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Special Issue JUNE 2015

NANTES METROPOLE NEWS MAGAZINE BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION

w w w. n a n tes metrop ol e. fr

Special Issue

Photo : Patrick Garçon

Basse-Goulaine / Bouaye / Bouguenais / Brains / Carquefou / Couëron / Indre / La Chapelle-sur-Erdre / La Montagne / Le Pellerin / Les Sorinières / Mauves-sur-Loire / Nantes / Orvault / Rezé / Saint-Aignan-de-Grand-Lieu / Saint-Herblain / Saint-Jean-de-Boiseau / Saint-Léger-les-Vignes / Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire / Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire / Sautron / Thouaré-sur-Loire / Vertou

Welcome

to Velo-city! The international Velo-city conference taking place in Nantes in early June is proof that cycling is booming worldwide. It’s time to saddle up as Nantes extends a welcome to all cycling enthusiasts!


Special Issue

JUNE 2015

JUNE 2015

Welcome to Velo-City

editorial

CYCLING

Welcome to Velo-city! Nantes Métropole, European Green City 2013, has been pursuing innovative and ambitious policies in the field of sustainable development for many years in order to respond to the challenges of energy and environmental transition in a way which enhances our quality of life, boosts the local economy and creates jobs. Increasing cycle use so that it exists alongside public and private means of transport in a complementary and balanced way is an essential asset at a time when environmental issues and energy transition present major challenges. Increased cycle use in cities means, first and foremost, less pollution and lower levels of fossil fuel consumption. More cycling in the city changes our experiences of city living. It creates a more peaceful city for the benefit of all, where sharing of public spaces is designed on a human scale. It also provides an alternative way to discover the city and enjoy what it has to offer. Enhanced cycle use has additional health promotion benefits to combat a sedentary lifestyle. Lastly, greater cycle uptake in the city is a way of supporting innovative initiatives and businesses which create jobs based in our local area. Promoting city cycling involves taking practical steps. We have already introduced significant developments such as 485km of cycle lanes and paths. Over 40 million euros have been invested between 2009 and 2014 to fund a large number of projects, including two major cycle routes crossing Nantes Métropole from East to West and from North to South. Encouraging cycling also involves creating facilities on a smaller scale to make cycling easier on a daily basis, including bike shelters and anchor points. We would like to go even further and continue to provide these essential facilities, of course, but also to develop new tools to encourage people to take an alternative approach to cycling. In order to achieve this new stage in the development of cycling in our metropolitan area, we are drawing on the commitment and powers of invention of stakeholders and citizens. Velo-city 2015, the largest international cycling policy event, which we are hosting in June, offers us a wonderful opportunity. It will showcase citizen initiatives to promote cycling via two calls for projects, one for businesses and the other for citizens, to support practical initiatives and raise awareness of cycling among new groups of people. Velo-city will welcome over 1,500 delegates from all over the world and it is first and foremost a forum for debate and interaction, where new solutions for cycle cities of the future will be discussed. Cycling is more than just a means of transport, it is a way of life and, dare I say it, a new city model for the future. Johanna Rolland, President of Nantes Métropole.

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Nantes has never been more committed to cycling. It is hosting the largest international conference devoted to this subject – Velo-city. Welcome!

antes Métropole is hosting the Velo-city international cycling conference from 2 to 5 June at the Cité des Congrès conference centre in Nantes. Following in the footsteps of Adelaide (Australia) in 2014 and preceding Taipei (Taiwan) in 2016, Nantes Métropole has been recognised by the ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation), which organises Velo-city, for its initiatives to promote cycling. Johanna Rolland, President of Nantes Métropole points out: “This is the first time that a metropolitan area with fewer than 1 million inhabitants has hosted an event on this scale. The ECF’s decision offers recognition at an international level of Nantes Métropole’s initiatives to extend cycle use, but it is also the fruit of work carried out for several years across the local metropolitan area.” Johanna Rolland stresses that “On the issue of mobility and soft mobility, Nantes Métropole is pursuing a proactive policy.” A Cycle Plan was introduced in 2009 to promote cycle use. It is integrated into the Urban Mobility Plan (PDU), and has created almost 50km of cycle lanes every year since 2009, and over 2,000 cycle parking spaces. Now 800 bicloo self-service bikes are available to

N


IS ON TRACK! city-dwellers at docking stations in Nantes This ambition is also the main theme of VeloMétropole. Jacques Garreau, Vice President city, which will offer opportunities to interact of Nantes Métropole, responsible for soft and network around cycling and to visit a mobility, states that “cycling as a means of number of professional exhibition stands. transport has therefore risen to 4.5% from “We are expecting between 1,000 and 1,500 2% in 2012.” The launch and implementation participants, experts, technical professionals, of the Cycle Plan means that we have been elected representatives, representatives from selected to host Velo-city.” cycling associations, and academics, who are According to Thomas Quéro, Nantes city all working to develop urban cycling,” says councillor responsible for soft mobility, Manfred Neun, President of the ECF. This “Healthy, convenient, faster than a car in conference, which is a platform for dialogue town, less polluting and cheaper – cycles are around cycling, will bring together repreproving their credentials worldwide and in sentatives from some fifty countries. “The Nantes Métropole. This means of transport programme for this event was co-designed is now part of the everyday lives of millions around 750 suggestions submitted by repreof people.” It is even becoming one of the key sentatives from many different countries,” elements of a new social model which incor- says Philippe Crist, a mobility expert at porates all its different aspects: the OECD (Organisation leisure, commuting to work or for Economic Co-operaWE ARE school, start-ups using bikes, tion and Development). innovation, and much more “Hosting Velo-city, an EXPECTING 1,500 besides. The call for cycle-reinternational conferPARTICIPANTS lated projects was launched ence, is a major event for WHO ARE ALL in this spirit of developing a Nantes Métropole,” says WORKING TO new joint approach with citiRachel Bocher, President zens. When the invitation was of the Cité internationale DEVELOP URBAN extended to submit proposals des congrès de Nantes CYCLING for long-term ideas for making conference venue, with cycling accessible to all and pride. “This demonstrates easy to do, 79 collectives of Nantes Métropole our appeal and we will be equal to the residents and other non-profit associations task.” The conference will be structured took the plunge. Of this group, 23 will receive over three days around a series of symposia funding to develop their projects. devoted to cycling policy. The challenge is Companies were also encouraged to take to demonstrate that cycling is the solution these new travel practices on board, and were of the future for the cities of tomorrow and approached to commit to a Mobility Plan, the well-being of their inhabitants.” A huge to make it easier for employees to travel to programme of events, which will take place meetings in the local area or commute, by at the Cyclo-Village, on the esplanade of the making bikes and electric bikes available to former shipyard workshops in Nantes, is them. The aim is to make life and the city also aimed at residents of the city and cycle enthusiasts. • Gwenaëll Lyvinec easier for cyclists.

Table of contents

Welcome to Velo-City

Citizens

P. 6 - 7

A call for cycle projects for citizens Health

P. 21

Cycling is good for you!

Interview

P. 4 - 5

Over to the experts Cycling at the heart of Nantes Métropole Cycling is slowly but surely gaining significant ground in the Nantes Métropole area and 4.5% of journeys are now made by bike. Nantes Métropole is therefore adapting to this means of transport. It is increasing the number of cycle-friendly facilities to make the city more convenient and safe for cyclists.

2 000

Bikes worldwide

130

million bikes are sold every year compared to 67 million cars

4

sheltered bike parking spaces

918

103

spaces in Vélo-parc bike parking areas

bicloo self-service bike docking stations

6 500 bike stands

are e sh ntag ethods Perceavel mropolitan of tr e met st 2% in th (again2005) en ea ar 4,5%

15,8

275

bikes available

50

bikes available

4 000

880

self-service bikes

million

bikes are sold every year, four times as many as in the 1970s

26,8

20

Over grants have been awarded by Nantes Métropole since 2010 to purchase electric bikes

3

485

km cycling infrastructure, cycle routes and lanes, bus lanes adapted for cyclists, and greenways %

120

electric including electric bikes bikes

of bikes worldwide are manufactured in China

million electric bikes are sold every year

Bikes in France 2%

%

Bike rental services

58%

bikes are sold every second

30

Cycling in Nantes Métropole

50,9

%

Car ng port Walki c trans eds Publi ng /mop Cycli bikes Motor

342 bikes are sold every hour

“THE ECF’S DECISION OFFERS RECOGNITION AT AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL OF NANTES MÉTROPOLE’S INITIATIVES TO EXTEND CYCLE USE, BUT IT IS ALSO THE FRUIT OF WORK CARRIED OUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS ACROSS THE LOCAL METROPOLITAN AREA.” Jacques Garreau, Vice President responsible for soft mobility.

