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BATEC MINI 2

 

batec mini 2

 


After three months, 15,000 km and 19 countries visited by bike and handbike, the five expeditions in the Biziz touring embassy for Donostia 2016 simultaneously rolled into the capital of Gipuzkoa on 18 September, coinciding with European Mobility Week. They were greeted by friends, family members and fans who couldn't wait to welcome these adventurers.

On 18 September, paraplegic Antxon Arza reached his goal of traveling 3,022 km around Europe with a wheelchair and handbike for Biodiversity.

 

blog batectravels antxons challenge comes to an end: 3022 km with a wheelchair and handbike

 

Since the beginning of the expedition, here at Batec Mobility we've been closely following the Route for Biodiversity, led by paraplegic Antxon Arza, who covered the 3,022 kilometres between Copenhagen and San Sebastian in his wheelchair with a BATEC RAPID handbike. They travelled through Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France. Before reaching San Sebastian, Antxon and his travel companions, Begoña and Aitor, met up with the team from the Route for Sexuality in Bordeaux. From there, they led a huge caravan of friends that came out to accompany them on the final part of their trip. "It was great to be with new people because we were physically exhausted," said Antxon.

«We're destroying a large part of the species on the planet and we're not aware that we are one of the ones that might disappear.»

 

blog batectravels antxons challenge comes to an end: 3022 km with a wheelchair and handbike

 

This expedition allowed them to visit different initiatives being carried out in Europe to preserve the environment. After the trip, Anton said, "This expedition confirmed what I thought and what Mike Wells clearly said: We're destroying a large part of the species on the planet and we're not aware that we are one of the ones that might disappear." Nevertheless, despite this reality, meeting people who are committed to this cause and are working to fight climate change was an enriching experience of great personal growth. "All of the projects were interesting, although I would highlight two: the one we learned about from Iñaki Azcona in the Netherlands, who works at a company that produces insects to attack crop pests biologically; and the Saxenhoj farm school in Denmark, where in addition to organic farming they also have a social aspect, employing people with psychological disabilities and mental problems."

 

 

On the final leg of their journey, they also got a first-hand look at the research being carried out by Pau Ródenas to use the electricity from bacteria to eliminate heavy metals in water. This journey has also allowed Antxon to reflect on biodiversity in Spain. "We are wasting great opportunities by stopping research, and there is clearly a brain drain from the country. The people we interviewed, like Pau Ródenas and Iñaki Azcona, are a clear example of this."  

«Everything is more complicated when you are paraplegic but the journey has been quite easy with the invaluable help and patience of my companions.»

 

blog batectravels antxons challenge comes to an end: 3022 km with a wheelchair and handbike

 

And we can't forget that Antxon has a spinal injury, which made a challenge of this size even more difficult than for a person without any disability. This is why Antxon used a BATEC RAPID handbike on the Route for Biodiversity to keep up with his companions. "Everything is more complicated when you are paraplegic," Antxon admits, "but I'm 'lucky' that I have an incomplete, low injury, so I can walk a bit and the journey was quite easy with the invaluable help and patience of my companions Bego and Mantu."

We hope the research conducted by Antxon, his companions and the other Biziz expeditions over these months helps create a more sustainable, diverse world.

 

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