LE GRAND HUIT
To facilitate alternative transportation
and leisure activities in urban waterways

Your guides

 
Alice from Nice
Stand Up Paddle pioneer with Le Grand Huit - she still hasn’t fallen off! And the best thing is, when you learn with her, you won’t fall off either!  Alice from Nice also surfs…in Lille.  As you don’t fall with her, agree to try out her test during the guided bicycle tour, notably her famous speed competition.
Ann from Leerar
Ann is proud of coming from Tongeren, “the oldest town in the world”. She teaches and also welcomes customs dealers in her role as a Dutch speaking translator. We hope you meet her in Lille rather than at the border! Ann goes fast at the front of her group, obliged to , considering her diet. Carbonnades Flamandes (Flemish beef stews) are her favourite speciality dishes from Lille.
Bettina
People are always falling in love with her accent! The English think she is French or Italian, and the Walloons believe she’s Flemish…Bettina from Buenos Aires is an artist in Ghent and even with her accent she has become a real local.
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 !
Florent
He’s the keenest cyclist amongst us all; out on his bike in all weathers, Whether it’s snowing or blowing a gale, in Finland, Ireland or, like last summer, in Japan. He is also the most English, but….in fact he’s a Thierarchian from the town of Sorbais. It follows logically then that he is also the president of Le Grand Huit.
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. 
Frédérique the amorous 
University, like a duck in water in employers' circles, Frederique keeps her cards hidden well! Always on her bike, convinced of the need to live in a different way in town and of developing close relationships, she leads guided tours in Lille as well as giving advice on active mobility. It helps, having lived in Sweden. And, yes, you too will fall in love!  
Gwenola
Skiff champion on her Brittany coasts, Gwenola loves the sensation of sliding. Longboarder, surfer, Tahitian dancer, knitter using crochet (well, yeah, crochet), she is an explorer, but when it is about to organise the four Grand Huit’s major events, it is nothing to say that it will be done in a strict way! It is what makes her annoying sometimes, Gwenola, she always remembers everything!
 
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. 
Karel
A tourist guide, Karel will take you on a tour of Ghent on Le Grand Huit’s most beautiful bikes. Ask him to show you cycle chic on a tandem, that’s his speciality. Karel and his brother organise annual European expeditions for cyclists from Ghent. But he’s really only unavailable once a year for 10 days: for the Ghent festival! 
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.
Laurence Championne
A champion in so many activities from electric wheel to trapeze, Laurence also performs in sophrology, Thai boxing and laughing yoga. But with Le Grand Huit she is the scooter licence specialist, and the expert of group animation.
Laurent Outang
First we were anxious about Laurent being guide for Le Grand Huit : He makes a come back as polluting motocycle rider, and enjoys spending holidays in Martinica with plenty of young nice girls. Then we understood girls were his, and that he loves teaching Stand Up Paddle to all. And as he brought back a rhum Clément to the club, we said …Yes !
Lisa
A French farm girl from Antwerpen, Lisa is indeed a real tonic !  She can, with her eyes closed, show you all the sites and curiosities of Lille. It was when she wanted to repaint her scooter, like her bike, in yellow… that we understood that Lisa had become the most sassy and the most eccentric young Lille woman.
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.
Marianne
Wow! She’s so pretty! A real local who says hello to every other person she meets in the street. She knows all the cafes in Ghent but drinks Italian wine.The country close to her heart, where she has organised so many cycling trips with passion. A passionate ecologist, Marianne loves her town and its development and will convince you too.
 
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 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 Hood  
Pronounced 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.
   
Rosalie
She’s our mascot! Living on the banks of the River Marne in Joinville, she does Paddle and above all cycling every day. She’s just as interested in the future of world economy as in the history of the Guinguettes. On this subject, we are counting on you to teach her to dance, even if she says she has a bad knee. The left one, she says.
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...
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

This is definitely the summer of the scooter. In Lomme for the school children who pass the Grand Huit's scooter license, at Codifis whose employees try out our scooters for a month to get to work, at the Joinville le Pont summer party and of course during our famous guided tours of Lille and the historic heart of Paris.

Eight brand new crazy bikes have joined Le Grand Huit this 1st of may. Weird, rare, unknown, for some of them we don't even have found a name, yet. But this one is the Monster, presented by our brand new guide Elisa. Will she success on the bike ?? Welcome Elisa ! 

Inauguration of the brand new Paddling section of Le Grand Huit in Amiens this Week End 06/07th of april . No need to get to to Venice. You will surf at the foot of the Gothic cathedral and in through the unique maze of l little canals running through garden plots known as “hortillonages”. Whether you are an experienced paddler or just a beginner, you are welcome.