Engineer in Lille, he retrained in outdoor sport in Creuse: « I wanted more nature, more concrete »

Difficult to get rid of his broad smile. And even more when he is in the saddle on his mountain bike in the lush green paths of the Creuse: Pierre-Raphaël Fourdinier seems fulfilled, in his element.

Programming of electronic boards

A few months ago, however, he lived in a completely different setting, much more mineral. Lille was his city and the 26-year-old young man, a graduate of the Higher Institute of Electronics and Digital (ISEN), worked as an electronic engineer and embedded systems within the company Xee, specializing in mobility connected. “I was working on programming electronic cards that are used for data analysis in vehicles,” he explains. It is mostly used by car fleet managers. “A rather well-paid engineering job – around 2,000 euros – in a dynamic city: the painting seems attractive, but not enough to hang Pierre-Raphaël Fourdinier on a lasting basis.

“I had been wondering for some time. I wanted more nature, more concrete. I wanted something to share, to show. Even if certain aspects of his job appealed to him, the young man aspired to something other than being glued to the screen for 8 hours a day. Chance of life, his journalist companion had the opportunity to settle in Creuse at the end of last year. He then decided to follow her and broke his CDI last January.

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Goat breeder, baker or bicycle mechanic?

Arrived in Creuse, Pierre-Raphaël has no shortage of reconversion ideas. The first being agriculture. “I had the opportunity to do wwoofingin Ardèche and I found it really phew (sic

). He repeated the experience at Royère-de-Vassivière, in a goat farm, when he landed in the department in February. “It was good, but it required a lot of investment before even knowing if it could work. I gave up on that fear. « 

In the second and third reconversion ideas, Pierre-Raphaël Fourdinier thought of a bicycle mechanic and … a baker. “I like shaping bread,” he explains. And for the bike, it is the side « hands in the sludge » and my passion for the sport. Pierre-Raphaël Fourdinier in fact devoted himself to athletics at a younger age before falling in love with the little queen. “I did Lille – Bayonne by bike three years ago. It was a discovery of the cycling world, but also of France, having the time to look around. From there I bought a road bike and then an ATV. « 

Get in the saddle to discover the Creuse

The concern is that via Pôle Emploi, he could not find any internship in the two-wheeler sector. On the other hand, he managed to get three in the bakery, in Saint-Maurice-la-Souterraine, Jarnages and Dun-le-Palestel. « I really liked it … » he says. Corn ? “There isn’t really a corn,” he smiles. I could have had an apprenticeship contract, but two weeks before, I met Christian. « 

Key meeting

Christian is Christian Bonnichon, the president of the Cercle Cycliste Mainsat Évaux. The two men crossed paths during the Green Challenge in Mainsat, last May. Between the engineer eager for reconversion and Christian Bonnichon, in search of a motivated person to develop in particular the future mountain bike base in Mainsat, the current flows quickly. Interested in the profile of Pierre-Raphaël Fourdinier, the president of the Cercle Cycliste Mainsat Évaux began to seek funding to open a position within the club. Finally, Pierre-Raphaël was hired on July 19 on the basis of a one-year contract renewable once, 30 hours per week. “There are plenty of things to do, relishes the young man. Organize outings with people, maintain the trails, mark them out, supervise the teams when they go out to compete, take care of communication and the website … I really like this multidisciplinary aspect. « 

I tested a few kilometers of the Grande Traversée de la Creuse by mountain bike for you

Seize opportunitiesAnd having gone from around 2,000 euros net per month to the minimum wage does not bother him more than that. “It’s a big drop in salary, but it’s as if I was going back to school and still had a small salary on the side. The goal, behind, is to obtain all the skills to have a position (in the natural sport environment

). Even wanted, this professional transition necessarily worked mentally. “I had a lot of hesitation,” he says. Especially when choosing between bakery and mountain biking. But if we don’t seize these opportunities, we are missing out on something. And then, if at the end of the two years, it doesn’t work, I will do a little training to find my engineering level. « 

Introduction to organic know-how and lifestyles, by helping farmers or individuals (the hosts) who provide them with board and lodging.

Daniel Lauret

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