You can visit the EuroVelo Planning website at www.eurovelo.org
You can visit the EuroVelo website for tourists at www.eurovelo.com
EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, is a project of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF). The project is sponsored by the ACCELL group with its bicycle brands Batavus, Koga, Sparta, Hercules and Winora.
The aim of the ECF EuroVelo project is to promote and coordinate the creation and operation of a complete European cycle route network, the EuroVelo network, crossing and uniting the whole European continent. This is the truly sustainable Trans-European Transport Network.
For more detailed information about the EuroVelo Project, make sure you go to the website: www.eurovelo.org
The objectives of ECF in the EuroVelo project are:
- To ensure the implementation of very high quality European-grade cycle routes in all countries of Europe, carrying the best European practice across borders and harmonising standards
- To communicate the existence of these routes to decision makers and potential users, promote and market their use, and provide an important port of call for information about cycling in Europe
- In this way, to encourage large numbers of European citizens to give cycling a try, and so to promote a shift to healthy and sustainable travel – for daily trips and as cycling tourism.
EuroVelo is made up of 14 routes, totalling over 70,000 km, of which about 45,000 km is already in place. The EuroVelo routes are made up of existing and planned cycle routes at regional and national level.
The development and operation of the EuroVelo routes are carried out by national, regional and local governments, commercial service providers and NGOs in all the European countries. ECF is ready to be a partner in projects on developing EuroVelo routes and promoting their use. EuroVelo is a registered trade mark of ECF, and only routes approved by the ECF have the right to call themselves EuroVelo; this is an important badge of quality for both the cyclist and the route promoter.
The EuroVelo project is managed by the ECF. The highest decision making body is the board of the ECF, the ECF Board. The ECF EuroVelo Management is based in the ECF Office in Brussels. The ECF Management Committee has created the ECF EuroVelo Council to act as an advisory body for the ECF in implementation and operation of EuroVelo.
ECF published in May 2009 a brochure (16 pages) named EuroVelo The European cycle route network available as a pdf file: EuroVelo-The_European_cycle_route_network-May2009.pdf
ECF is currently developing for professionals working on the development of the network. Its sister website – Eurovelo.com – is planned for development in 2012 or 2013 for cycle tourists. In the meanwhile you can find further information on Eurovelo.org.
5 top tips for Planning a EuroVelo trip
You’ve booked your leave, bought your panniers and cancelled the milk delivery but you’re still a little unsure what to do next? Never fear; the ECF may not be a travel agency but we can give you some ideas for planning your next cycle holiday. Set out below are our 5 top tips for ensuring that you make the most of your precious time off:
Make sure that you plan your route in detail in advance. Whilst it may sound fun to head wherever the wind takes you, such an approach can lead to difficulties – and long diversions – out on the road. The EuroVelo Map can be a good starting point, as this is based wherever possible on national and regional cycle routes. The ADFC also provides useful overview information on cycle touring in different countries on their website.
Once you have decided on which area you would like to visit, you should then plan your route in more detail. For this type of information it is worth contacting our National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators who often have up-to-date information on their cycle routes and in some cases have developed their own GPS information, which is available for downloading. At the very least, they should be able to recommend a good map for the areas that you would like to visit.
It is also worth booking accommodation in advance wherever possible. Again, our National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators should be able to help with this. Many have started to operate bed +bike schemes that recognise service providers that make a special effort to cater for cycle tourists (e.g. Fietsers Welkom in the Netherlands).
Although a night in a foreign jail might provide some good anecdotes to tell your grandchildren, you ideally don’t want to have brushes with the law on your holidays, so be aware of the national road codes in the countries through which you are travelling. Unfortunately, there is no one-stop-shop for this at the moment, so you will have to check country by county but the ECF’s Member Organisations [see www.eurovelo.org] should be able to help point you in the right direction. The European Commission also has an interactive map with road regulations in the EU27 that may be of use.
It is also worth getting in some practice in beforehand, particularly if you do not ride regularly. Start with some short daily rides and build up to longer weekend trips that will cover the kind of distances that you will cycle on tour. The average cycle tourist typically covers 50-60km a day, taking into account refreshment breaks, sightseeing stops etc.
Many of our Member Organisations provide advice on purchasing the right equipment (e.g. CTC in the UK). It is important to do a little research before you buy otherwise you can make an expensive mistake, which could cause you problems (and pains!), invariably when you’re miles from the nearest settlement.
4. Combining Bike with Train
This is the ideal combination for environmentally friendly mobility in short-and long-distance traffic. Most locations in Europe are accessible by train and by booking in advance some cheap fares can be found. Many trains are now equipped with special bicycle areas (although unfortunately not all). You will usually have to make a reservation in advance.
5. Keep an eye out for EuroVelo.com
Next year the ECF is hoping to develop EuroVelo.com, a public website for people who wish to cycle parts of the European cycle route network. The website will have suggested itineraries, features on specific routes and links to further information. You will hear about it first through the ECF website