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Around l'Arc de Triomphe - By Michiel Kusters

Nijvel, November 1, 2016

The day began with a good night's sleep. A lot of us missed the breakfast at the hotel because it is only 'served' until a lousy half past nine. Bas and Jeroen still worked their asses of to make sure the last two days of driving, with all the Tesla's, goes smooth. Of course you have read the story about how Wave 1 is still stuck in Chicago (with a part of our batteries), which causes the need for another stop on our way to Eindhoven.

It was fun to follow all Tesla's on their way to Paris on Twitter. It made us look forward to the final stretch home.

The whole team had to leave the hotel at around 15:00. When a Storm team leaves, people notice... We took over the entire lobby of the hotel with the presence of our team members but also all the charging racks and other stuff.

Finally it was time to get going. I was driving the motorcycle. Because we did not have a vehicle that could follow the motorcycle I had to travel on my own to the center of Paris. Luckily Michelle wanted to join me on the back seat. For the first time we lane-splitted through the traffic with Wave, as this was also the first time there was no slow car following it.

As a goodbye-event in Paris, the embassy had arranged some drinks and food which were received enthusiastically. We met the Tesla drivers there as well. It was nice to be in a room where almost everyone speaks Dutch for a change.

When it was time for departure, we formed a long chain of Tesla's with me on the motorcycle in front, heading towards the Champs-Élysées for some trips around l'Arc de Triomphe. It was an awesome feeling to drive round l'Arc de Triomphe with a chain of ten Tesla's following me. It is quite difficult to stay in formation in the traffic of Paris...

We drove to a charging location in Senlis, where the Tesla's could charge and we swapped our batteries. A sad moment for me, as this was the last trip riding Wave during the World Tour.

From this location it was 230 km to Nijvel, our sleeping location. For the motorcycle this is quite a long distance, especially because we drove fast and the ambient temperature was below 10 degrees Celsius. We knew that it would be very close in the end. That is why it was not smart that the motorcyle made a wrong turn, which caused a detour of more than 5 km. So Laurens decided to just drive in the wrong direction a bit, cross through the median strip and take the right exit.

We arrived at the Valk hotel at half past 12 in the evening. After arranging the charging of our batteries (and maybe blowing a fuse of the hotel), we drank some beers with all people that came to pick us up in Paris. The first part of 'the end' was a succes! We are looking forward to coming home and see our friends and family again!

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