Two Urals for 2018

And 2018 started with the purchase of two racing cars.

A round-the-world trip… but how? 

This is the first question asked by anyone who wants to travel: travelling, yes but with which means of transport? 4 people working on this project means 4 times more dreams, crazy thoughts and ideas of means of transport. We have imagined this trip with a backpack, van, motorcycle, bicycle, hitchhiking and even an electric car! Each one of us bringing the best arguments to stand up for our own ideas. It was not easy to make a decision which will make everyone happy.

So, how did you make this decision? 

On the corner of a Belgian road after the visit of a hand-crafted brewery, it proudly presented itself to us… Its rustic look, its quirky design, we fell in love with sidecars! Julien reminded us he travelled a lot across Europe when he was a kid with his family in a sidecar. He kept unforgettable memories. 

Therefore, it was an obvious solution for each person of the team, the round-world-trip will be in a sidecar!

Of course, as with all elements of the trip, we did our research on the pros and cons. By opting for this vehicle with 3 wheels, we accepted the possibility that we would have to use this vehicle in bad weather and we will have to learn how to deal with any mechanical issues. Plus, we will need to go through all the paperwork and conform with the legislation of each country we cross. However, we are already very excited to ride on the roads with this quirky but convenient vehicle. This mean of transport is rarely used by travellers. Therefore this is the perfect choice to bring attention and enables an ice-breaker for conversation with the people we will meet. 

A sidecar… but which one?

More specifically for the model, we will choose the brand Ural. Their vehicles are known for their reliability and their quality as they are still assembled by hand. Thanks to his personal and familial experience with this kind of vehicle, Julien, the Mac Gyver of the team,  helped by the knowledge of his Dad – who is an expert of 2 and 3 wheel vehicles – confirmed our choice. Indeed, Ural and specifically its Sportsman model with its design and its two drive wheels will allow us to go through all the roads including the steepest.

Thinking about buying? 

After getting in touch with a few people and visiting garages plus Ural brand dealers, we noticed two Ural Sportsman on our favourite website: Leboncoin (similar to Gumtree/Craiglist). One of them in the West of France and the other one in the North. Without a second thought, we jumped in our cars on Christmas’ Eve! Emilie and I went towards the West, in the meantime Julien and Marie went towards the North on the 24th December morning. After ten or so hours plus a few hours of discussion about the vehicles, we are officially new owners of 2 Ural sidecars! We can’t believe it, we are in the possession of our mean of transport to travel around the world! The dream starts to become true… Is it the magic of Christmas? 

One of the sidecar freshly arrived under our Christmas tree… 

And now? 

As we now have these 2 sidecars, we need to be familiar with them. Each member of the team needs to ride and train on them before we go travelling around the world. But we shouldn’t go too fast… do not forget Marie and I do not have our motorbike licence yet. This is a great motivation to have them as quick as we can! Theory test, practice… let’s go!

To travel serenely, we need in the following weeks to prepare the sidecars to ensure they will be able to go through all kinds of roads. Julien’s Dad, who has the experience of this kind of vehicle, is happy to help us for any improvements and reinforcements required. Paper, pencil… and welding machine!