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Meeting with Gilles Zehner

Gyro-meeting with Gilles Zehner

Gilles, selfie-expert on a gyropod! I was living in Lyon and wanted to get away from the masses of concrete, so I was lucky enough to find a house on the Saône towpath in Mogneneins. There, seduced by the region, were born my first geneses of discovering the place and the local products. Get out and about without having to go far, and enjoy a breath of fresh air, a change of scenery and an escape from everyday life. Yes, my weekends unconsciously inspired me.

Tell us about yourself

My entire professional background was in industrial load handling plant engineering. I’ve traveled all over the world doing installations of all kinds, then lastly I was a salaried employee, distributing wine-making equipment across the planet through distributor networks, and the environments frequented between tourism and wine regions appealed to me even more.

It’s true that all our regions of France are worth discovering, and ours in particular, between Dombes, Val de Saône and vineyards with all its riches steeped in history and gastronomy too.

In what year did you start with this activity?

In 2014, as I began the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, different inspirations came to me. Then I went to Ireland for 1 month, to Cork for a language course, and there, on my return, I cleared my head to implement. By the time the full study was done, I was starting from a blank page, between what and how and was it viable? I registered the company on April 29, 2016.

Why the gyropod, what were your motivations?

My specifications were quite precise; No longer live downtown, no longer swallow miles of road, stay in the wine business, go sightseeing, no longer stress over nothing, have fun and don’t go backwards to work, keep in touch with people, let people discover the region, keep fit, do a fun activity and be able to make it to retirement while having fun. The gyropod, a fun activity to discover and a way to get around. French legislation considers the gyropod to be both a pedestrian and a bicycle. By respecting the regulations, it was nice to democratize it, but not just any old way. While the machine is easy to use and accessible to all, it needs to be taught to ensure safety. So I’ve devised an introductory program to gradually familiarize the majority of people with the gyropod and get them to use it. Afterwards, I give them a certificate of initiation so they never have to repeat the training.


Why choose the gyropod to discover our villages?

At the heart of the technology, sensations have found their place: simple and flexible to use, the machine allows you to glide smoothly over paths, or feel the relief. Moderate speeds let you feel the air split, and experience a real sense of freedom. The gyropod is silent, and control becomes very intuitive after a while. The upright position allows you to enjoy, not suffer. With the gyropod you can go anywhere, and it doesn’t take up any space, or pollute; it’s a very fun and enjoyable way to get around.