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Special Issue

Welcome to Velo-City

JUNE 2015

“Cycling shapes and forges the future” An interview with Manfred Neun, President of the European Cyclists’ Federation and a member of the jury which selected Nantes to host the Velo-city international conference. Why was Nantes chosen to host Velo-city 2015? There are several reasons why Nantes Métropole was chosen to host Velo-city 2015, including its desire to cut greenhouse

Johanna Rolland et Manfred Neun.

gas emissions by 50% by 2030. Cycling will obviously play a part in the pursuit of this objective. Furthermore, the Nantes metropolitan area has significantly improved and expanded its cycling infrastructure. The proportion of cyclists in the urban area has doubled in the space of a few years. The number of cyclists is an indicator that a city is changing! You have an important role to play here in Nantes. What are the main themes for Velo-city 2015? Every day, lectures and debates bringing together high-level speakers will address a major theme: resilience, transition and, lastly, collaboration. We will discuss growth and sustainability, economic challenges and human rights. We are all involved at

a local, national and international level, as 2015 is the United Nations Year of Sustainable Development and there is also the COP21 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) which will take place in Paris at the end of the year. How do you see the future of cycling? Cycling is an easy way to bring people together and find a better balance in the social space. It can contribute not just to sustainable development, but also to economic growth and the creation of a green economy. Lastly, a foreign university has carried out research into the economic impact of cycling in terms of employment in Europe. Cycling shapes and forges the future. • Interview by Isabelle Corbé

Question for

Jacques Garreau, Vice President responsible for soft mobility.

What are the challenges for Velo-city? “The fact that we now have the capacity to host Velo-city, is all down to the implementation of a Cycle Plan across Nantes Métropole, which has allowed us to double the share of cycling as a means of transport in the local area. Velo-city represents a springboard for taking cycling a stage further. We want the delegates to leave Nantes fired up with enthusiasm. If we can encourage other medium-sized cities to commit themselves more fully, then the gamble has paid off. In the autumn, we will begin to draft a new Cycle Plan (2014-2020) and to work in particular on problem areas such as river crossings.”

Question for

Hadrien Bedok, Director of Soft Mobility for Nantes Métropole and Director of the Velo-city programme.

What is the Velo-city conference and what are the major challenges for this event? “Velo-city is an international event, but it is also a local event for citizens. This event demonstrates Nantes Métropole’s commitment to sustainable development and highlights its initiatives to fight against climate change. Velo-city is also a forum for debate, sharing ideas and solutions. Urban development, transport, and facilities are discussed there, as well as economics, health, well-being and quality of life. Cycling is not just a means of transport, it’s a way of life. There are important decisions to be made to reinstate cycling in the city of the future on a European and global scale. Lastly, this conference is an invitation to change our mindset in order to change our behaviour.”

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Welcome to Velo-City

“Cities suffering from traffic congestion are not attractive cities” Interview with Philippe Crist, an economist for the OECD’s International Transport Forum and a transport expert.

accurately reflect the real needs of both cyclists and citizens traveling by bike.

What is the aim of this major conference? Velo-City is the world conference for city cycling, cycling as an everyday means of transport and cycle tourism. Every year, authorities, governments campaigners and businesses come together at this conference to discuss cycling. The idea is that we feel it is necessary to promote cycle use in the city for several reasons: health, ease of movement in cities and also for economic and environmental reasons.” Who are the cycling “stars”? “In Copenhagen in Denmark, 41% of travel for work or study is by bike. In some towns in the Netherlands, that figure has exceeded 50%. We have to bear in mind that there are many places in the world where cycling is more widespread than in France. In India the figures often exceed 50%, but in very different circumstances from those we experience in Europe, as conditions are very dangerous and there are no safeguards for cyclists. What are the key factors in the popularity of cycling in some countries or European cities? Why do some countries cycle more than others? We are used to hearing that flat, sunny cities are more conducive to cycling. This is not true. The main factor is the implementation of a policy which promotes cycle use and the introduction of safe infrastructure separate from the traffic for cyclists. In most cities in the world, it is young people and men who tend to cycle. If you want to encourage people to cycle, you have to provide an infrastructure and policies which appeal to women, the older generation and the very young.

What ideas have been raised by the call for contributions by the Velo-city conference? There has been a lot of interest in the connection between the economy and cycling. The cycling economy in Europe is actually equal in value to the GDP of Denmark. This is huge. Cycling is a European country. We have also received a lot of contributions relating to new technologies and their use in cycling to promote self-service bikes and bike sharing, such as the Vélib’ scheme in Paris, Vélo’v in Lyon and bicloo in Nantes. Also gathering data which can be used by cities to implement services which more

What are the major global mobility challenges? The main challenge is population growth, as the population will rise from seven to nine billion by 2050. The majority of this growth and increased mobility in the world by 2050 will be in developing countries. The new mobility which we will experience will take place in the South and not the North. There will be no room in these cities to park or to increase car use on road networks, even if they expand two, three or fourfold. Furthermore, although oil prices are at a historic low, we know that they will rise and that developing countries in particular with a high demand for mobility will have a huge burden to bear if they choose the car option. Public transport will not be able to absorb this high demand for mobility either. We will need a safety valve for these 21st century cities, and this safety valve might be cycling, or should be cycling in some cities where the average distance travelled is less than fifteen kilometres per day. Investing in soft mobility (bikes, pedestrians) costs much less than public transport or cars. The money saved could be used to do many other things for citizens and to offer them alternative services. Lastly, cities suffering from traffic congestion are not attractive cities. • Interview by David Pouilloux.

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79 projects selected 23 projects to receive funding 10 awarded with a label.

“Appealing to people who no longer cycle”

Exciting cycle projects To mark the international Velo-city conference and encourage uptake of cycling, a call was launched to the inhabitants and non-profit associations of Nantes Métropole. In all, 79 suggestions were submitted. Of these, 23 will receive funding and 10 will be accredited with a label. A bike repair workshop, introductory and innovation. Labels were awarded to courses, wooden velomobile construction, 10 projects. According to Johanna Rolland, a cycle touring festival launch, reports, President of Nantes Métropole, when the cycle trails – to mark the world Velo-city winners were announced: “This call for conference, which takes place from 3 to 5 projects offers an opportunity to discover June, and add extra impetus to cycle use, our project organisers, their boldness, crenon-profit associaativity, and thinking tions and collectives on the blockers to have been invited cycle use which we to come up with must remove to “This call for projects offers projects relating to extend cycle takean opportunity to discover bikes. In all, 79 longup. The people of our project organisers, their term or one-off proNantes are ready boldness, creativity…” jects were submitted to move forward on by groups of citizens these issues.” and non-profit assoThe maximum grant ciations from every commune in the met- will be 4,000 euros. “The call for projects ropolitan area. Of these, 23 have been enables us to forge a link between the local selected to receive funding on the basis area and Velo-city,” concludes Jacques of several key criteria such as raising Garreau. “The objective is also to increase awareness among new groups, the edu- cycle use in the communes of the metrocational content of the project, creativity politan area.” • GL

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In La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, a collective of residents has been selected for its project focusing on making cycling more accessible. “We want to promote cycling as a soft transport mode with rides at a gentle pace to appeal to people who no longer cycle: people with disabilities, the older generation, etc.” says Ariane Marayphonh. Bike maintenance workshops have already been set up. “The idea is that all the different people we reach out to become stakeholders, so that a blind person can ride on a tandem, for example. Getting involved in this call for projects will allow us to invest in special bikes. We would then like to have a space to store our equipment.” GL


Welcome to Velo-City

Cycling as a means of bringing different generations together

“Freewheeling Bouaye” and a three-wheel cargo bike

A collective of local residents, who use the Centre Socio-culturel Ragon in Rezé, submitted proposals for four projects focusing on bringing different generations together and cycling. “With the first project, the idea is that children learning about road safety at school can teach it to their parents and grandparents during special activities,” explains Philippe Hervochon, who is a member of the collective with Robert Morice and Gwenaëlle Taillandier. The second project involves setting up a bike maintenance workshop to teach local residents to be independent. For the third project, we would like to buy equipment such as saddlebags, to transport posters advertising our initiatives. Lastly, as the fourth project, we would like to acquire a three-wheel cargo bike to go out and meet people. It would be a promotional tool.” GL

A dozen volunteers from the Équipage non-profit association café-bookshop have decided to raise awareness of cycling among the inhabitants of Bouaye. “In Bouaye, cars are still overused for short distances, but cycle lanes are being extended,” observes Cécile Le Bodo, co-founder and president of L’Équipage. Now, L’Équipage has decided to commit to this dynamic and acquire a three-wheel cargo bike to get around “as we often have equipment, books, shopping or drinks to transport,” says Cécile Le Bodo. The three-wheel cargo bike, which is ideal for raising the profile of the association in the commune, makes it easier to navigate the different districts of Bouaye and may also make it possible to visit isolated residents. One thing has led to another and the “Freewheeling Bouaye” project has branched out with a cycle maintenance and repair workshop staffed by volunteers and using donated bikes, which are then given to families in Bouaye. “Not everyone owns a bike. We are going to hire them out or loan them to lower income families.” Outings in Bouaye and the surrounding communes will also take place. IC

This call offers an opportunity to think about the blockers to cycle use wich we must remove to extend cycle take-up.

