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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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:
- Guidebook for cycling the Canal de Garonne - Bordeaux to Toulouse
- Guidebook for the cycling the Canal du Midi - Toulouse to Sete
- Cycling the Loire Valley guidebook
- London to Paris Avenue Verte guidebook
- Cycling the River Rhone guidebook
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:
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!