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Frenchman Fails To Cross English Channel By Bicycle, Still Manages To Make Times Headlines

Posted in Bizarre, Human Powered Vehicles, Newsworthy, Travel by Suzanne Denbow | September 29th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

On Sunday, Frenchman Stephane Rousson embarked on his flight across the English Channel in is privately-engineered pedal-powered airship. Inspired by the infamous midnight escape scene in Stephen Spielberg’s movie, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Rousson’s attempt was a life-long dream finally come to fruition. “When I was young, I saw the movie and watched the little guy pedalling on a bike flying in front of the moon with ET,” Rousson told The Times, “I always wanted to fly.”

Earlier that morning, Rousson had mounted his 16-foot helium filled blimp, the Miss Louise, with the intention of pedaling from Hythe to Wissant in under 8 hours. Unfortunately, strong winds forced Rousson to scrap his plans 11 miles in, “We were about three-quarters of the way across,” Rousson explained, “but the wind was flowing in the wrong direction for me to make it across.”

Taking his failure in stride, Rousson admitted, “The success is not with me but I have had so much fun. My legs are a little bit burnt and I’m sure tomorrow I will be feeling a little sad but I’ll have a few beers.”

When asked about future attempts, Rousson admitted that it wasn’t likely without the support of financial backers. “All my money has gone into achieving this over the past five years. I’m quite a bit in debt. If I found a lot of money I would definitely try again but I don’t have a large budget at the moment.”

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