News item

Team Split - By Tim Meulenbroeks

Shangluo, September 21, 2016

From the start of the tour until today, the team had never parted ways for longer than 24 hours. But today, for the first time, we decided to split up. During the morning the crucial decision was made to send 3 people to Shenzhen in southern China, almost 1800 km away. The mission was to deliver part of our batteries to customs in Shenzhen so they would be flown to Seattle in America. This was necessary since circumstances had changed during the tour and it was no longer guaranteed that the batteries could be transported from Shanghai. And so we improvised. One part of the team went to preparing the battery packs for transport and the others attended the event at a local primary school. And what an event it turned out to be!

A room of 600 extremely enthusiastic 12 year olds awaited us. This felt different from earlier events. The energy generated by a simple picture of the motorcycle was palpable, let alone the eruption created by the announcement of the motorcycle demo. For me personally, the motorcycle demo was a very flattering experience. Although of course a lot of attention went towards the motorcycle, we soon found out the kids were also very interested in us. This must have been the first time I ever have been asked for an autograph, but I soon handed out my hundredth! The whole team was beset by fans and some even wanted to collect all of them. Too bad we couldn't stay longer but the day was crammed full with events. They all got a class photo with the motorcycle and then we grudgingly moved on to the next venue.

Our next stop was the Eurasia university. An art and design school. The audience here was of course a lot older and were especially interested in our team and how we had managed sociably, on the tour, as well as during development. Speaking of questions about the team, there was one which had almost become routine during the tour. The inquiry about the bachelor status of our presenter Bas. After a few victory laps of the motorcycle across the sports fields we left Xi'an behind us and traveled to our final destination: The solar cell factory of BYD. Here we finalized a very busy but successful day with a game of basketball with the factory workers and a long due shower.

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