We are Beatrix and Richard, writers, film-makers, and photographers. We’ve been living here in la Provence verte for over 15 years. As everyday cyclists, we are rather chuffed that a European cycle route is being built just 700 metres from our house. We are reporting from a little village – Pontevès – that is right on the EV8.
We are joined by Odile, who hails from Brittany but has lived here in the south for over 40 years. Her passion for the area and her endless curiosity makes her a natural choice as a colleague that can help manage the French side of our site.
In the past, we have produced films, written articles and supported cycle campaigns in the United Kingdom and Germany. Our 2009 film Beauty and the Bike has been screened at venues around the world, whilst our blog Bremenize is a growing resource for anyone interested in what makes a cycling-friendly city.
EuroVelo 8.org is here to dig deeper into the area’s culture, history, natural world, politics and cuisine. In a region where cycling is generally understood to mean tour-de-france style speed and effort, our site is dedicated to slow cycling. To cycle slowly means taking your time to enjoy the sights and the smells that you pass as you pedal along.
It’s the natural way for touring cyclists to enjoy their ride, rather than making each day of cycling a massive challenge. But it is also how the majority of cyclists use their bicycles in countries with high rates of everyday cycling. It’s therefore something that local cycling advocates need to understand when designing cycleways for a wider local population.
We hope to be of help to cycling visitors who want to get the most out of their trip along the route. We’ve done our fair share of cycle touring ourselves, so we have a good idea of your needs, whether that is advice on the best routes, friendly accommodation, good food and drink, interesting places to visit, or learning more about the region and its people.
But we also want to help realise the other aim of the eurovelo network – to encourage local people to use the bicycle as a means of everyday travel. Much of the effort in this field has to date concentrated on towns and cities. We realise this is a major challenge in a rural setting like la Provence verte. But we are up for it!
Above all, we hope you’ll find our website informative and enjoyable!