Le Grand HuitTo facilitate alternative transportation and leisure activities in urban waterways

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Your guides

Alice of Nice Since she first came surfing to Lille, Alice, who is an actress ‘in real life’ pioneered with Le Grand Huit as from the start and is our outstanding bike tour guide. All our visitors ask her for the famous bike race challenge of which she only has the secret ... Another secret is that her Achilles heel is the scooter ... Anaïs Every citizen in Lille should visit their city one day with Anaïs as their guide. She describes Lille with the fresh and amused eye of a Flemish woman who has just crossed the border by bike. If she seems unflappable whatever happens during her visit, don't forget that above all, she likes to have a good laugh! Audrey Audrey is your rock! One day we saw her one day stop a rowing team to let beginners pass on their Stand-Up Paddle. With a smile but the authority of an empress. No wonder she calls herself Josephine. At Joinville, don't be surprised that she sometimes holds her paddle like a bass guitar.
Clément He’s like our mountain guide but on the River Marne. Super cool, a professional of SUP who knows all the nooks and crannies around Polangis. He goes barefoot, even in January, except on a scooter or gyro-wheel. And no, ladies, he’s married. Didier Teaching swimming for people who have water phobias, Didier is even more hyperactive than Parisians. Sports teacher, Didier can be your guide you in paddling the Marne, scooter riding along the Seine, and bike to Joinville where he learned to swim. Dirk In the past, as a professional travel organiser, he traveled all continents.Today Dirk shares with enthusiasm his knowledge as a guide in Gent. His passion is to search beauty in people, music, architecture and culture. Born and raised in the Ghent area, he is fascinated by the multicultural history of Ghent. You will love it !
Elisa “Elisa throw yourself in my arms …” because Elisa is so enthusiastic when she is guiding you. During her studies in “tourism project management”, we quickly understood that a normal bike was not her suited for her. Instead she has become the first tour guide of Lille on a scooter Emmanuelle She was swimming in the Deûle on the day when temperature outside was 41.9 C° in Lille. This artist thrives as much in the water as on a bike ... whose inner tubes she recycles to make superb necklaces and jewellery. François Boum The girls call him Captain. It would appear that it’s him, Brice from Lille, the surfer on the River Deule (and the River Marque). Professor of sport, he’s strong and has real skill in coaching your progress on the water.This fellow also does longboard in the streets.
François Régis Previously Director of Urban Planning of the City of Lille, François Régis was promoted as bike guide forLe Grand Huit. This great gentleman can also share his passion for urban wall art. He has only one fault (remember him), he lives in Lambersart. It will make him laugh. And a walk with him, if you do not hear his characteristic laughter, is a failed ride, believe us! Fred He’s the leader par excellence! Concerned for your well being, able to get you interested in hand massage or a technique using a compass to improve your sleep - you’ll never get bored with Fred. You can call him Mr Scooter. Jean-Baptiste He can do everything, from riding the Penny Farthing in Joinville to the micro bike in Lille, passing through the Eco conference or the Dutch canals of Ghent and Amsterdam and speaking 4 languages. There’s always another invention in his bag. A GREAT idea for sure because shhh, he’s our founding member.
Kung Fu Farid Farid is able to do everything, drawing, playing music, providing security, making Tai chi chuan, he likes to learn everything but the best he likes is to teach others, with patience and smile. If by any chance you fall off your gyro ride with Farid, there will be no booze: Farid is a life rescuer. Laurent Initially we were a bit concerned by the first photos this very recently appointed guide sent us: this old handsome guy went back on vacation on a polluting motorbike, drinking rum in Martinique with pretty young girls on a Paddle… it all looked rather shady for Le Grand Huit. But as it turned out it was his daughters he was training – in fact he has trained all the locals in Martinique to do Stand Up Paddle, and above all he brought us back a bottle of Clement rum. We decided to keep him! Lulu Lulu never stops! Her blog will tell you all about her tourist adventures within a radius of less than 200 km around Lille and all this car free! She is also the authority on gluten-free restaurants, expert in Dutch without her Assimil handbook, and creative arts facilitator without foregoing to eat. She’s undoubtedly the greedy bird in the team!

Malcolm With his Scottish beret, Malcolm is the most British of us but it is in french history that he is our champion! On a scooter he will lead you to the Paris' heart, tell you about Quasimodo and Esmeralda, and you will discover the secrets of Paris' origins. And you can even ask Malcolm to write your family tree (genealogy arborescence) Manuel de Joinville Manuel lives near our waterfront, so close to the club that as soon as a paddler is there he is informed by his son. Manu is your guide for paddle sessions. Architect, Manu loves nature, and will make you appreciate his lovely paradise nest of Joinville. Nico van Maastricht Passionate about Lille, his adopted city, this landscape architect is known for growing hops and vines in front of his workshop in our neighborhood, but also to transport everything by bike, children or beer crates. A real ant, but very funny.
Pierre Pipolin A music teacher, Pierre gives rhythm in his visits! This is our bike pro in Paris and the specialist of funny bike animations. Drum rolls guaranteed for the Penny Farthing lessons with Pierre. Robin HoodPronounced Rwobine! His father was a guide in London. His mother lived flamenco in Seville. Now Robin is a bicycle tour guide in Lille for Le Grand Huit, it goes without saying. Groups love him because he is calm, at least he is. No stress, and forward (but gently, eh) in order to listen to this real Frenchman who is a true expert in the history of the town. RobSnobbish, Rob? Only in appearance. With his classy look, this Dutch gentleman landed in Paris after having run textile store chains and discovered that soft mobility could be exported. He's the only Dutchman we know who rides on two wheels ... of a scooter. He will teach you the technique to change foot called the Flying Dutchman (sic).
SUPer Robert Sad his name is not Damien. That would have been a nice Facebook name, Damien d’Amiens. He organized the World Clean Up Day and launched the paddle section of Le Grand Huit in Amiens. He is a big great paddler already. We regret he is not very talkative, as you will see... Verena Bavarian and as beautiful as their renowned pastries, she will take great photos for you in unusual places. Project manager for the Lille Eurometropolis, she knows the city and its history backwards and sits proudly on her bike. To tease her, ask her how her tailbone is feeling today? A reminiscence of her first visit… Xavier Comedian, gymnast, stunt man, stage manager, Xavier is also the biggest paparazzi on the water. Teaching specialist and the perfect person to accompany the least sporty amongst you, he will make you feel you have become a Paddle hero in Panama (slang for Paris)!

 

News

Nautic Race. About 50 paddlers from Le Grand Huit are going to take part in World's biggest race, a legendary event. It will take place on the 5th of december under all the famous Paris bridges. A good reason to keep on practising in winter, in Joinville, Lille and Amiens. Good luck ! 

From 06 to 10 of october, our funny bikes are tried at Le Roc d'Azur, the world biggest event for mountain bike, with 15000 persons. We are very proud to be chosen for this major event for cyclists and professional. Ordinary or safety bikes ! 

Mobilize yourself! September 16-22 is European Mobility Week. We’ll be happy to host Fun Bikes, or New Urban Mobility modes either in your businesses or local authorities to persuade you to give up your cars. With a grin!