Supporting independent businesses in the time of COVID

Published by Lyn on 19 November 2020

It's a bad time for the travel industry – here are a few ways you can help support independent businesses that offer the best service.

Cycling in France

How to support local accommodation, bike hire and cycle tour providers on your next trip to France

Freewheeling France is a small business (it's basically just me) – and we like to support other small businesses. That's why we have a proud bias towards working with and recommending small and specialist cycling companies through our bespoke planning service, and why we try and list many small B&Bs, hotels and family run gites in our accommodation section. Many of the tours you see here are run by small operators that often started from scratch with only a handful of local tours and are still locally owned and operated, as are many of the bike shops here (ask via here for if you need help). 

We'd love you to follow our links above and support them if you are researching a cycling holiday in France. If you get stuck, please email me at for a recommendation.

How to support independent book and map publishers

I was really upset to hear the very excellent Stanfords travel bookshop is struggling and now crowdfunding to ensure its post-pandemic survival.

Stanfords has one of the best ranges of French maps anywhere on the internet (or in person if you are in London).

They stock nearly every single Michelin map and nearly every single IGN map, as well as cycling guidebooks. They also have a nice selection of Tour de France books and other travel writing. (And lots of great Christmas gift ideas!)

The best way to help keep this excellent and independent resource up and running is to buy your cycling books and maps from them here (they deliver worldwide). You can also click below to find out more about their crowdfunding initiative.

Stanfords Travel Bookshop

Other independent publishers

We also support Cicerone, an independent publisher that specialises in cycling and walking guides.

They have the following excellent guidebooks dedicated to cycling in France, and all are available directly from Cicerone online in either hard copy format or as downloadable eboooks:

For those of you in the UK, they also have lots of local guides that may be of interest until you can get back to France - click below for their British Isles collection:

Cicerone UK cycling guide books


Not to mention ...

Other publishers we can recommend include Excellent Books, run by Richard Peace, who is one of our contributors, and Red Dog Books, based in Brittany, which publishes the very excellent Brittany's Green Ways guide and the equally excellent guide to Cycling the Nantes-Brest Canal. Both are available in hard copy format or as downloads. See here also for CartoVelo, a (mostly) French-language shop for guidebooks.

Last but not least ...

If you like my website and find Freewheeling France useful, you can always make a donation. All the information and advice I offer is FREE!   

On the blog


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Maps for cycling in France

Cycling in France books

Maps for cycling in France

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