Beijing Sideways history
The idea of Beijing Sideways emerged after a many very fun trips in side-car around the capital in the early 2000’s. All we discovered during those rides make us feel like we had to share all this beauty with other people!
Each time we had family or friends visiting we would show them the magical of Tian An Men and the forbidden city at night, or a cool week end in the mountains along the Great Wall.
Our Beijing Sideways was born in 2007 and passengers were so happy with the service we offered that we decided to open Shanghai Sideways in 2008. www.shanghaisideways.com
Gael Thoreau the founder, arrived in Beijing in 1999 “for a 3 month internship” in a garment trading company. His employment lasted 5 years. By that time he had caught the Beijing bug including an inclination for the Chang Jiang bikes he was riding everyday to work or the weekends with his friends.
Beijing Sideways Team,
« the friend of a friend »
Our guides are much more than only drivers, we like to call them Insiders ! French, Irish, Canadian, Italian, British… all of them are fluent in English and have been living in Beijing for at least two years. They know the city like the back of their hands and will show you the Beijing we love… like we would do when friends or family is visiting.
All our tours are led by an Insider. The other drivers in a party are all experienced and passionate Chinese drivers who own and maintain their own bike.
ANDREI AECHIUDEAN - Ex Insider Guide
Our Roumanian expert from Transylvania has no fear of garlic that he likes without excess in the Chinese food he now misses back in his adoptive Ireland after two years of impeccable services as an Insider for Beijing Sideways. We’ll see Andrei back soon in Spring for the Beijing-London Sidecar ride: Wold Side Connection.
ERLONG - Driver
ErLong stands for Double Dragon. How cool is that? If he doesn’t have the combat skills of Bruce Lee, our Double Dragon has got the really cool attitude of Happy Days’ Fonzie. A smile forever carved on his face, without precipitation, Er Long is always ready to help. His second passion is drifting. He owns two cars he engages in drifting races and is soon setting up a competition team. Driving is a way of life!
GAËL THOREAU - Insider Guide and Chief Conductor
Founder of Sideways and the concept of discovering a city on a sidecar motorcycle, Gallic Gael Landed in Beijing in 1999 “for a 3 month internship” in a Chinese company. After many years of riding is Beijing Sidecar bike to work as an Export Manager, he started giving tours to his friends an family in the early 2000 before making it a business in 2007. Gael has got his love for the Wild Great Wall from the Wallkers who walk the wall every Sunday since 1997. Father of two baby daughters, Gael spend his spare time looking for cool things to see in his adoptive city.
GANG ZI - Driver
“What he lacks in height he has it in will” says Er Long about his friend GangZi who used to drive trucks from Province to Province. Indeed Ganag ZI is small but can move mountains and is really resourceful.
GUANG LI REN - Driver, mechanic and spiritual father
Guang Li is what we call a “Lao Beijing”, born and bread in Beijing in the late 50’s, he is the witness of so much changes in the City and China. Viewed as a sidecar grandfather by the sidecar community in Beijing.
MOEAVA HOEFNAGELS - Insider Guide
Born in Tahiti, French Polynesia, Moeava grew up traveling back and forth between California and Tahiti. With a background in Economics, Moeava moved his way from Taiwan to Beijing working in sales, for a Chinese company, 8 years ago. His first love in Beijing ( before many more) was his first side-car he considered as his Vahinee (South Pacific Beauty). Holder of a French and American passport, he speaks French and English as well as Chinese.
The Chef ! Riccardo is from Venice and once lived on a boat on the Laguna. He came to Beijing a few years ago supervising furniture production for an Italian company doing furniture for 5 stars hotels. Riccardo did not want to go back and had worked as Chef de cuisine in Italian restaurant in Beijing. Owner of a Sidecar he’s our Italina insider. In winter you may also have the chance to taste the warm lunch he makes us on the wall. Riccardo speaks English, some French and Italian off course.
TIMOTHE COLMET DAGE - Insider Guide
French Tim is our hike specialist. Tim has hiked all the Wall and know it all. He came a few years ago and worked as a communication manager in a French multinational company before deciding life could be different. Gifted with languages, Tim also speaks Spanish, Italian, in addition of course to French, Chinese and English.
YVES DU PARC - Insider Guide and General Manager
French Yves arrives in China in 2006 where he spent 6 month in a company internship. He came back home to get married and came back to Beijing overseeing the development of a French agricultural company. After a few very successful years he decided to live his passion for sidecar and joined Sideways as General MAnager. who managed to get us lost in excel sheets! Yves speaks fluent Spanish with his Ecuador wife as well as French, English and Chinese.
ZHANGQI - Driver
Zhangqi joined Sideways i 2007 as his first job. A real Beijinger with parents owner of many hutongs home, the city has no secret to him. Recently his signature red sidecar got a lifting and it’s now a beautiful burgundy purple sidecar that he rides with pleasure.