Late in 2012 I had the pleasure of attending the 7th European Meeting of Cyclosport which was held in the beautiful surroundings of Tarascon-sur-Ariege and led by Association Europeenne Cyclosport (AEC) President, Patrick Francois.
The AEC leads the way in organising, supporting and communicating sustainable development and respect for the environment in cycling sportive events such as Gran Fondos and cycling tours.
The AEC works with key stakeholders including the French Cycling Federation (FFC), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), event organisers and tour operators to reduce the impact of cycling events on the environment.
With some Gran Fondo events attracting close to 10,000 participants the potential for environmental degradation through the non-controlled discarding of refuse by cyclists is very high. Eco Cyclo sets out to encourage and educate participants to ‘do the right thing’ and manage their waste accordingly as well as work with organisers to put in place systems to manage environmental risks and issues.
The Eco Cyclo Patrol “Patrouille Cyclo” is made up of a group of volunteer cyclists known for their spirit of friendship and their environmental values. The members set out to support the work and spread the message of the AEC by participating in events as visible and active ambassadors for sustainable cycling. The Patrol is currently an international group made up of 60 volunteers spread across France, including 6 from Spain, 6 from U.K, 3 from USA and 3 from Australia.
The work of the Patrol is based on promoting a responsible attitude towards the environment and to put an emphasis on cyclosportive organisers to protect the landscapes they are permitted to use during their events.
The patrol members are unmistakable in their full green cycling ensemble of jersey, shorts and gloves.
I’m delighted to be part of the EcoCyclo Patrol and look forward to furthering the message that Patrick Francois has worked passionately and with great dedication to achieve.
Find out more
If you’d like to find out more about the work of the AEC, follow the program on Facebook or Strava, please click on the links below or send a message via the contact details.
The ECO CYCLO Program, founded in 2006, integrates into Cyling sport activities of the Cycling For All (Cyclosport/Granfondos) 2012 season, as a necessary action, in order to set up cycling community policies for care and awareness of the environment, priority areas of our times.
In these settings, the ECO CYCLO Program, aims to sensitize the large group of bikers to observe an ecological attitude in regards to their waste, and to encourage the organizers and their partners to foresee equipment and the necessary means to carry out their events to create a clean and responsible image of the cycling community in a sustainable way.
The ECO CYCLO Program is situated as a part of the «Actions plan for a Sustainable Cycling» of the French Cycling Federation, embracing the initial objective of the organisation. Actions will be taken on a national and international level, and for the sixth year of the Program, with a message adapted to Holland, Switzerland, Spain and Italy for some of their prestigeous events.
The ECO CYCLO Program is actively enforced by the ‘Bike Patrol’, group of volunteer cyclists participating in targeted events from a list created in the beginning of the season. Their mission is to assist and counsel the participants and to encourage the event organizers in a sustainable way.
The Codes of ECO CYCLO:
# Nature is beautiful and the roads are not a trash can. In all circumstances, leisurely rolling, training or competing, I save my trash for an appropriate place where I can discard it.
# I respect all codes of the road, and my helmet is my most reliable partner on the road
# Cycling is a fantastic sport, with excellent health benefits. I do not spoil these wonderful moments of happiness by taking dubious or prohibited drugs.
CONTACT: Patrick FRANCOIS
PHONE: + 33 (0)4 90 92 44 04
GSM: + 33 (0)6 62 28 44 04
Eco Cyclo Blog: http://ecocyclo.blogspot.com
Patrick François is the President of the Cyclosport European Association (A.E.C), organization which groups together, the most important Cyclosportives (Cycling mass events) in Europe, 60 events and 180000 Cyclists. He is also the Cycling for All Head of Mission, Mobility and Sustainable Actions referee at the French Cycling Federation (F.F.C). Founder and activities organiser of the “ECO CYCLO” Program and the “GREEN BIB” operation in Pro Cycling. He holds an official formation for Sport and Sustainable Development from the French Olympic Committee (F.O.C) and the 1st level of the “BILAN CARBONE” method adapted to Sports and Events, from the ADEME. Patrick François has a 40 years experience in Cycling. In parallel, he has managed international Music festivals and conducted Broadcast Networks.