Enthusiasts Saint-Gratien: this snow sports enthusiast is doing the Tour de France on an electric skate
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"I could not sit back and do nothing, I had to get started on a project", explains Frédéric Joret. Commercial in the audiovisual industry looking for a job for several months, this inhabitant of Saint-Gratien has decided to challenge himself: to tour the French coast in an all-terrain electric skateboard.
Having left Dunkirk (North) on September 20, he intends to reach Menton (Alpes-Maritimes) in the coming weeks. This Saturday during his stage in Anglet (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), he had already covered more than 1,900 kilometers on his board out of the 3,700 km planned. Its progress depends in particular on the weather. Goal ? Highlight electric skateboards, their autonomy and more generally the development of soft mobility.
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Promote electric skateboarding as a mode of travel
"I found myself unemployed shortly before confinement, a period that allowed me to spend time with my wife and daughters," says the 43-year-old father. . But then, since my research didn't come up with anything, I thought to myself that I really had to do something. I thought about a project that is close to my heart and that's it.
A matter of course, since just one week after sending these requests, five sponsors responded favorably to enable it to equip itself, insure itself and finance its tour of the coast.
Passionate about skiing since his childhood, it is logically that he wanted to link skateboarding to his adventure. “I come from the ice at the start because I lived behind an ice rink in my youth. Then I discovered inline rollerblading, skateboarding but also wakeboarding, skimboarding, a little surfing too, explains the sportsman. Then the electric skate came a few years ago and it's amazing. I think that's what a lot of skateboarders were looking for: glide without worrying about push. »
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So much so that he quickly adopted it for his daily journeys. “I've had it for four years and I'm a fan. I go everywhere with it. We talk a lot about scooters, and I have nothing against it, but electric skateboarding is great even if it is not well known. Besides during this trip, people see me and ask me: what is your thing? It's great, ”he says happily.
"No more reason to take your car for journeys of less than 5 or 10 km"
And if Frédéric has found his preference in terms of transport, he recalls the many electric distribution machines that now exist. “Skateboarding of course, but also hoverboard, monowheel, bicycle… there is no longer really any reason to take your car to make trips of less than five or ten kilometers. My dream is to have a car park at the entrance to towns then offering all possible electric rentals to then move around the streets using electric vehicles ”.
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The forty-something knows the ecological limits of these new modes of transport. “There is the problem of lithium batteries, which we do not yet know exactly what to do when they are used up. But in terms of noise, smell, emissions of fine particles, we win. And then technologies are evolving so quickly, we are already talking about new batteries and advancing in recycling. »
Efforts still to be made on the development of tracks
Another point remains, however, essentially for the development of these types of safe mobility. “I have already done 900 km on cycle paths. On the Atlantic coast, it's great. In the Landes, for example, I am told 86% of equipped tracks, underlines the Val-d'Oisien which records the various infrastructures used along its route in an online logbook. However, all departments are not equal, there are still efforts to be made in certain regions. However, it is essential especially for devices like electric skateboards which are not yet really accepted on the road. »
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What about coronapists, born since confinement, some have since continued? “Yes, but you need tracks that are really separate from the cars, not just drawn on the ground. Otherwise it is dangerous, for the user as well as the motorist. »
A documentary project
It is therefore one of the messages that Frédéric Joret hopes to convey throughout his stages but also thereafter. Equipped with several GoPro but also a drone, his journey is filmed daily, thus also highlighting "the beauty of the French coasts". By Facebook live * in particular, but not only. “The idea is to then make a short 20-30 minute documentary that I would put online. I even sent an email to the Ministry of Ecological Transition to find out if this inventory of infrastructure and development possibilities could interest them. I do not have an answer for the moment but in any case if that can bring a stone to the building. »
* https: //www.joinelectrictour.fr/fr/
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