Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Experience France by Bike

Experience France by Bike

Experience France by Bike (www.experiencefrancebybike.com) advocates recreational cycling in France for all ages, fitness levels and budgets by empowering people with the information needed to plan and take a bicycling vacation. It also strives to promote social change by advocating cyclotourism as a way to experience the culture and history of an area in a way not possible when touring by car.

Since 2010, Experience France by Bike has published weekly articles on bicycling the cities, urban areas and countryside of France, with a goal of inspiring people to visit France the slow way...by bike. From stories on bicycling in and around Bordeaux to the new Velostras in Strasbourg to updates on new bicycle routes and route expansions, Experience France by Bike has become one of the most visited websites about bicycling in France. Articles advocate cyclotourism as a means to be actively involved in a French vacation experience, rather than being an ordinary tourist.

If you've never planned a bicycle trip to France, the experience can be daunting....so daunting that many people just don't bother. Through first person accounts of my bicycling adventures as well as stories about my trip planning process, Experience France by Bike helps simplify the process. I encourage people to embrace the adventure of traveling by bicycle and to enjoy the uncertainty of what lies ahead, to take the fork in the road to explore streets, alleyways, towns and villages that you would never visit if you were traveling by car. I empower readers who have never taken a bicycling vacation to have the confidence to take one.

Why is all of this important?

Cyclotourism is one of the fastest growing parts of the tourism sector in Europe, worth an estimated 44 billion Euro currently, according to the European Cyclists Federation. Along with other major countries in Europe, France has launched a major initiative to become a cycling mecca for tourists. Experience France by Bike will contribute significantly to French goals by advancing information on major national routes, urban bikeways and EuroVelo routes through France, encouraging expanded cyclotourism and its financial benefits. The website also actively promotes local and regional tourism offices and their cycling resources, as well as bicycle-friendly resources such as bike rental agencies, accommodations and historical attractions.

With a steadily growing readership, Experience France by Bike is already impacting cyclotourism in France, and several new initiatives are planned to further expand this impact. This spring, Experience France by Bike will begin publishing a series of itinerary-specific bicycling e-guides designed to help consumers plan a weekend or week long bicycle trip to France. In response to the high level of interest in more reports on bicycle routes outside of France, in early 2014, Experience France by Bike will evolve into Experience Europe by Bike. The scope will be larger, but the goal will be the same: to advocate cyclotourism in European cities, urban areas and countryside by informing, inspiring, encouraging and motivating readers to choose a bicycling vacation in Europe.

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Maggie LaCoste
Mount Pleasant, United States

Category: Advocacy and Social Projects

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