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To Find Europe’s Best Bike Routes, a Cycling Writer Asked the Crowd

To Find Europe’s Best Bike Routes, a Cycling Writer Asked the Crowd

The publisher, Rizzoli, asked me to do the book “Cycling Atlas North America.” I said I know some places but I need to have an American expert. Greg was enthusiastic. So, when I called back the publisher, I said, “I found someone who knows North America. Maybe you don’t know him, but he was a cyclist a long time ago.” When I said it was Greg LeMond, they just said “Wow.” So, Greg and I wrote the “Atlas North America” together 40 years after our first meeting.

Everything changed in cycling — in the way people look at bikes, look at cyclists, and we are just at the beginning of a new era of travel, of bikepacking. It’s very new in France. We saw it just a little bit before Covid. But with Covid, and after, there are a lot of people who want to spend some days on vacation on their bike alone, with friends, with kids, for sport, and for tourism — along the Loire à Vélo, for example, to see the castles and to taste the best wine on the road. There are so many different kinds of rides. But right now, it’s cycling time.

E-bikes are a fantastic development. I’m a great supporter of e-bikes because I see them bringing people to ride who never cycled. I think it helps people who are not in good health or too old to cycle. It’s a great development here in France.

In the first years of Strava, it was considered a way to compare yourself with others. But people have discovered that you can find the best route with Strava tools. It’s incredible because Strava is a technology, but it’s also a social media now. And, when you ask a question of three different people on Strava, two of them will answer — you are sure of that — and often all three.

You just have to turn the pages of the book. I try to mix mountains with coasts, plains and a lot of low mountains. I was very surprised about all the mountain ranges I did not know of before in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Slovenia — there are many landscapes to challenge yourself if you want.

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