Antoine Taillefer, passionate about cycling and paragliding, set off in mid-November on a project he had been preparing for several months: a "hiking flight" from the Col des Frêtes, one of the most beautiful take-off sites on Lake Annecy in France, located at an altitude of 1,645 metres.
But this isn't just a paragliding flight. Antoine is accompanied by a T Line, the all-titanium folding bike from Brompton. The plan? To complete the entire journey and flight in the company of the Brompton T Line, the lightest Brompton ever made. A bike whose extreme compactness and lightness attracted his curiosity.
“Departure at 5.15am from Versailles, outside Paris. After a first train to the Montparnasse station, I get on my T Line to reach the Gare de Lyon, and board a train to Lyon. I was surprised at how easily the T Line folds and fits into the train's luggage compartments.
Arriving in Lyon, I ran to catch the connecting train to Annecy. On the way, I met another Brompton owner, with whom a brief discussion immediately starts. That's also what Brompton is: more than a bike, a tool to create links and gather a community.
As soon as I arrive in Annecy, I set off on the cycle track that will lead me to the start of the hike. Along this route along the lake, I’m surprised by the capacity of this small bike to go so fast, with peaks between 35 and 40km/h.
Then comes the first part of the ascent to the starting point of the flight. Here again, I’m pleasantly surprised; even on the uphill, the bike is fast, thanks to its ultralight weight. The rest of the journey is done on foot, with the bike folded and attached to my backpack. A backpack that weighs only 10 kilos, bike and paraglider included!
I arrive at the Col des Frêtes only an hour after the start of the hike. After a careful preparation of the equipment, it’s time to start. I attach the T Line to my bag, this time on the front. I step forward to inflate the glider and a few moments later I'm in the air. The conditions are perfect and the autumn colours incredible, and I manage to steer easily despite the load.
Now it's time to land. This is the moment I was most apprehensive about, but the landing is very smooth.”
It's done: Antoine has made a paragliding flight with the lightest folding bike in the world, the Brompton T Line.