THE QUADEPIC - ENGLAND TO ITALY
In the early part of 2009 while travelling around Canada and Central America, I started to dream up a unique adventure.
When returning to my home town of Grimsby, after 42 months travelling the world that dream turned in to reality as all the planning and building of the QuadEpic bike commenced.
After 9 months of plotting, planning and hunting for sponsors the bike was finally complete and the expedition set off from Grimsby on the 1st May to Hull to catch the ferry to mainland Europe.
The bike made it safely across the North Sea and we disembarked in the Euro port of Rotterdam. With the team eager and ready for adventure, we pushed our way south to Belgium, visiting Antwerp and Brussels where we were rescued by Belgium Fire Fighters as the bike broke down outside their station.
We departed Brussels minus Dan as he left the trip due to personal reasons. So Neil, Mel and I pushed on south east to Luxemburg, camping wherever the day's cycling ended. Once we had arrived in Luxemburg city Dan was able rejoin and once again we pushed on.
Now as a four again and every seat on the bike full we headed to Strasburg, France where we would meet the first of the 5 riders, Christine, who would be riding the support mountain bike that we were going to purchase in Strasburg. Unknown to us Christine had damaged her Achilles heel a few days before her arrival while walking in Paris.
With Christine unable to cycle we decided to take her as far as Zurich, Switzerland on the quad bike while Dan cycled the support mountain bike. While tackling the mountains in the black forest an unfortunate failure of the brakes occured while doing speeds of 65km down a steep mountain.
Christine departed safely with foot in plaster from Zurich to return home to Canada. With the team back to 4 people the biggest challenge of the trip was ahead…. The Swiss Alps.
We spent 2 days cycling and pushing the bike up the physically and emotionally draining 2106 meter mountain to get over the San Gottardo pass. Once at the top we were rewarded with the effortlessly glide down the breath-takingly scenic road that would be our link into Italy, hitting speeds of 67kmp. This is one of the most memorable times of my life.
Once over the Swiss-Italian border the QuadEpic adventure came to an abrupt and unfortunate end due to personal reasons within the team. Everyone left in their own direction.
I carried on cycling for a further 32km to leave the bike in the comfort of some Nuns in a small town called Malnate located 60km North of Milan.
Overall the Expedition lasted 33 days of the 90 planned to reach the final destination of Istanbul, Turkey.
QuadEpic would not have been possible with out the support of generous Sponsors and kind people met along the way.
Within a few days of returning home a new adventure was born, Going Solo - The Rescue!
The bike is based on a quadra-cycle design. It seats four riders, not inline, but rather in the same configuration as a car, two in the front, two in the back, and is 1.3 metres wide. The bike has been custom engineered specifically for the unique challenges presented by this trip, and production has been completed.
The bike is rear wheel driven, with both the left and right rear wheels operating independently of each other. All four riders are on separate freewheel systems, so variable pedal speed and rest is available at all times. It also features four wheel disc brakes, and replaceable joint hardware and fittings.
The front left hand rider will have control over the steering and brake systems, as the majority of riding will be made through left hand drive countries. The bike will be coupled with a small, lightweight trailer. This will contain the personal effects and equipment required for the duration of the event
Paul Everitt - QuadEPIC is the vision of Paul Everitt, a 26 year old entrepreneur from Grimsby, NE Lincolnshire, UK. After many years of hard work, developing a successful plumbing business, he made a fateful decision in the winter of 2005… taking a vacation to France. It was during this trip, and after meeting a variety of interesting and inspirational characters, that his eyes were opened to the wonder, excitement and endless possibilities the world had to offer. In August 2006, he left his former life behind, and took off on a quest to experience new and amazing places and people.
Over the next three years, he accomplished everything he had ever hoped for, exceeding both his expectations and wildest dreams. Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Panama, Costa Rica and Canada are among the many destinations he experienced, the last two being of particular significance.
It was here that he discovered a deep love and respect for wildlife and our natural world: from helping sea turtles lay their eggs in Costa Rica, to tracking herds of elk across the vast Canadian Northwest Territories. He found an interest in nature photography, and spent over a month camping alone, deep in the forests of Vancouver Island, Canada. It was there that Paul decided he needed to do something to help protect and conserve our beautiful planet.
It had always been an idea in the back of his mind to travel from the UK to Singapore. Upon returning to England in September 2009, Paul put into motion plans to achieve his goal. In addition to further experiencing the amazing and vastly different people and places our world has to offer, he saw an opportunity to raise funds for a charity who shares his passion, and who is in a position to really make a difference.