“Drôles de dames” on bikes In September 2014, during an outing to the space run by the Dervallières community centre in Nantes, the idea of increasing cycle uptake began to take shape in the minds of several women. “It’s always more fun to be part of a group,” says Serife Karatas, one of the “Drôles de dames qui en connaissent un rayon” or “Unusual ladies who know a thing or two”, as their project is called. “I can ride a bike, but I’d like to do it with my children, ride in the city centre and be more confident.” Anne-Laure Khoujane concurs: “The aim of our project is to be better cyclists in the city centre. The money obtained from the call for citizen projects will mean we have functional bikes at our disposal and can organise a writing workshop to produce a permanent record of the project.” Hugues Menet, an organiser at ACCOORD who has been appointed as a “coach” adds: “In partnership with TAN, we are going to offer an event which involves stepping into the shoes of a bus driver in the vicinity of a cyclist.” At the start of the project there were five women, and now there are eight. “We would like to open up the non-profit association to other people,” says Nathalie Guillo, another of the “drôles de dames”. “If a man would like to join, then he would be most welcome!” IC

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NON-PROFIT CYCLING ASSOCIATIONS

Nantes Métropole supports non-profit associations which promote cycling. They are very active in our local area and campaign tirelessly to encourage us all to cycle more.

A platform for cycle users The digital platform Un petit vélo dans la tête, launched on 28 May by the non-profit association “Place au Vélo” aims to promote cycling via personal accounts from cyclists in the Nantes Métropole area, who are also invited to share their own tips and experiences.

H

ow do you raise awareness of cycle use in the conurbation? Quite simply by giving cyclists in Nantes from every walk of life the opportunity to express themselves in the form of videos, photographs or writing. “One of the aims of the platform Un petit vélo dans la tête is to raise questions: why does this person who has a similar lifestyle to me ride a bike and I don’t?,” argues Fanny Derenne, project manager for “Place au Vélo”, a Nantes-based non-profit association founded in 1991, with over a thousand subscribers. The profiles of the users interviewed range from cargo bike enthusiasts to electric bikes users who cover long distances and include a person with disabilities who rides a recumbent bike and schoolchildren who are regular cyclists. “Cycling is accessible to all. That’s the message we want to get across. This platform offers us an opportunity to reach out to more people.” Un petit vélo dans la tête benefits from partnerships with a number of non-profit associations (including ACCOORD, Vélocampus, SEMEA, and Les Crealters) and is keen to dispel certain prejudices, notably those relating to risk and

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Place au vélo : “We want to show that the road can be shared successfully.” cycling for children. Another objective is to carry out educational outreach using animated films, reminding people what a bike box is, how to navigate a roundabout, or what a contraflow bike lane is. Tips from cyclists and bad practice on the part of motorists will also be compiled. “We want to show that the road can be shared successfully. We are all drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, depending on the circumstanc-

es,” says Fanny. “We want to avoid tension around the issue of identity.” This tool which will develop over time and be enhanced by contributions from users who can offer advice, for example, on the most pleasant routes from A to B. By the end of the year, it will have a list of bike repair training workshops. “With this platform, you will no longer have an excuse not to cycle,” concludes Fanny. “Here is your toolkit!” • Isabelle Corbé

unpetitvelodanslatete.fr www.placeauvelo-nantes.fr/ Sunday 7 June, an exhibition of portraits of cycle users at the Cyclo-Village in Parc des Chantiers as part of the Bike Festival.


Welcome to Velo-City

Atao gets involved in cycling! The Atao-Atelier employment development project based in Saint-Herblain, was founded in 1999 and is taking part in Velo-city by offering even more services, including cycle hire and sales outside the Cité des Congrès conference venue, the launch of its bike collection service near the Cyclo-Village and a prototype for attractive and ergonomic street furniture. In the next few weeks, the Cycle branch of the Atao mobility centre will be active on a number of fronts. With wood and metal-working workshops, Green Space and Environment projects, and a car maintenance workshop, the Saint-Herblain employment development non-profit association (which employs about one hundred people, including 22 permanent staff and some fifty full-time equivalent staff on employment development projects) is championing cycling by implementing a variety of projects and activities. With the donations it receives, Atao salvages, repairs and sells 250 bikes per year at an affordable price. The association is launching a new project for the Velo-city conference: “Re’cyclO d’Atao”. The aim is to collect as many bikes for recycling as possible from 3 to 7 June at the Parc des Chantiers. “Some will be reconditioned and sold and others will be dismantled for spare parts or given to our cycle partners,” explains Rémy Loriot, an Atao Vélo supervisor. “Re’cyclO d’Atao” will visit a different commune each month in the Nantes Métropole area. From 3 to 5 June in front of the Cité des Congrès, fifty bikes will be rented to delegates and others will be offered for sale. A vintage Stella Poketby made in Nantes in 1964 and restored by Atao, will be auctioned off to raise money for a solidarity project. On the same site, a “Container Bike Hut” built over a period of two months in the Atao wood and metalworking workshops at the Parc des Chantiers, will be showcased. This recycled shipping container designed by the Nantes non-profit association Copenhague Here, contains a changing room, bike storage area and shower, and is designed for companies who want to encourage their employees to travel by bike. But that’s not all Atao is doing; the association is also working on a prototype for street furniture, in the shape of a timber and metal bike garage with a bench and planter. “We wanted it to be ergonomic and aesthetic, with a section reserved for conventional bikes and another for electric bikes,” says François Pastre, the Director of Atao. It will be exhibited at the Cité des Congrès from 3 to 5 June, then at the Parc des Chantiers on 6 and 7 June. The employment development association’s other contributions include an open day from 3 to 7 June at the Parc des Chantiers, with a large number of activities. • IC www.atao-insertion.fr | https://www.facebook.com/ATAOnantes

CARGO BIKES STEP UP TO THE MARK The fledging non-profit association Nantes Cargo Bike aims to introduce two and three-wheeled cargo bikes to a wider audience, by offering, in the first instance, a friendly and educational annual event for users, professionals and manufacturers. It will take place on 7 June. Shortly after the birth of her third child, Samy Guyet bought a threewheel cargo bike with electric pedal assistance. “We use it to take the children to school and to their activities. On Wednesdays I travel up to twenty kilometres on it.” Mathieu Ruellan opted for a two-wheeled cargo bike with electric pedal assistance “because it made economic sense”, and also because he could use it to transport his two children. “The family car is used for our social life outside the metropolitan area. In Nantes, we only use the two-wheel cargo bike, for the weekly shop, for example.” Both agree on the merits of this form of transport. “It isn’t dangerous. Motorists are very careful. When they see the cargo bike, they know there are children it,” says Samy. “The running cost is negligible compared to a car,” adds Mathieu. In early 2015, they wanted to raise awareness of this alternative form of cycling and so they set up a non-profit association with Corinne Rotach, a cyclist with 20 years’ experience, who came to help them start up the project. “When it comes to children, people’s first thought is to get a car,” she says. “I think cargo bikes are the future of cycling in big conurbations.” The fledgling organisation is called “Nantes Cargo Bike”, a name which covers both two and three-wheel bikes with a large or small box and is also a nod to the Paris Cargo Bikes Meeting, which has been running since 2012. Their aim is to organise a similar gathering in Nantes, where two and three-wheel cargo bike owners are growing in number. During the Bike Festival, Nantes Cargo Bike is scheduled to be at the Cyclo-Village, with professionals and manufacturers. • IC

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COMPANIES ARE OPTING FOR BIKES La Musette combines tasty dishes and mechanics Since May 2014, cyclists who want to get their bikes repaired while having a quick lunch have a new venue in Nantes, La Musette, founded by Yvan and Eszter Poirier, and located on Quai Malakoff, near the Gare Sud rail station. It is possible to combine a bike service and lunch, a while-you-wait repair and a meal on the hop! In the morning and afternoon at La Musette, Yvan Poirier, who used to work in IT, repairs every kind of bike. At midday, he lends his partner Eszter a hand with serving up the dishes which this former geographer prepares (lunch menu €12.50). “We also offer a ‘Lunch break’ option based on empanadas and home-made desserts to take away in a lunch bag with a refundable deposit.” It is located on the quai Malakoff. “We are 300m away from Loire à Vélo. We are also very close to the station, so we get a lot of passing trade,” says Eszter. The young Hungarian-born woman is a seasoned city-centre cyclist. “Budapest is full of cyclists. Nantes is experiencing a real cycling boom at the moment.” This idea of a place where cyclists can get fed and have their bikes repaired was born when they returned from a trip to Latin America. “We have always cycled. I used to cycle to school,” says Yvan Poirier. “But we do have a car for getting out of the city and doing the shopping. The couple are currently planning a programme of workshops, sales of vintage French or Hungarian saddle bags, repairs to three-wheel cargo bikes and they also indulge their passion for restoring and selling vintage bikes when the occasion arises. • IC La Musette, 41, Quai Malakoff, Nantes. Tel.: +33 (0)9 81 90 81 95. Monday to Thursday, 9am to 7pm, Friday 9am to 6pm. Closed at the weekend. www.la-musette.fr

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If you are setting up a business involving bikes, there is no shortage of good ideas in the Nantes metropolitan area – a home massage service, wooden bikes, urban cycle helmets, skirt clips for cyclists – to name but a few. There is no end of potential for the people of Nantes Métropole to express their creativity! Commuting to work by bike ranks among the very best ideas!

