In Wallonia, things are a bit different. Instead of having a french “déjeuner”, they prefer having a decent “lunch”. Also, in terms of cycling, instead of using the term Greenways (“voies vertes”), they chose the acronym RAVeL for their autonomous network of slow lanes (Réseau Autonome de VoiEs Lentes). The growth of the RAVeL routes over the past 20 years has been a story of pragmatism but one which has finally resulted in an extensive network of over 1400 km.
The end of September marked the close of the eighteen-month EuroVelo 13 project, which has involved partners in eight countries along the northern half of the Iron Curtain Trail. The partners can look back on some notable achievements, including a completed EuroVelo13.com website and brand new cycle tourism package offers.
The Silver Cyclists project has officially been launched in September, aiming at increasing the number of seniors undertaking cycling holidays both domestically as well as to other European destinations.
Sometimes improbable things happen when a group of people genuinely believe in their creating power. Nobody thought that Belarus could be part of the EuroVelo network but today reality proves them wrong. Jens Erik Larsen shares his impressions.
EuroVelo routes featured prominently again in this year’s European Greenways Award. This year the awards were held on 16th October in Namur, Belgium. In total, seven greenways from Germany, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom and Czech Republic were recognised as best practices examples.
Between 7th – 9th October the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) organised a training event in Brussels on the European Certification Standard. The 14 participants from across Europe were able to learn about the process of certifying routes both theoretically, through the European Certification Standard Manual, and practically, through a certification field trip.
The vibrant city of carnival, kölsch beer and the most visited tourist attraction in Germany – the Cologne Cathedral – rewards visitors with its charm, humour and countless cultural offers. Besides its exuberant lifestyle, Cologne faces major traffic challenges. In fact the city has just inherited the title of German ‘traffic jam capital’ from Stuttgart. It seems that EuroVelo can play an important role here – let’s take a closer look!
The European Cyclists’ Federation has developed an application for portable devices that will improve the collection of data and calculation of the evaluation results when certifing EuroVelo routes.
The “Bicistaffetta 2015“, the annual FIAB ride along national EuroVelo routes, took place from 30 August to 5 September 2015 starting from Benevento and ending in Brindisi following EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena. The Bicistaffetta seeks to improve the national bicycle network as well as spreading the importance of cycling generally, especially amongst local councils.
The three ambitious cyclists that made up the NowWeBike tour have finally arrived to Brussels after having cycled on 2,700km across the continent on EuroVelo routes. Their arrival coincided with MOVEWeek and the ECF’s Secretary General Dr Bernhard Ensink was on hand to give them a warm welcome.
The development of cycling tourism in South-East Europe is starting to take shape. A meeting of relevant stakeholders took place recently for developing cycling tourism in this region.
Velo-city Global 2016 invites cycling enthusiasts from around the world to share their interesting experience, innovative thinking, and professional insight with a global audience. (call can be found here)
Velo-city is open to all forms of cycling – if you deal with long distance cycle routes or cycling tourism you are encouraged to apply.
When someone thinks about Marbella, immediately many words come to one’s mind: luxury, glamour, sailing, good weather and gastronomy. But in few months the´diamond of the Costa del Sol´ will add a new word to the recipe of success: cycling on EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route.
As part of the ongoing EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail project, the route’s dedicated website has been completed with more detailed information added about the northern section of the route from Austria all the way up to the coast of the Barents Sea in Norway. For anyone planning to cycle all or part of this section then the website should make route even more accessible.
A new study by Sustrans, the British National EuroVelo Coordinator, has demonstrated the growing importance of cycling tourism for the economy. It found that leisure and tourism cycling on the British National Cycle Network, which is integrated in the EuroVelo network, supports over 15,000 jobs and directly contributes £650m (approximately €890m) to the economy each year.
In a recent interview with the German newspaper „Die Welt“, MEP Michael Cramer used the example of EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic Black Sea to explain the state of cycling tourism in Europe today and also considered the challenges it faces and what can be done to improve the conditions for cyclists generally.
The European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC research) in Italy is undertaking research into how to improve tourism offers for cyclists and mountain bikers in the Alps and they currently need your help!
The ECF, in collaboration with the project partners, has developed a web site that aims to gather the existing information on this 5,888 km long cycle route that crosses through 11 European countries. This work was done in the framework of the EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route project which is supported by the European Commission DG Grow COSME programme.
Looking at the EuroVelo map there are some notable absences from the European cycle route network. One such omission is the Portuguese Atlantic Coast, which includes the country’s capital Lisbon. The National EuroVelo Coordinator in Portugal, Federação Portuguesa Cicloturismo e Utilizadores de Bicicleta (FPCUB), is trying to correct this oversight and have applied for EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route to be extended. Last month, Ed Lancaster from the EuroVelo Management Team paid a visit to see how things were progressing.
Steady progress is being made on the EuroVelo routes in Wallonia. EuroVelo 3 – The Pilgrims Route and EuroVelo 5 – Via Romena Francigena pass through the southern region of Belgium. Both routes are based on RAVeL itineraries, the regional greenways network that forms long-distance cycle routes. In most cases these follow regenerated sections of disused train lines and canal banks and make for ideal cycling conditions.
