Tour de Pondichéry

Janice Valdez on her Tour of India

Our friend Janice Valdez is a woman with a mission… or at least an adventure… or perhaps both. She is in the midst of a two-month tour of India to promote an extremely cool machine: the Stromer electric bicycle. Unlike the old mopeds, which used peddle energy as a way of forcibly jump-starting a motor, or electric scooters, which use no human power whatsoever, the Stromer uses an electrical drive to augment the rider’s contribution to forward motion.

Back home in Vancouver, Janice cycles everywhere and her (non-power-assisted) bike is her principle form of transportation within the city. With a strong commitment to sustainable, low-carbon-footprint living, Janice is a contributor to, a web portal of news and ideas on clean energy. So she was, perhaps, a natural ambassador for this tour of India to show-off the Stromer.

Janice Valdez on her Tour of India

Yesterday, Janice visited us in Pondicherry. One person we were eager to have see Janice’s bike was our friend Bappu Deshmukh. Bappu is one of the most enthusiastic cyclists we know, having recently ridden in organized tours of Tamil Nadu and the Nilgiris. He was also an early adopter of electric scooter technology, and has been a forceful advocate an implementer of solar energy solutions here in Pondy; so he was in many ways Janice’s target audience. While Yoo-Mi and I spent time catching-up with Janice and hearing about her trip, Bappu spent some time drooling over Janice’s bike. Eventually, he set-off on his own Tour de Pondechéry. Two seconds into his ride, he gave an ecstatic shout of “Wow!” and, moments later, disappeared around a corner. It wasn’t immediately clear that Janice was ever going to get her bike back. But, after some time, Bappu returned and the four of us – Yoo-Mi, Janice, fellow Vancouverite Rohit Chokhani (who is organizing Janice’s tour), and I – were able to pry Bappu’s hands from the handlebars, splash a little cold water on his face, and get Janice on her way to Bangalore.

You can follow Janice’s adventures here. Bappu’s exploits are, fortunately, less well publicized.

Bappu Deshmukh: Take this Stomer from my cold, dead hands.


1 Response to “Tour de Pondichéry”

  1. 1 Jan Rosner Collinson 6 February 2012 at 4:09 pm

    It has taken me a year to find your blog page again. Stumbled upon it while searching another totally unrelated topic on Google! So glad to have found it and now need to back up and read all the blogs I have missed.
    Austin Artist

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