Delivering well-being by bike Since she arrived in Nantes in 2014, Noémi PoulainGuillemin has been cycling everywhere to pursue her career as a well-being masseuse. Her three-wheel cargo bike with electric assistance has a box which means that “La bulle de Nô” can visit private and corporate clients.

Noémi Poulain-Guillemin When she lived in Bordeaux, she used to cycle to her massage parlour. When she moved to Nantes in 2014, friends warned her that Nantes city centre was “difficult” to navigate to deliver a home massage service. “I made some enquiries and met Ze Plombier,” says Noémi Poulain-Guillemin. Following in the footsteps of PierreOlivier Clerc, a domestic plumber, she bought a three-wheel cargo bike, with electric assistance, to which she added a bespoke trailer so that she could transport her massage table, for a total outlay of €5,300. At the same time, she joined Les Boîtes à vélo, a collective of some twenty Nantes entrepreneurs who only use two and threewheel cargo bikes to get around. Since then she has been travelling to and fro, sometimes as far afield as Orvault, Rezé or SaintHerblain, to a private client in the morning to whom she offers her “La bulle de Nô” signature massage, a mixture of Californian, Swedish and Ayurvedic techniques, and from 12pm to 2pm to a company at the invitation of the worker and management committee to provide well-being services to a maximum of six employees. “It is more convenient to travel like this. It puts me in the right frame of mind to provide people with a well-being service. And I can get to know Nantes at the same time!” • IC For more information: +33 (0)6 70 22 02 20 ou labulledeno.fr


Welcome to Velo-City

Etienne-Marie de Boissieu and Benoît Denis.

Thomas Patourel has a passion for working with wood.

Egide helmets: Taking bikes protecting outside the box riders Egide is both a high-end cycle helmet manufacturer and a creative small business which is growing steadily. Find out more. They are called Atlas and Apollo, were born barely six months ago and weigh approximately four hundred grams each. But don’t go looking for their “cradle”! It is concealed within the walls of a young Nantes business start-up called Egide (an allusion to the magic shield with special protective powers carried in mythology by Greek gods). It was set up by two serial entrepreneurs, Étienne-Marie de Boissieu and Benoît Denis, who are good friends. “Egide helmets are like slippers for your head!” they say. “We have had the idea for the shape and materials for a long time. One of our friends, Édouard Hougard, who is also a designer in Japan, produced the initial design.” Egide’s aim is to create a shape with elegant lines which is reminiscent of riding hats, protecting the whole head, and using only the finest materials. A range of six helmets which are waterproof, protect against UV-rays and are shock-resistant, now exists in full-grain French leather (in caramel, mocha or ebony shades) linen, carbon fibre or Kevlar, with an external microfibre chin strap, a delicate magnetic catch and removable, washable and quick-drying foam interior sections. “They are the fruit of a blend of skills ranging from stitching to leather working, and including composite material moulding at the interface of craftsmanship and industry,” stresses Étienne-Marie de Boissieu. Egide helmets are cut and stitched near Cholet, assembled in Italy and are now on sale in Nantes (Urban Cycle), as well as in ten cities in France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. Right from the prototyping phase, they were nurtured by the Creative Factory 2014, a support organisation for cultural and creative enterprises, launched as a joint venture by the Quartier de la Création cluster (SAMO), Atlanpole and their partners, so that every city cyclist can find a helmet to fit them! • Cécile Faver www.egide-paris.com

Thomas Patourel, a 31-year old from Nantes, creates designer wooden bikes. He will showcase this unusual work at the Velo-city conference.

With his tousled hair and broad smile, Thomas Patourel is a creative selfemployed entrepreneur. His passion is woodworking, “which I have been doing since I was a kid”, says the Nantes resident. His hobby is cycling. And his occupation? “I make wooden bikes, bespoke furniture and fittings for cafes, bars and restaurants.” Thomas set up his workshop in 2012 just a short ride from Nantes, in his family’s former stable in the countryside near Bouguenais. He trained as an interior fitter for sailing boats and has a passion for working with wood. “This material means you can produce a lighter bike. It also absorbs vibrations. You can shape it any way you like and it is a renewable material.” Leaning against planks of exotic woods are two magnificent wooden bikes. The first bike, a Syke, a sort of giant S-shape equipped with tyres, pedals and a saddles, is a prototype. “It took me over 300 hours to make,” says Thomas. The machine, which is constructed from glued laminated timber – ultra-thin planks of wood which are glued in layers – is a one-off. The second bike, which is just as attractive, has a different frame. “The initial idea was to create a unique designer object,” says the bike fanatic. “This is what inspired me to set up my own business. Nantes is also an inspiring city. When it is described as a creative city, I feel as if I am part of this impetus,” adds the young man with a smile. His fledgling business, which is called Fullwood (i.e. made entirely out of wood) divides its operations between interior joinery and wooden bikes. These two lines of business allow him to combine his ideas about bikes and his creative work. “My bikes are luxury products, but I want to make them more accessible,” says Thomas, who will be showcasing his skills at the Velo-city conference. “At the moment, I am working on a bike which could be made more quickly, but features highend equipment (pedals, wheels, etc.). I would like to offer a wooden bike which is adapted to the client’s requirements and designed to meet their needs and desires.” • Gwenaëll Lyvinec www.full-wood.fr

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Cycling at the heart of Nantes Métropole Cycling is slowly but surely gaining significant ground in the Nantes Métropole area and 4.5% of journeys are now made by bike. Nantes Métropole is therefore adapting to this means of transport. It is increasing the number of cycle-friendly facilities to make the city more convenient and safe for cyclists.

2 000

sheltered bike parking spaces

Cycling in Nantes Métropole

918

103

spaces in Vélo-parc bike parking areas

bicloo self-service bike docking stations

6 500 bike stands

Bike rental services

275

bikes available

50

120

bikes available

20

electric including electric bikes bikes

4 000

Over grants have been awarded by Nantes Métropole since 2010 to purchase electric bikes

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Nantes Métropole - June 2015

485

km cycling infrastructure, cycle routes and lanes, bus lanes adapted for cyclists, and greenways

880

self-service bikes


Bikes worldwide

130

million bikes are sold every year compared to 67 million cars

4

30 are h s ge hods a t n e met litan c r e P ravel ropo of t e met 2% inst in tha (agan 2005) e ,5% are

of bikes worldwide are manufactured in China

million electric bikes are sold every year

Bikes in France

4

% 8 , 5 1

58%

bikes are sold every second

2%

3

million

bikes are sold every year, four times as many as in the 1970s

% 8 , 6 2

% 9 , 0 5

t Car king por s l n a a W lic tr eds p o Pub ling s/m Cyc orbike Mot

342 bikes are sold every hour

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Special Issue

Welcome to Velo-City

JUNE 2015

LE POUPOUPIDOU LOVES CYCLING IN SKIRTS

Awarded with the silver medal of the Concours Lépine, the tiny company, Le Poupoupidou, is starting out in business with a skirt peg designed for female cyclists, with support from the crowdfunding website KissKissBankBank.

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The tiny company, Le Poupoupidou, is starting out in business with a skirt peg designed for female cyclists, with support from the crowdfunding website KissKissBankBank. Le Poupoupidou is resourceful, especially when it comes to resolving one of the great enigmas of the century (at the very least), namely how do you ride a bike in a skirt or kilt? The story begins here and intersects with that of the clothes peg, whose inventor is unknown. Le Poupoupidou is already very familiar, especially to women. This invention, which is made in Nantes by Céline and Marc Demonfauconis, is a strange little accessory shaped like a strapless swimsuit. It has two magnets and clips on easily between the saddle and skirt using a wooden clothes peg tucked discreetly inside a rubber sheath. Le Poupoupidou is magic! Skirts no longer fly up at will and run the risk of getting caught in the spokes of the wheel. This first small success gave a boost to Le Poupoupidou in 2013, and it caught the entrepreneurial bug. “We just wanted to follow our dream!” chorus Céline, an assistant quality manager at the Val Nantais (a market gardening cooperative in Saint-Julien-de-Concelles) and Marc, a sports instructor

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Be safe – get kitted up who trained in CAD in order to prototype Le Poupoupidou. Now they are both inventors. Le Poupoupidou turned the corner between November 2014 and January 2015. Nantes-based artist Möön, the project’s creative director honed the logo, Laurent Legeay, from the Naze Broc Circus company provided the soundtrack for the video, and there you have it – Le Poupoupidou made an appearance on the crowdfunding platform KissKissBankBank. 270 people are co-funding the 3D injection mould in particular required for the quasi-industrial manufacture of Le Poupoupidou (to the tune of over 8,000 euros in two months), and a stock of

6,000 skirt pegs is anticipated. The fledgling start-up officially came into being with the help of the Avenir Entreprises agency and is supported in particular by CEMI, a company specialising in thermoplastic injection moulding. “We don’t know exactly what is going to happen next, but we are already very happy! A lot of people are helping us in unprecedented numbers,” say Céline and Marc. But that’s not all! Le Poupoupidou will be taking part in the famous Lépine competition in the spring and in the Velo-city 2015 event in Nantes Métropole. We wish it all the best. • Cécile Faver www.lepoupoupidou.fr

Cycling is good for your health and body. However, it is just as important for amateur or professional cyclists to be wellequipped from the point of view of their safety and well-being. A good bike must have two brakes, front and rear, yellow or white front lights, a red light to the rear, a bell, and reflectors – red to the rear, white to the front and orange on the sides and on the pedals. It should also be noted that it is obligatory for all cyclists and passengers riding outside built-up areas at night, or in poor visibility to wear an approved high-visibility vest. On the comfort front, it is important to have well-inflated tyres and a well-adjusted bike to avoid tiredness. Lastly, it is wise to avoid using headphones when cycling; a cyclist’s senses, and hearing in particular, need to be on full alert.


