Cycling for the future

This post is about a ~1000km journey I made going west across the south of France, crossing the Pyrenees into Spain and riding in the countryside surrounding Pamplona. It was amazing and opened my eyes to the potential of cycling for distance and recreation.
Above: the 500km stretch of the route – Narbonne to Pamplona
So here’s the context: Disillusioned with life in a post-industrial age, and concerned about the threats of oil depletion and climate change, a couple of friends – Josh and Lewis – and I packed our bikes on the Eurostar and headed to France. We missioned it around Paris, Nice, then did some Alpine riding.
The trip: I got lazy and caught the train to Narbonne, central South France. From there I met Guilhem and we rode about 200km to Toulouse. From there on I was alone and rode rode 500km west. I crossed into Spain near the pilgrim village Saint Jean Pied de Port. This 500km journey is depicted in many of the attached photos below. I met my girl Carlota in Pamplona, rested and went on a mini-tour with her in the North of Navarre.
This was the most amazing voyage of my lifetime. It demonstrates the amazing potential that pedal-powered transport has to offer: You can cover any distance imaginable. All you need is planning, time, and of course, a decent bike.
The world is changing. With Gazprom predicting oil to cost $250 a barrel by 2009, it seems to me that personal automobiles have little future. This may seem like a disaster to many; but to those who have experienced the joys of cycling, it can be seen as an opportunity to move towards a more healthy, liberating and sustainable transport system. Transport is, of course, only one aspect of the problem. But with a mass movement aimed at creating new, low carbon futures, the political scope for change exists. I hope to see you there, climate camp 2007 was a blast. With thousands of small and large businesses also opting for (or being forced into) healthier practices, an economic transition has started, creating thousands of new jobs across the country.
So do not sit back and accept the fate humanity gives you – choose your own future, choose life.

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