On my recent bicycle journey through France, I saw travelers traveling in all possible forms and transports. On foot, by motorhome, by boat, by car, by van, by motorbike and, of course, also by bicycle. I was struck by the various ways that exist for those who choose to travel by bicycle and soon I set out to take as many photos as there are ways to travel by bike I ran into the road.
Practically all the photos illustrating this article are taken on the Atlantic coast of the Médoc region, where there is a cycle route leading from Cap Ferret (in Arcachon Bay) to Pointe de Grave, in the town of Le Verdon-sur-mer. This cycle path is part of the Vélodyssée, a 1,400-kilometre cycling track frequented by many cyclists. I’m sure there are many more, but these are the 7 ways to travel by bike that I found during my journey.
1: CYCLING ALONE
Traveling by bike alone was the option I chose for about a week in the French region of Médoc, in the department of Gironde. Cycling alone offers a lot of flexibility, as you can change your plans and even your route spontaneously without having to discuss it with your fellow travelers. It also invites you to meet other travelers at each stage and, above all, allows you to reflect and be with yourself. This has been my first serious cycling experience and I have to say that it has been a very enriching journey in every sense.
2: TRAVELLING ON A LYING DOWN BIKE
Several times I came across this French boy who was traveling on a reclining bicycle. On one of the occasions, I couldn’t resist and start a conversation while we continued pedaling. He and his companion, who traveled on a “normal” bicycle, had left La Rochelle and were heading towards Perpinyà, and their first stages coincided with my last cycling days. I asked him about the comfort of traveling on a reclined bicycle, as I am a bit of a classic when it comes to two-wheeled animals, to which he replied that it was very comfortable. He carried huge saddlebags and a certain weight, which forced him to be careful not to pack downhill.
3: TRAVELLING BY TANDEM BICYCLE
If traveling alone is a rewarding experience, traveling by bicycle as a couple should not be any less rewarding. Even more so if you are traveling on a tandem bike. Having a permanent companion for conversation and adventure, pedaling in unison and facing the ups and downs of the terrain together has to provide many rewarding moments. But you have to ration your luggage because you can only place a rear grill for the saddlebags. I have seen several couples riding tandem bicycles, and none of them were arguing when I came across them. Another rooster will sing when they are away from prying eyes like mine.
4: CYCLING WITH CHILDREN
Traveling with children requires special organization and preparations. It goes without saying that, in addition to traveling with children, the troupe travels by bicycle from one place to another. During my trip through France, I saw several families who were making a bicycle trip with their children and all of them used different accessories depending on the age of the children. Those who traveled on bicycles with younger children opted for a trailer cart, others moved by coupling the front wheel of the children’s bicycle to that of the adults by means of a hitch, and the more grown-ups did so by pedaling already on their own bicycle. Without a doubt, traveling on a bicycle with children must be a challenge.