“Détours de Loire”, Nantes. Telephone: +33 (0)2 40 48 75 37. For more information: http://www.locationdevelos.com/

Welcome to Velo-City

CYCLING WITH BIKE2WORK

Encouraging employees to opt for cycling Since signing up to the Mobility Plan in 2007, The Nantes Scientific and Technical Construction Centre (CSTB) has been an advocate of cycling. In 2015, in addition to taking part in the Défi Vélo cycle challenge and organising a picnic on 9 June, this state-run industrial and commercial establishment is inviting delegates to use its climatic wind tunnel to test equipment for cyclists.

Valérie Sangand and Hélène Perrais. By providing 5 bikes (and 2 trailers) for professional and personal meetings, a room for breaks and eating, 4 showers and changing rooms, two bike shelters and the offer of an €80 voucher for cyclists, Nantes CSTB is actively supporting cycling among its hundred or so staff, some twenty of whom are regular cyclists. “Every year, we ask Atao to service bikes, including staff members’ own

bikes for their personal use,” adds Valérie Sangand, a personal assistant and mobility correspondent for the Nantes website. As one of the first companies to sign up to the Mobility Plan by joining ranks with neighbouring businesses, the company is taking part once again in the Défi Vélo cycle challenge organised by Nantes Métropole. “People who are not regular cyclists make the effort to come on their bikes in exchange for a free friendly, healthy meal. We also encourage the rest to try car sharing and public transport. In all, 60% of our employees practise soft mobility.” The public establishment, which is located in the Petit-Port district, also hosts a regular picnic as part of the Bike Festival on 9 June, to which employees from the neighbouring Orange office are invited every year. Lastly, during the Velo-city conference, the CSTB is also going to contribute by hosting a bike ride on 5 June for some delegates, taking in technical and scientific installations. They will visit the CSTB’s Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel, which reproduces extreme climatic conditions to study their effect on buildings and structures on a district and city scale, as well as on land transport. “For 5 or 10 minutes, volunteer delegates will test and compare equipment for cyclists such as riding capes, which several manufacturers are preparing to market,” says Hélène Perrais, a trainee management assistant at the CSTB. • Isabelle Corbé

Bike2Work is a European project designed to promote the regular use of bikes for commuting. The project is funded by the European Intelligent Energy Europe programme. It brings together 14 partners from 13 different European countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, the United Kingdom and Slovenia. The ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation), which is an umbrella for a large number of cycling campaigning associations on a European scale is coordinating the project. The association is also responsible for organising the Velo-city conference. More details at www.bike2work-project.eu

TAKE PART IN THE EUROPEAN CYCLING CHALLENGE! This challenge, which was launched in 2012, and attracted 17,000 European from 32 cities last year, aims to get the inhabitants of each participating city to add up the number of kilometres cycled during the month of May. This year, Nantes Métropole is inviting all its inhabitants to take up the challenge. Whether you cycle to commute to work, keep fit, be on time, manage your schedule more efficiently or for pleasure, just tot up the kilometres you ride! From 1 to 31 May. Information and registration at www.europeancyclingchallenge.eu

THE LIBERTAN PASS PROVIDES ACCESS TO SECURE CYCLE PARKING The Libertan public transport pass which has been used by residents of Nantes since September 2014 is an annual subscription facility for short-term tickets. Since late 2014, the pass has offered access to bicloo bikes and Marguerite cars for subscribers to these services. Since late April, the Libertan pass also provides access to Nantes Métropole secure (fee-paying) cycle parking, with 1,135 spaces for subscribers managed by EFFIA, NGE and Semitan. A user who requires access to all cycle parking areas must subscribe with each operator. If their pass is lost or stolen, each operator must be notified.

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Special Issue JUNE 2015

Welcome to Velo-City

CYCLING FOR ALL

Everyone can take up cycling on their own or with the family, whether they are young or old, at school or retired. There are so many plus points; it’s not just a means a transport, but also a way of life!

Mobility education begins at a tender age In its third year, Mobilus is working with 17 classes from 11 primary schools in Nantes Métropole. Below is an example of the workshops run over the course of the year with a traffic and transport method observation session in Nantes city centre for 10 to 11 year olds from Beauregard school (Saint-Herblain). On a Thursday morning on Place du Commerce, some twenty children equipped with digital cameras on shoulder straps, set off on a walk in Nantes city centre to observe a limited traffic zone. Phase one: the end of Quai de Turenne, opposite Square Daviais. “What do you see in this zone relating to different forms of travel?” asks Sara Guillet, a mobility consultant who works in the Nantes Métropole department promoting sustainable mobility. Hands shoot up. Answers range from bicloo bikes to Marguerite, the car-sharing scheme, and from the cycle lane running counter to the direction of the traffic to the signage, including the street sign showing a 30km/hour limit. “This educational outing to the

limited traffic zone is one of the workshops which is available as part of the Mobilus scheme to introduce children to different forms of travel and facilities, the large number of people moving in and the significance of shared road use which takes everybody into account,” says Claudine Chevallereau, Vice President of Nantes Métropole responsible for school transport and road safety. Other scheduled events involve the bicloo or NGA cycle hire schemes, the multimodal SNCF train station and the TAN traffic control centre. This is the third year that Véronique Fournier and her class of 10 to 11 year olds at the Beauregard school in Saint-Herblain have taken part in Mobilus. Prior to

this trip, the students attended a presentation in October on ecomobility delivered by the non-profit association Place au Vélo. “I like these projects which get citizens involved,” says the teacher. “I hope they will have a long-term impact.”

What is original about this 3rd Mobilus event is that following in the footsteps of the class from Beauregard, four more classes will be carrying out a project during the Velo-city conference, and all the projects will be on display in the Cyclo-Village. • IC

An alternative way of doing things Eléonore and Daniel Veillard settled in the Nantes conurbation in 2010 and used to live in Paris, where they used public transport or cycled. “When we arrived here, we considered buying a car. We opted for public transport, then we shifted to cycling,” recalls Daniel Veillard, a project manager at La Poste. They bought a house three years ago in Rezé, close to the tram service, schools and shops. “When our sons were younger, I used a bike trailer to transport them,” reminisces Eléonore, an energy engineer. Their older son William, who is 6, is starting to ride independently, but is still being pulled along by his parents for the time being. “You just have to be properly equipped for wet weather,” says Daniel, and adds “You have a different relationship with the weather on a bike.” They hire a car for the holidays. “It means you have to be well organised. It’s a different mindset. You can travel a long way by bike. You form a bond with people too, with your neighbours for example.” They both admit that cycling restricts their movements slightly. “People we know are very surprised,” says Eléonore. “But not convinced,” concludes her husband. • IC

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Welcome to Velo-City

Secondary school pupils take a trip to the castles

Twenty-three first year students from Le Breil secondary school in Nantes, are taking a 4-day trip to visit the Loire châteaux. This is a first such trip in 10 years for this secondary school in a priority education zone (ZEP).