In what could be a first for the EuroVelo network, the Luxembourg government has recently announced plans for a new cycle and pedestrian path which will be suspended beneath a bridge in the centre of Luxembourg City. The path will form part of EuroVelo 5 – Via Romea Francigena.
June brought good news from the Czech Republic where a new section of EuroVelo 4 – Central Europe Route was officially opened between Karlovy Vary (or Carlsbad) and the natural attraction Svatošská Rocks. The route includes an impressive new bridge over the River Ohře/Eger.
Maps are a very useful resource. This is true at the planning stage, the implementation phase and at the final, consumable phase of a cycling project. This month two maps were published in France that illustrate well how maps can be a useful resource for the end user as much as for the policy-maker.
Since the application to join the EuroVelo network was submitted at the end of 2013, the Rhone Cycle Route – proposed EuroVelo route 17 – has been quickly developed. The French and Swiss stakeholders who are promoting the route have made significant efforts to improve the infrastructure, signalisation, coordination, promotion and services along the route and it is now poised to become one of the most popular cycle routes in Europe. As part of the application process, EuroVelo Management Team member Jesus Freire paid a visit to check on the progress being made.
Mobile phone applications are a huge resource for cycling. Many bicycle sharing schemes have their own apps which allow users to monitor availability and can help boost usage. Other cycling apps include route trackers and itinerary planners. In this article we explore the newly released ‘Bas-Rhin à vélo’ app which features EuroVelo routes 5 and 15.
The Latvian Presidency of the European Union ended in Riga with the hosting of the TEN-T Days to discuss the latest developments and opportunities for the trans-European transportation network. ECF as the coordinator of EuroVelo, the European cycle route network presented the opportunities that investments in cycling offer for Europe and what kind of new opportunities have arisen since cycling has been integrated into the official guidelines and regulations.
A big EuroVelo cake complete with a map and most of the city of Nantes’ reserves of chocolate was baked in celebration of the European cycle route network’s 20th Anniversary. The last two decades have seen the concept go from an ambitious and visionary idea to an ambitious and visionary reality: 14 long distance cycle routes which connect the continent over their combined 70,000 km.
When over 200 people gather together in Malaga (Andalusia, Spain) to discuss about cycling, you can be sure things are on the move and in the right direction at that. The Iberian Cycling Congress hosted its 13th edition in Malaga and is aiming to become the ‘Spanish-Portuguese Velo-City’. It is the capital of the ‘Costa del Sol’ which is making important efforts to transform itself into a cycling city.
On the last days of April 2015, Adam Bodor visited Croatia and Serbia, to explore and support the development of the EuroVelo network and cycling tourism in the Balkans. Here is how he got on.
The beautiful city of Mantova in northern Italy was the setting for the final project meeting of the EC funded EuroVelo 8 – The Mediterranean Route project. EuroVelo management team was there of course, and here is the report.
It’s not every day that a Director General from the European Commission undertakes a 600 km bike trip on EuroVelo routes. So when we heard that Karl Falkenberg from the Directorate-General for Environment, was going to do just that in June, we wanted to find out more.
As the attention of the cycling world turns to Nantes we take a look at how everyday cycling is doing in the city. The Velo-City conference is kicking off on the 2nd of June and we’re in for three days packed full of cycling goodness but the city is also at a EuroVelo crossroads and in order to whet our appetites in the build up to the big event, we take a look at the state of cycling in the ‘City of Dukes’.
Last week saw 30 people participate in a bicycle ride from Dresden to Prague and on to Freistadt. In the context of the Week of Cycle Tourism, the week-long tour promoted EuroVelo 7 in Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria as well as the 20th anniversary of the EuroVelo network which will be celebrated at the National EuroVelo Coordinators meeting on the 2nd of June in Nantes. We hear how they got on.
The third and final project meeting for the EuroVelo 13 project took place at the beginning of May in Riga, Latvia. The hosts used the arrival of the transnational partners to hold a successful press conference and arranged for the official opening of a beautiful new cycling and walking bridge in the village of Carnikava just to the north of the capital.
Last month, our EuroVelo, more than cycling tourism column saw how Prague has gone from being a cycling desert to setting ambitious targets for modal share. This awareness of the contribution cycling can make to the city has also spread among its inhabitants. One such inhabitant is named Oleh Zahiney. A staunch cyclist himself, he decided to bank on cycling and set up two cycling services: Praha Bike – guided city bike tours and bicycle rentals in Prague ; and Cyklus Trails – multi-day self-guided and guided adventure bike trips in Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. Today, his decision paid off and we caught up with him to see what he had to say about EuroVelo and the state of cycling in his capital.
The EuroVelo management team has put together a manual entitled Guidance on Usage Monitoring. It is intended as a reference on how best to obtain reliable figures on who, when and how the EuroVelo routes are used. A number of specialists were involved in compiling this manual and input was included from eight different European countries.