Contact Menu

User account menu

Cart Flyout

Leica BLK2GO

Adventuring through Asia with the BLK2GO

By Shoshanna Wilson


Traveling by car, you take the designated road told to you, but on a bike, you choose the path. By bike, you discover what the locals know.

-Yohann Ly 

Yohann Ly, supervisor and technical lead for Hexagon's Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division in France, embarks on his biggest adventure on April 8th: a 1,838-mile journey through Southeast Asia, all on his bike. The trip will span almost two months until May 27th. Yohann will begin his trek once his plane lands in Hanoi, and he’ll be off, biking through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia; he’ll end his journey in the Southern part of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City. Yohann’s love of discovery sparked his idea to travel on a bike with the Leica BLK2GO, scanning what he sees along the way. 

I spoke with Yohann two weeks before taking off on his soon-to-be longest biking trip ever. We talked about what inspired him to take the trip – his answer was simple and striking.  

“I didn’t want to visit these countries as I have in the past – as a regular tourist. I want to surround myself with each country’s landscape, people, and cultures in a way I never have before,” he said. “With standard travel, it’s more about the destination. But with a bike, it’s all about the journey.”  

Yohann Ly

On hundreds of different roads, mixed with the excitement of who he will meet and talk with and the experience of being in distant lands with new sites, inspires Yohann. 

Yohann has been to Cambodia once and multiple times to Vietnam, where he knows the language and where his father was born. Combining his love of travel and culture with his love of sport and athleticism, Yohann came up with the idea to bring the BLK2GO and use it along with M.App Enterprise to document his biking trip. Seeking the physical challenge and a different way to travel, he decided going by bike would be the perfect option. 

Yohann, in his day-to-day life, doesn’t cycle to work or to relax; he began cycling tours during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. His first solo bike trip was from Paris to the shores of Normandy, which took three days. He loved the experience and began planning his next trip from his house to the center of France, in Clermont Ferrand, which took him a week on his bike. Cut to his most recent trip – Yohann biked from Paris to Copenhagen. This trip took him three weeks as he biked through France, Belgium, and Germany.   

For this upcoming bike tour, Yohann combines the wisdom he’s gained from previous trips. One huge takeaway he learned was to pack light! During his three-week bike tour, he packed his guitar – “never again,” he says. He ended up regretting that decision once he hit the first steep hill. He’s packed only the essentials this time, including a tent, medicine, water, food, clothes, and the BLK2GO. 

Yohann Ly

Working as a technical lead at Hexagon's Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division, Yohann is constantly managing and working on projects that utilize the data from the Leica BLK series of sensors. When planning his trip, he had the idea that documenting with Hexagon's M.App Enterprise software, which easily creates geospatial applications, and BLK2GO handheld imaging laser scanner would be something new and exciting for Hexagon. So, he brought the idea up with his team and got to work with the BLK2GO to start the logistics of what it would take to document his adventure. 

With no surveying background, the team at Leica Geosystems helped Yohann get up to speed with using the scanner. With the easy learning curve of the BLK2GO, Yohann, within just a few scans with the BLK2GO, felt confident that he picked the perfect device for his trip. This last month, Yohann started practicing with the BLK2GO and most recently scanned a Cathedral in his local town in France to get the hang of it. 

“The BLK line of devices are compact and light,” he said. I’ll be on the road for almost two months, so everything I pack must be small and light.” 

With the BLK2GO, Yohann is confident that he’ll be able to capture his journey digitally. As he rides through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, he’ll jump off his bike when he sees something he thinks would be beautifully captured with the BLK2GO. With a press of a button, the BLK2GO will start scanning as Yohann walks; this means that Yohann can immediately capture what he sees easily and quickly. He’ll rest his bike down, capture, and jump back on within minutes. The BLK2GO will be nice and snug in its own secure compartment on the back of Yohann’s bike. 

Yohann Ly

I asked Yohann what his family and friends think of his biking tour. His parents are both excited and understandably nervous. Yohann shares those same emotions but made it clear it's the logistics of not just completing the trip but ensuring the technology holds up and works the way the team planned. 

Yohann, before he leaves, is meticulously planning and making sure all things, from his biking essentials to his insurance and planned content for both his Instagram and M.App Enterprise, have no loose ends. He's looking forward to finishing logistics and finally riding his bike and immersing himself on the roads of Southeast Asia. He's hoping to inspire those tuning into his journey to dream a bit more about the experiences we can create for ourselves. Visiting new and familiar places with a different lens, whatever that might look like for someone – his just happens to be on a bike with the BLK2GO, ready to capture his journey. 

Follow along with Yohann’s bike tour on an application built with Hexagon's M.App Enterprise here and his Instagram @wheel_of_green