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n the playground at Le Breil secondary school in Nantes. Aurore, Fanta and Leeshet have put on their cycle helmets and are getting on their bikes. Nine students are putting in some practice in this way as they are not confident cyclists. The other fourteen students in this first year class are revising the highway code. Their aim is to travel to the Centre region in early June, where they will tour the Loire châteaux by bike. “With an average daily journey of 30km,” says Benjamin Gauthier, a PE teacher and the project coordinator. “Five other teachers from the school, which is in a priority education zone, “all convinced of the benefits of cycling” have signed up for the châteaux

trail initiated by Anthony Vergneau, a French teacher, who had already organised a similar project at the Collège Debussy. The school has not been involved in such an ambitious project for 12 years. “The project, which will take us to Amboise, Blois, Chenonceau and Chambord, provides an opportunity to do some interdisciplinary work in history, geography, life sciences, etc.” says the teacher. “Five non-native French speakers who have recently arrived in France from Italy, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Algeria and Spain, are also taking part in order to help them to integrate.” “We’re taking the train to Amboise, then travelling from one château to another mostly by bike,” says the PE teacher. This is an amazing adventure for these young 11 year olds, some of whom had never cycled. “The children learned together very quickly,” says Anne-Claude Mortier, a teacher and school librarian involved in the project. Yassine taught Diclane to ride and Myriam and Fanta taught Nina. “This project reintroduces cycling into children’s daily life,” explains Pierre Berger, a teacher in the unit for new non-French speakers (UPE2A), who is also involved. “Some of them are even cycling to school now.” The project also includes writing a blog about their epic trip. The bikes for the trip are rented from Ernest Renan secondary school in SaintHerblain. To supplement the funding for the project received from partnerships such as Nantes Métropole, the children will also earn 600 euros by distributing Couleur Locale, the Dervallières local newspaper, with permission from Nantes City Hall. Their families will have to pay 50 euros and the children will have an experience to remember all their lives! • Gwenaëll Lyvinec

“On a bike, you forge a bond with people more easily”

Seven years ago during a holiday in Brittany, Marc Delu got into conversation with cyclists riding along the Nantes- Brest canal. He realised that there was far more to cycling than just the Tour de France. “I’m part of the moped generation, a generation for whom the car is a part of everyday life. At the age of about fifteen, we abandoned bikes, which we thought were old hat, in favour of mopeds, before moving onto cars as adults,” says this retired former salesman. Since then, Marc Delu has bought a bike and is gradually investing in more equipment and is getting into cycle tourism with the AF3V (French Association for the Development of Cycle Routes and Greenways). When he realised in 2009 that he had cycled almost 7,000 kilometres and had “only” driven 3,000 kilometres, he gave his vehicle to the ATAO employment development project. “I haven’t had any regrets. When I need a car I use the car sharing scheme or rent one from acquaintances. I feel healthier. I’m saving money. I can really see a difference.” From May to June 2015, he is planning an epic solo journey to the shores of the Black Sea. “On a bike, you take your time. You forge a bond with people more easily. It has made it possible for me meet a lot of people and non-profit associations.” • IC

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Special Issue JUNE 2015

Welcome to Velo-City

CYCLING – AN INDUSTRY PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Not everyone is aware that cycling is part of the history of Nantes, in the shape of the Stella cycle story. History is still being made on the outskirts of Nantes Métropole with La Manufacture Française du Cycle.

A little orange bike – the star of Nantes An orange frame, single drum brake, curved handlebars and a logo in gothic lettering in the centre of the triangular frame – it must be a Stella. The Nantes cycle brand’s heyday was in the 1950s, right across the Grand Ouest area. It was responsible for launching the career of champion cyclist Louison Bobet. We travel back in time.

L

et’s backpedal. The year is 1912 and Pierre Fonteneau, from the Vendée region, buys a cycle factory in Nantes in a small workshop also making sewing machines and prams. The bike is the most popular means of transport at that time after walking. In 1919, the factory adopts the name Stella, and opts to produce only high-end products. It very quickly starts to manufacture its own frames and offers a range of bikes for travelling to work, leisure or competitive cycling. By 1925, lack of space means that the assembly workshop is relocated to Chaussée de la Madeleine and frame production and warehouses are situated on Rue Laënnec. Despite the rigours of the interwar period, Stella manages to stay afloat. “It was the only manufacturer in west-

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ern France that stayed open,” says Jean-Luc Ricordeau, from Saint-Jean de Boiseau, who has written a book on Stella champions in the Saint-Jean de Boiseau area (see opposite). The company’s reach extended right across the Grand Ouest region. “It was a big company in terms of local Nantes craftsmanship and Stella was famous for the champions who promoted its image in the press and in the cinema newsreels.” The brand was already providing funding for the best regional racing cyclists, for whom it supplied cycling shirts and equipment to raise the brand’s profile. The son of the owner, who was also called Pierre, joined the business in 1934. He had an ambitious plan to set up a Stella team funded by the factory. In 1945, Stella employed over one hundred people, despite the competition, nota-

bly from the Gitane cycle brand based in Machecoul. During this period, Fonteneau junior’s dreams became a reality in 1948, in the figure of a future champion from Saint-Méenle-Grand: Louison Bobet. With this young Breton, a team of a dozen cyclists entered national competitions as far afield as Morocco or Algeria, which were still French dependencies at the time. Louison went on to win the Tour de France three times from 1953 to 1955, on a Stella bike on two occasions! The racing cyclist was also world road cycling champion in 1954, and a living advertisement for Stella beyond the frontiers of France, along with Pierre Barbotin, another local champion. Louison Bobet’s departure from the Stella team in favour of the Mercier team managed by another cycle factory, and the arrival on the market of

mopeds, which were immediately adopted by factory workers, marked the beginning of the decline of the Nantes factory. What is more, Stella did not have the means to pay a team. “Pierre Fonteneau turned down sponsors,” says Jean-Luc Ricordeau. “He was an engineer with good ideas, but he wasn’t a salesman.” The economic climate and poor business decisions forced the company to rein in its activities in the 1960s. One of Pierre Fonteneau’s last ideas was the folding bike, the Poketby, a concept which was very quickly picked up on and marketed before Stella was able to capitalise on it. The Nantes factory closed in 1976, leaving behind memories which shaped the history of cycling. • Gwenaëll Lyvinec


Welcome to Velo-City

A factory on a roll The Manufacture Française du Cycle factory in Machecoul produced 245,000 bikes in 2014 and plans to produce 370,000 in 2015. We visit the largest cycle assembly plant in France, located on the fringes of the metropolitan area. Between 2.9 and 3 million bikes are sold in France every year. La Manufacture Française du Cycle in Machecoul, some thirty kilometres from Nantes Métropole, will produce 370,000 bikes in 2015 across their entire range, and they will virtually all be sold in France. The 35,000m2 site houses storage facilities, production lines, a laboratory and showroom. La Manufacture is the largest cycle assembly plant in France and had

130,000 bikes in 2013, to a predicted figure of 370,000 for 2015. “This was an opportunity for Intersport to produce for the local market with a shorter logistics chain,” says Yves Salaun, Managing Director of La Manufacture Française du Cycle . Our logistics is our value-added factor.” The plant also offers regular deliveries of bikes directly from their warehouses to customers so that they do not need to renew their orders or stock up for the peak seasons. These customers include food retail superstores: Auchan, Leclerc, Intermarché, Cora, Carrefour, etc., sports superstores such as Go Sport, Intersport, and specialist stores. “The majority of bike components are not available in Europe and are produced in Asia (China, Taiwan, Vietnam). However, we would like to relocate

La Manufacture Française du Cycle will produce 370,000 bikes in 2015. of bikes per consignment and use fewer shipping containers, which would work out cheaper for us in the long run and would be better for the environment.” At the heart of the factory, the painted frames await assembly. They are specific to each customer and bear the brand livery.

“WE WANT TO DEVELOP ELECTRIC BIKES AND ASSEMBLE THEM FROM START TO FINISH HERE. IN THE PAST WE PRODUCED 1,500 PER YEAR. THIS YEAR, WE ARE GOING TO MAKE 10,000.” a turnover of 35.5 million euros in 2014. In 2015, it has over 300 employees. It will be attending Velocity. The factory, which belonged to Gitane (19251972), then to the Renault until 1992, followed by Cycleurope, was acquired in 2013 by Intersport. Since then, cycle production has soared from

some jobs such as paintwork on the frames here.” A total of 10% of bikes are currently painted onsite and the rest are done in China. “We want to do 90% of the paintwork in Machecoul. We could then cut back on cardboard boxes (a painted bike is more fragile and therefore needs more packaging), increase the number

These prospective bikes are destined for large food retail superstores. The components, pedals, chains, brakes, etc., will vary in quality depending on the price point set by the brand. La Manufacture Française du Cycle eventually hopes to produce “up to 450,000 bikes”. In order to meet this

increase and store the bikes, LSL, a company which is the part of the Intersport group specialising in logistics, has received planning permission to build a 6,000m2 warehouse in Machecoul, which will be completed in 2016. “We have also recently acquired the high-end Sunn cycle brand, to supply a larger number of high quality bikes to specialist shops,” adds the Managing Director, revealing high-end bikes with aluminium frames and branded components from Shimano, a renowned Japanese brand. “We don’t export many in Europe at the moment, but we soon will because of the Sunn brand, which has a very good reputation.” Just like Stella, Mercier or Gitane in a previous era, La Manufacture Française du Cycle has also invested in a moun-

tain bike team riding under the Sunn name. Further areas for expansion include electric bikes. “This will allow us to relocate component manufacture to Europe,” says Yves Salaun. “We want to develop electric bikes and assemble them from start to finish here. In the past we produced 1,500 per year. This year, we are going to make 10,000.” With electric city bikes and mountain bikes, for all types of customer, the range is expanding to reach a wider range of purchasers. “The bestsellers are mountain bikes and also electric bikes now, which we are selling in increasingly large numbers.” • Gwenaëll Lyvinec Manufacture Française du Cycle, showroom and factory outlet shop, 27 Rue Marcel Brunelière, Machecoul. www.velodirectusine.com

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June 2015 - Nantes Métropole

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Special Issue JUNE 2015

Welcome to Velo-City

CYCLING HOLIDAYS ARE STARTING TO CAPTURE THE IMAGINATION Cycle tourism, which is a firm favourite abroad, is becoming increasingly popular in France and is gradually making its mark as a holiday travel option. In Nantes, the non-profit association France Vélo Tourisme promotes this mode of travel via its website on which over 10,000 kilometres of routes and numerous facilities for cyclists are listed.

