CartoCyclo Atlas for cycling tours

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Who are we ?

Geographer and cyclists, we started to travel by bike in 2007, progressively starting with two weeks holiday trips (Algarve, Tuscany, Britain, Andalusia) to finally live outdoors and cycle around Europe during several months (2 months in Germany in 2014, 4 months in France in 2015, etc.).

For ethical as well as practical reasons, we have decided not to use a GPS, but printed maps. In 9 years of travels, we've had the opportunity to test many different types of maps : car-oriented road books, local maps, guides for common cycling routes… We even cycled through Tuscany with a map from the '60s !

Each type of maps had advantages, but also obvious limitations. Road books for cars are made from a grand scale not adapted to cyclists willing to use small country roads, and often lack of contour lines. Local maps have the adequate scale and give the cyclists interesting information but you have to buy many of them and carry them for a longer trip. Cycling guides are too specific and don't let you complete freedom to get away from the route.

Go to road books

What if...?

During a cycling trip, it came to our minds that we could make our own Atlas for cycling trips, based on the advantages of the usual road books but with specific adaptation for bikes (1:150.000 scale) and useful cycling information (cycle routes like Eurovelo or regional routes, rest areas, camping sites, contour lines and topography, bike shops, water points, bathing sites, tourist points of interest...)

Open source philosophy

Moving in the open source philosophy for many years, we have decided to use only open source data. Most data come from OpenStreetMap, the others are more specific to cyclists. Have a look at the key and the samples of the Atlas to check the data displayed on our maps.

Sample 1 Sample 2

PDF format

Our Atlas for cycling tours is not published in printed version. It only exists in PDF format, which has actually more advantages that disadvantages.

No need to carry with you a full road book with hundreds of pages you won't need. If you're having a short trip, you can print the pages before you start (and even use the back as a notebook). For a longer trip, which route may vary in time, you can print the pages you need as you go along, from the files stored on your usb key or the cloud.

PDF files can also be read on electronic devices that cyclists may want to take during their trip : tablet, smartphone, ebook...

We chose a standard A4 format (easy to print anywhere and adapted to most map cases) and a colour version optimized for black and white reading and printing (reducing the printing costs and allowing the reading on an ebook).

Price

Having the Atlas as a PDF file also allows us to offer it at an affordable price.

The road books will be updated each year, and the new updated version will be available for free for the cyclists who bought a previous version.

An ongoing project

Making an Atlas for cycling tours is an ongoing project, evolving trip after trip… Here are already some of our ideas to be implemented in the future :

  • Making maps for entering big cities
  • New countries coming (Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain...). For now, only France is available.
  • Optimizing the black and white option design.
  • Adding annexes with useful information and advice to travel and bivouac safely.
  • Offering personalized road books. You just have to send us your route in a .kml format and we create the road book in a PDF file !
  • Creating thematic guides/routes (including the road book of the route and the guide with lots of explanations and information)
  • Any suggestion ?

    We are always open to suggestions or mistakes you detected in the Atlas (we invite you to correct the directly in OpenStreeMap, to participate with the whole community). Don't hesitate to contact us*

    We hope that our initiative will find its place in your trips… Enjoy cycling and travelling !

    * As we spend several months on the roads to test our Atlas on the field, we might not be able answer your email right away. But be patient… we always answer and try to do it quickly.

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