by Jerome Lemonnier
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There are trips that you will remember for the rest of your life. The one Jessica just did is one of those. Originally from Buntolt Combo (Sen et al. Marn), it circled nearly 1,700 kilometers in two weeks. More amazing performance like Jessica is only 17 years old !
High school student in Science, Management and Technology (STMG) at Camille Claudel High School in Pontoult Combeau, The young woman decided to take up the challenge to honor her grandfather. “When we learned about my grandfather’s death in the fall, we wanted to go with my dad by bike to where he used to live in Portugal,” she says.
Fifteen days on the bike
This is how the high school freshman and her dad got back on the bike, hoping to hook up a Pontault-Combault Bidueira de Baixoa small village located 150 km north of Lisbon. “I’m pretty athletic, but I’m not a fan of bicycling every day either,” smiles Jessica, who took a few outings on two wheels before the big start.
After a few weeks of preparation, the pair set off from Pontault-Combault on April 15th. With her father, the young woman set herself up to cover a hundred kilometers every day. As the father-daughter duo begin to find their bearings, Jessica’s father has to suspend the bike due to health issues. But there was no question of leaving his daughter alone to cover the remaining 1,500 kilometers. “Follow me for the rest of the car trip,” continues the young woman, who has been sleeping most of the time…in the car with her father.
During these fifteen days, Jessica has not experienced any physical failure, or even broke his bike, or almost. “I just broke a mirror,” she says.
In terms of emotions, the high school student had some more difficult moments than others. But not enough to make him come back. “When I found myself alone on the bike, it wasn’t always easy,” she admits. My excitement at first took a hit when I arrived in Spain on a rather rough day, especially because of the wind.”
To make matters worse, in certain sections, Jessica’s father couldn’t keep up with the young cyclist. “It was a bit stressful to be after those areas where he couldn’t follow me. Especially since we don’t have a network. Sometimes we would drive two to three hours without seeing each other.”testify.
But all those fears and doubts vanished as she approached Portugal. He is very popular on social networks in France, especially in his hometown of Pontault-CombaultJessica’s adventure was favored by Portuguese observers. So much so that when he reached the village of Bidoira de Baixo, A small welcome committee was waiting for him. “There were members of my family who were there to accompany me in the last few metres. It was a very strong emotion. With my father, we cried a lot. But out of joy,” the young woman reassures.
In the days that followed, Jessica did not go unnoticed at the places she went. She laughs: “People called me and said it was the girl on the bike.”
After returning to France at the beginning of May, Jessica resumed her studies which would lead her to embrace a career in real estate. “I would like to open my own agency in a few years,” she envisions. Until then, maybe Pontelouise will ride her bike again. “My parents really want to prepare for this challenge in the next few years. Maybe I’ll do it again, I don’t know yet. Who knows…
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