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he non-profit association France Vélo Tourisme, which brings together professionals and local authorities, decided 5 years ago to locate its headquarters in Nantes. “The city is at the intersection of two main routes crossing France: EuroVelo 6, which follows a section of the Loire à Vélo route, and Vélodyssée, which links southern England to the Basque coast and is the French section of EuroVelo 1,” explains its director Philippe Coupy.

“Furthermore, Nantes has pursued an exemplary policy in recent years in relation to cycling facilities.” The aim of the association is to promote this method of touring. “We want to play a part in developing the tourist options available in France, be that creating infrastructure or tourism facilities, or promoting this option to French and foreign tourists.” On its national website launched in 2013, France Vélo Tourisme lists the main itineraries, with in excess of 10,000 kilometres of cycle

routes to date, hotels which welcome cyclists, and specialist travel agencies. “In France, the economic impact of cycle tourism amounts to 2 billion euros, namely half the revenue from the cycle industry as a whole. Touring cyclists spend more than other tourists, almost 70 euros per day per person. Local authorities are enhancing the appeal of their local areas with cycling facilities. Tourism professionals are capitalising on it too. Furthermore, the cycle routes created can be used by the local population.”

Following in the footsteps of the Dutch, Danish, Germans and Americans, the French are slowly taking up this nomadic means of transport. “The more routes are developed and made safe, the more widespread the practice will become. People are realising that there are things to discover in their area in a pleasant and environmentally friendly way. Traveling by bike fires people’s imaginations.” • Isabelle Corbé www.francevelotourisme.com and +33 (0)2 40 99 36 55.

A handy leaflet for cyclists How can you get into or out of Nantes? Where can you find a repair shop? What cycling infrastructures are available? This document co-produced by Le Voyage à Nantes and Loire Atlantique Departmental Council, provides all the answers on a detailed map. Located at the intersection of two major routes – EuroVelo 6 (approximately 800,000 cycle tourists per year for La Loire à vélo) and Vélodyssée – Nantes sees a plethora of tourists from outside the city passing through. “If they use one or other of these two routes, Nantes is an ideal stop-off on their trip,” says Aurélie Péneau, who is responsible for developing tourism at Le Voyage à Nantes. This inspired the idea of providing them with a handy leaflet in the form of a map showing the Nantes conurbation and the surrounding area. “Tourist offices, various tourist attractions, sites which welcome cyclists, and cycle repair shops are marked on the map. Various applications are also listed. In addition, there is practical advice, for example how to cross Saint-Nazaire bridge or to get into or out of Nantes.” This leaflet designed in partnership with Le Voyage à Nantes, Nantes Métropole,

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and the Loire-Atlantique departmental council, is available from tourist information offices and from 96 venues in the local area displaying the “Accueil vélo” label. Furthermore, Le Voyage à Nantes has several projects on the drawing board to help make Nantes more welcoming for cycle tourists. “The average touring cyclist spends 70 euros per day, and can often stay in a region for up to 8 days. From a tourism point of view, it is important to position Nantes as a cycle-friendly city.” Three areas have been earmarked for providing accommodation, parking, and a restaurant with music on the banks of the Loire, in the communes of Mauves, Thouaré and Sainte-Luce. Another project under consideration is a youth hostel for Loire à Vélo cyclists on a barge! • IC


Welcome to Velo-City

Cycling is good for you!

Sport : looking after your heart

You can probably scarcely imagine just how good cycling is for you. Marie-Carol Paruit, a doctor at Nantes University Hospital specialising in sports medicine, explains why physical activity, and cycling in particular, is good for the health.

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aint-Jacques hos- forming an electrocardiogram at pital in Nantes is the same time.” home to a build- “You have to walk or cycle” ing which is not But let’s get back to the subject very familiar to of cycling and its health beneamateur cyclists: the Regional fits. “Physical activity in general Sports Medicine Institute. By has many positive health bencontrast, high-level athletes in the Grand Ouest area in a number of disciplines (including shooting, handball, sailing, cycling, athletics and basketball) are regular visitors to the corridors of this building. This where they go for medical and physiological monitoring to check closely whether their intensive training is harming their physical or mental health. “High-level athletes are not slouches,” says MarieCarol Paruit, director of the Sports Medicine Unit of Nantes University Hospital. “They do in excess of 18 hours of sport per week. If they experience discomfort when they exert themselves, feel unwell, have pain or palpiMarie-Carol Paruit, sports doctor at tations and do not recover Nantes University Hospital quickly, we need to get to the root of the problem.” One of the new methods avail- efits,” she says. “It reduces the able for diagnosing a problem risk of heart disease, improves consists of subjecting the athlete diabetes and lowers cholesterto physical stress and cycling is ol, strengthens the bones and what you might call the weap- muscles, boosts the circulation on of choice. “It is a useful tool and respiratory capacity, allows for us,” says Marie-Carol Paruit, you to keep your weight down who has just taken delivery of while still consuming fats, and the latest generation of high-tech promotes well-being by reducing bikes. “It can measure the energy stress, sculpting the silhouette used by the athlete while per- and aiding sleep.” That’s all!

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What is the benefit of cycling? “It is a non weight-bearing sport. It is a very good activity to take up when you haven’t done any sport for a long time. It is a gentle sport. You can do it easily even if you are overweight. The main things is to pedal slowly and regularly without getting out of breath. You shouldn’t try to push yourself too hard,” says Marie-Carol Paruit quite clearly. “In medicine today physical activity is prescribed. Many people lead sedentary lives, sitting down all day and not burning off the calories in their food.” Depending on the country, between 60 and 85% of adults are not sufficiently active, according to a medical study carried out by WHO (the World Health Organisation). In short, if you want to extend your life expectancy, you have to walk or cycle. The doctor prescribes 30 minutes of physical activity, three times a week minimum, accompanied by a balanced diet. Over 10 hours of sport a week? “That’s intensive sport, and you need medical monitoring.” One last tip for the road: “Choose a bike which is appropriate for your body shape and use all the equipment (helmet, gloves and vest) to avoid injury if you fall off and make sure you stay hydrated when cycling.” • David Pouilloux

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heart health tips (*).

Report any chest pain or abnormal breathlessness, heart palpitations or faintness before or after exercise to your doctor. Always warm up 10 for 10 minutes and allow 10 minutes recovery time when taking part in sport. Drink 3 or 4 30 mouthfuls of water every 30 minutes when taking part in sport. Avoid intense exertion whe the external temperature is below – 5°C or above +30°C.

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Do not smoke, or refrain from smoking in the two hours before or after sport.

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Do not take any performanceenhancing drugs or self-medicate.

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Do not take part in intense sporting activity if you have a fever or in the week following a bout of flu (fever and stiffness)

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Have a medical check-up before resuming intense sporting activity. (*) Golden rules of the Sports Cardiologists’ Club.

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Agenda

SADDLE UP FOR THE BIKE PARADE! Meet up on Wednesday 3 June at 5.30pm sharp at the Parc des Chantiers, near the Cyclo-Village, for a grand fun-filled parade for all, whose 12 kilometre route promises a whole host of surprises for riders and spectators. The event, which is organised by Le Voyage à Nantes and designed by the Yodel collective, will be rounded off with a concert. There is no such thing as a Velo-city conference without a grand parade! To keep up the tradition, Nantes is therefore turning its city centre into “the world’s biggest cycle path”, according to Gregg Brehin, from the Nantes arts collective Yodel. “The aim is for people to leave work, come with their families, saddle up and have the city to themselves for a few hours,” reveals Arnaud Bénureau, who is also a member of Yodel. The Bike Parade organised by Le Voyage à Nantes, will set off at 5.30pm from Parc des Chantiers, following a route combining familiar and unknown roads: Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Place du Commerce, Rue Crébillon, Rue de l’Arche Sèche, Rue Mathurin Rodier (between the Cathedral and Castle of the

Dukes of Brittany), the banks of the Loire, Willy Brandt bridge, Chaussée de la Madeleine, etc. With a security cordon on a par with races and marathons, this ride will feature plenty of amusing activities and the off-beat appearances and surprises will include unconventional decor with themed floats built in partnership with the Nantes festival committee, makeovers of certain sections of the route, and an unusual and refreshing stop-off. After a detour past the Titan crane, the parade will return to its starting point where a short bike race open to all is scheduled “which is fun for participants and spectators,” says Arnaud Bénureau. As is fitting, the party will carry on into the evening with a free concert.

