If you’ve ever dreamed of taking an extended bicycle tour on your own through Europe — and who hasn’t — there’s a website now that can show you the way.
The EuroVelo.com website maps out 14 long-distance bicycle routes that link up cities in more than 40 countries in Europe.
When complete, the network will cover 44,000 miles. About 28,000 miles are in place now. One route alone — EuroVelo 13, Iron Curtain Trail — will stretch for 6,400 miles from Norway to Turkey.
The project by the European Cyclists’ Federation is co-financed with the European Union to support sustainable tourism.
According to the Federation:
“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.”
If you examine the website, you’ll find that not all the routes are complete. There’s plenty to spark the imagination and help you down the road, however.
Each route is linked to another page that tells general information about the route. In cases where the route is “fully realised” (complete), another page provides some of the details of the route in that country. The Federal recommends contacting the National EuroVelo Coordination Center in the countries you’ll be visiting to get more details.
The EuroVelo network is similar to the U.S. Bicycle Route System that the Adventure Cycling Association is coordinating in this country. The nonprofit provides technical assistance to volunteers in 40 states who work with the local highway departments.
Forty states are currently working on the bicycle route corridors, and Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan and Alaska already have designated routes in their states.
The state of Oregon is probably the furthest along in recognizing the value of bicycle travel and tourism.
The state recently completed and posted online a list of nine Oregon Scenic Bikeways that direct bicyclists along the state’s most picturesque routes.
The Oregon routes are geared for 1 to 4 days of traveling and will bring bicycle tourists to some of the more remote sections of the state.