The route network that has inspired me to cycle across the continent two and a bit times (hopefully three times by the end of July) is twenty years old. This from the European Cycling Federation’s Eurovelo website:
“It was twenty years ago that the World Trade Organization was formed; the film Toy Story was released; the Russian space station Mir greeted it’s first American guests; the DVD was announced; and Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio topped the charts around the world. The year 1995 also marked the establishment of EuroVelo and so over the coming months we are going to be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary!
“The idea of creating a network of international cycle routes spanning Europe was initiated by the ECF during a meeting of its AGM in Brussels in 1995. The original plan was to create themed long-distance cycle routes that connect the continent. The aim was always that the routes could be used by cycle tourists as well as for daily mobility and that wherever possible they should use existing or planned national or regional cycling routes. Whilst we have come a long way since then, we have stayed true to these original principles.
“The past twenty years have seen significant developments. For example, the official EuroVelo signing has been approved by UNECE WP.1 (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Working party on road safety and signalisation) and there is now increasing amounts of EuroVelo signing in place across the continent, from Bulgaria to Spain and from Cyprus to Estonia. EuroVelo is also increasing recognised both by local, regional, national and European governments, as well as amongst the wider public.
“During the course of this special year, we will be taking opportunities to look back at the creation of the network with interviews with people who were there at the beginning and celebrating the progress that has been made in the years since.
“For starters we have updated the History section of this website, which you view here, and created a special version of our logo.”