Request a programme! From 2pm: events for young and old alike at Parc des Chantiers, with polo and BMX bike, tricycles and balance bikes (bikes without pedals). 4pm: welcome for participants. 5.30pm: start of the Bike Parade. 7.30pm: end of the Bike Parade, participants return to Parc des Chantiers. 8pm: short cycle race (registration required). 9pm: concert.

Les surprises du parcours Routes barrées à partir de 16h30 > 21h00 Circulation possible pendant la parade Transports en commun Circulation de la ligne 4 - Busway et de la ligne 3 du tramway maintenue. Ligne 1 - pas de circulation tramway de 17h30 à 19h30 entre les stations "Médiathèque" et "Manufacture" Ligne 2 - pas de circulation tramway de 17h30 à 19h30 entre les stations "50 Otages" et "Aimé Delrue"

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DÉPART > 17h30

Le parcours de la parade Traffic map. The leaflet showing a detailed route and the roads closed to car traffic will be available from 10 May. Bicloo. Various artists have “customised” 10 bicloo bikes which will be unveiled to the public during the Bike Parade. At the end of the exhibition, the 10 customised bikes will join the bicloo fleet.

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Agenda Fifteenth edition of the bike day ! Place au vélo is pleased to present the 2015 bike day edition ! Hold from now your date of Sunday, June 7 to attend the fifteenth edition which will come at the official closing of Velo-city 2015. Many animations will welcome you throughout a course that you can modulate according to your mood, your time and your interests! To know more: www.placeauvelo-nantes.fr

A CYCLING VILLAGE! During the Velo-city 2015 conference, the CycloVillage will be a venue for meeting people and taking part in some of the unique events in Nantes.

Located in Parc des Chantiers, close to the former shipyard workshops, this event, which is open to all residents, aims to highlight different aspects of cycle use (leisure, health, lifestyle, commuting, family use) and to demonstrate that is more than just a means of transport or a sport, but also a focus for lifestyle, initiatives and culture. Inaugurated on the day of the Bike Parade (see opposite), the CycloVillage will last until Sunday 7 June, acting as a rallying point for the Bike Festival. On Thursday 4 and Friday 5 June, facilities for schoolchildren such as Mobilus, will be highlighted (with tours of the Atao workshops, for example, organised by Nantes Métropole for schoolchildren and businesses). Furthermore, the Friday will also be devoted to corporate fora and a presentation of citizen projects selected as a result of the call for projects. The Cyclo-Village, which is VOUS DONNE RENDEZ-VOUS AU structured around a variety of event and exhibition hubs, will be manned by local non-profit assoDU 3 AU 7 JUIN ciations (Place au Vélo, ATELIERS MERCREDI 3 JUIN DIMANCHE 7 JUIN ANIM ATIONS Vélocampus), cycle scheme VÉLO PARADE FÊTE DU VÉLO EXPOSITIONS operators (NGE, bicloo) ÎLE DE NANTES and companies (Les Boîtes PARC DES CHANTIERS à Vélo). A lot of special events have Plus d’informations sur › www.nantesmetropole.fr/cyclovillage been announced including music and drama performances, a road safety trail, car repair workshops, exhibitions of drawings and photos, a multimedia terminal, a bike exchange, cycle polo, urban and yoga bike demonstrations and a health initiative. From 3 to 7 June 2015, at Parc des Chantiers, Île de Nantes. www.nantesmetropole.fr/cyclovillage

THE CYCLOTOUR WILL CRISS-CROSS THE METROPOLITAN AREA The Cyclotour, which was launched to raise awareness among inhabitants of different aspects of cycling, consists of a welcome and information stand to promote cycling, facilities and different types of use. It offers a variety of activities and will also be presenting major events on the fringes of Velo-city conference (the Bike Parade, Cyclo-Village, and the Bike Festival). It started its epic journey around the conurbation in Rezé on 28 March, and will continue until 14 November at the Festival of Cycle Travel, organised by La Manufacture Française du Cycle in Nantes. During that time, a number of stops are scheduled with the arrival of the Cyclotour coinciding in each case with an event organised by the host commune. Thursday 14 May, Les Sorinières: “Interquartiers” interneighbourhood event, Stade Louis Bartra, 16 Rue de la Quindonnière, from 8am to 8pm. Saturday 23 May, Bouguenais: “The many faces of cycling”, Place Pablo Neruda, from 10am to 6pm. Sunday 24 May, Saint-Aignan-de-Grand-Lieu: “The Cyclotour of curiosities”, Place Millénia (near the Town Hall), throughout the morning. Thursday 27 May, Saint-Herblain: “The La Bégraisière bike village”, Parc de la Bégraisière, from 2pm to 7pm. Saturday 30 May, Nantes (Bellevue - Chantenay - Butte Sainte-Anne): “Cycloquartier”, at Lucie Aubrac school, Boulevard Jean Moulin, from 10am to 6pm. Sunday 31 May, Mauves-sur-Loire: “The Cyclotour”, rue de la Mairie, from 10am to 6pm.

DÉPART 17H30

Sunday 31 May, Sautron: “The Cyclotour”, Halle de la Linière, Parc de la Linière, from 9am to 1pm. Saturday 13 June, Orvault: “A celebration of cycling”, Stade de Gagné, from 2pm to 6pm. Saturday 6 and Sunday7 September: “A passion for plants” Parc du Blottereau. Saturday 12 September, Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire: “Sportissimo”. Saturday 19 September, Couëron. Saturday 14 November, Nantes: Festival of Cycle Travel, at La Manufacture Française du Cycle.

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Portrait

His very own roundabout Lionel Jaret is creating a cycle-powered ecologicallyinspired roundabout of Loire animals in metal. It has been set up on one of the Loire islands in his home commune of SaintSébastien since 25 April. We sometimes have several passions in life but are unable to bring them together. It took Lionel Jaret, who is 55, and lives in Saint-Sébastien-surLoire, a while to combine his passion for metalworking, his love of cycling, his affinity with nature and the Loire, and his work as an artist. However, now the pieces of the jigsaw have fallen into place and created an unusual roundabout, fulfilling a childhood dream. “I’m a child of the Loire and I wanted to make a roundabout that depicted the fauna of the Loire,” says the former street puppeteer. In the original stables which used to belong to General Cambronne, which were made available to him by the mayor of SaintSébastien, Lionel Jarret has created a heron, ant, frog and other “animal-like” creatures to populate his roundabout. This dreamer who admits to “having an obsession with bikes” cycles everywhere. He has therefore remembered to place four ancient bicycles at the heart of his machine. “Parents are going to have to get active. They make the roundabout turn by pedalling!” Paradoxically, it was a cycling accident that provided the impetus to make his dream of a roundabout a reality. “During my eleven month convalescence period, I learned a lot about roundabouts. It helped me get through it.” Although he trained as a metalworker, this artist by inclination had never practised

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this trade. “But it’s like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it.” He forged blindly ahead and created Loire animals out of metal. Then because you have to “rationalise the budget and hours spent working”, Lionel set out to look for partners. He suggested to La Fleuriaye de Carquefou University Institute of Technology that it could use his roundabout as a study project. “The mechanical engineering and production theory students carried out part of the project,” explains Lionel. La Joliverie Technical College in Saint-Sébastien is

interested in the idea and will build the guardrails. Arago Technical College in Nantes will be responsible for the metal structures, and the flooring and wooden roof made of robinia timber “which is untreated but rotproof”. “I also received assistance from the Louis-JacquesGoussier secondary school in Rezé, which produced all the decorative elements,” said this multi-faceted designer. He used the Nantes crowdfunding web platform KissKissBankBank to get the initial funding to bring to fruition this project which obviously had an appeal that

extended beyond French frontiers. He still expresses surprise: “I even got contributions from Hungary and Barcelona!” Supported by BGE (Boutique de Gestion Entreprendre), he created his small business as the o w n e r- m a n THERE ager of the ARE EIGHT future roundENCHANTING about with the ANIMALS help of several MADE OF grants (from POLISHED the re gion, STEEL to set up his business, from Agefip, and from the département, among others) and with the support of friends, family, and SaintSébastien town council. In its final form, his roundabout is 7m in diameter. It is powered by fine old 1930s bicycles with leather saddles and wooden handlebars, “sourced on eBay and Le Bon Coin”, which the adults pedal while children aged 2-10 years old sit astride the creatures of the Loire river. Very young children, aged 9 months to 2 years, can sit ensconced within a metal flower, behind the bikes. There are eight enchanting animals made of polished steel. It took eighteen months to create them, and each creature represents at least 200 hours of work: a huge workload completed with the assistance of 5 work experience students from François Arago Technical College. On 25 April, the roundabout took its place at the heart of the Iles de Loire de Saint-Sébastien. “But it can be dismantled and could be used at major events, for example,” insists Lionel. With a smile, he concludes: “I think that the bicycle is mankind’s finest invention, after the wheel.” • Gwenaëll Lyvinec // Photo : Patrick Garçon

Special Issue Velo-city  

Welcome to Velo-city ! The international Velo-city conference taking place in Nantes in early June is proof that cycling is booming worldwi...

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