable to cover in a day; I’ve stripped the engine down to familiarise myself with the way it works and I’ve spent many hours on the internet researching unusual and interesting places to visit on my trip.
My average speed on most of the runs I’ve made has been between 22 and 23 k.p.h. (about 14 m.p.h.) – top speed downhill is about 35 k.p.h. but the average comes down on the uphill stretches especially where the hills are steep and it is necessary to get off and walk alongside the bike. Fortunately the engine can be kept running in these situations and one has to just walk and steer the Solex, (no need to push it up the hills).
In order to calculate the time I need for the journey I have used an estimated average speed of just 20 k.p.h. when I’m actually riding the Solex and as such have reckoned that a daily mileage of 100 km would not be unreasonable, (5 hours in the saddle each day). Only time will tell if this will be achievable.
I would like to thank the following for their help with logistics, technical assistance and providing additional photos:-
Gerard Saffers, Yannick Malherbe, Lionel Cheron, Caroline Provost, Christian Famery, Cedric Chambrelan, Gildas Salm, Valentin Giron, Jean & Christine Perrot and members of the VeloSolex Club at St Gregoire de Vievre, Normandy.
I would also like to thank Martine Malherbe and my wife for the painstaking job of translating the text into French.