A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Ed Lancaster of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) about the EuroVelo network for The Cycling Europe Podcast. That podcast was published last week and you can listen to it by visiting the podcast page of CyclingEurope.org:
The ECF have just published a ‘press pack’ of information about the EuroVelo network and you can view the full document by following this link. However, here are a few snippets. They complement perfectly what Ed Lancaster said on the podcast. All graphics and most of the text below are credited to the European Cyclists’ Federation.
A reminder of the routes, their names and their length:
The familiar, updated map…
…and some statistics on the status of the network:
A second European map showing the modal share of cycling in the 27 countries of the EU and the United Kingdom. At one end of the spectrum is The Netherlands; at the other, Portugal:
Some comments of cycle tourism in Europe:
I like these… Some examples of the signs that you might see when using the EuroVelo routes:
(I’m tempted to head off to Somerset to try to find that Glastonbury / Wells sign to see if it actually exists; having never seen a EuroVelo sign in the UK, I’d love to have my scepticism disproved!)
Finally, some ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ from this page of the ECF EuroVelo website. Again, they pick up on many of the things that Ed Lancaster mentioned in the podcast interview. All the answers are those of the European Cyclists’ Federation.
What is the best route for me?
EuroVelo offers a wide variety of routes for all types of cyclists. Whether for a day out or a 3-month expedition, our routes page will help you find the perfect trip.
I’d like to try a long-distance, self-supported tour for the first time.
Our most complete route to date, with full signposting between France and Serbia, and with detailed mapping available throughout, EuroVelo 6 – from the Atlantic to the Black Sea is the perfect choice for a first long-distance tour. Passing through 10 countries over its 4,448 km (2,764 mile) length, the route follows three of Europe’s major rivers – the Loire, the Rhine and the Danube. This naturally flat topography, combined with the highest quality cycling infrastructure ensures a safe and pleasant ride.
I’m interested in Europe’s history.
Many EuroVelo routes incorporate a historical theme – EuroVelo routes 3 and 5 follow ancient pilgrims’ trails and EuroVelo 2 links some of Europe’s great capital cities. For the most poignant reminder of Europe’s recent history we recommend following EuroVelo 13 – the Iron Curtain Trail, along the border which divided the continent between East and West for half a century. EuroVelo 13 is also the longest trans-Europe route, at 10,400 km (6,462 miles).
I’m travelling with my family.
If you’re travelling with young kids then look no further than EuroVelo 15 – the Rhine route. At 1,320 km (820) miles, the entire route is very manageable in a month-long summer holiday. In this time you’ll follow the Rhine through four countries from source to sea, taking in some magnificent scenery on the way. The route is the first to be awarded the European Route Certification Standard, ensuring an exemplary level of infrastructure throughout.
Where can I find out what parts of the network are complete?
In many cases substantial sections of EuroVelo routes are already complete and signposted, but gaps in high-quality infrastructure still exist. Our website http://www.eurovelo.com/en/eurovelos provides a colour-coded overview of each route itinerary. Green (realised) sections are cycle routes with signposting in both directions. Yellow (not realised) sections are undergoing work to meet EuroVelo standards but follow existing cycle infrastructure. Red (planned) sections are still in the route planning phase.
Where can I find maps and guidebooks?
You can request the EuroVelo network map and the EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Route manual to be sent to you by mail with a donation. Maps are currently available from many online sources including Amazon, Sustrans, Fietsvakantiewinkel, Adfc and France Velo Tourisme An overview map of EuroVelo routes and a EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Rounte manual are available online or in paper form by contacting your National Coordinator.
Who came up with the idea of EuroVelo?
EuroVelo was first conceived at a meeting between the ECF and its British and Danish partners (Sustrans and de Frie Fugle) in 1995. The original plan was to create 12 long-distance cycle routes. Since August 2007, the ECF has assumed full responsibility for coordination of the project, leading to greater international recognition of the value of these routes. You can learn more about its history here.
Why is there no EuroVelo 14 and 16?
Routes are numbered based on whether they cross Europe on a North-South or an East-West axis. Currently there are eight North-South routes (odd numbers 1-17) and six East – West routes (including two circuits) (even numbers 2-12).
Is it possible to add additional routes?
Yes, we accept applications to create new EuroVelo routes, or modify existing itineraries in a three-year cycle. The next deadline for new route applications will be the 31st December 2019. A detailed explanation of the route application process can be found here: http://www.eurovelo.org/routes/newroutes/
Can EuroVelo sponsor my cycling trip or charity fundraising ride?
The ECF is a not-for-profit organisation and cannot make financial contributions to rides using the EuroVelo network. However we love to hear news of inspiring journeys and can use our social media networks to spread these stories throughout the cycling community.
Where can I read accounts of people who have cycled the routes?
There is an endless selection of blogs available online by cyclists who have taken on the EuroVelo routes. A good idea is to check out #EuroVelo on twitter and facebook to hear what bloggers are saying about their rides. We also feature these cyclists in regular articles for eurovelo.com.