Family of five pedals the planet

The family that cycles together, stays together.

Well, the Jolivot family had better stick together. They've got a long ways to go.

Calling themselves Les 5 Bicyclettons, the family of five - Florence, Joel, Jules, 13, Faustine, 10, and Marick, 5 - left their home in Larochelle, France 14 months ago to cycle virtually around the world.

"When you want to go travelling with three kids, how do you do it?" Florence asked rhetorically. "We wanted to see the world. The best part is the people, yes."

From northern Europe, they traversed South America, then headed to North America, arriving in Canada from the U.S. They pedaled out of Kamloops bound for Ashcroft on Thursday, excited at the prospect of seeing their first rodeo.

All but Marick have their own bikes. The five-year-old sits on the back of his father's German-built combination bike. The bike features recumbant seating for the preschooler that allows him to pedal when he chooses. That has enabled them to cover as much as 100 kilometres in a single day.

"When we started, she was eight," Florence said, nodding to Faustine. Young legs pack a lot of perseverance: 14,300 kilometres to date. Jules was keen on doing the 95 clicks to Gold Country Friday, but his parents reined him back to a realistic two days.

Australia is next, followed by New Caledonia, Indonesia, then a flight home. They expect to be back in France in time for Christmas, where a circle of friends and relatives are sure to greet them.

"They didn't believe in it at first. We didn't travel and didn't cycle. It was quite a beautiful surprise.

"Somehow we find it quite normal now because we've been doing it for such a long time," she added.

She lists Canada among their highlights, particularly when they spotted a grizzly bear and two cubs in Banff National Park.

myouds@kamloopsnews.ca

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