Mass cycling events have yet to find the panache that an eco-friendly event should have, but this could change in the near future. Pavla Tolonen thinks it’s just about time people realised the potency of bicycles.
Cycling simultaneously with 1200 French people may sound like a nightmare, however considering the upcoming Rolling Town cycle event will feature all the best spots of Toulon, joining may not be such a bad idea after all.
Attracting cyclists from all over the world on the first Friday of every month, the event boasts some of the funniest costume-wearing individuals yet to rival naked riding events, and truly earns its green credentials by inspiring people to adopt cycling as an alternative to driving.
The enthusiastic riders depart from a Rolling Park in the little naval town of Toulon and venture 15 km around the town before celebrating their journey at the same spot. Participants are provided with drinks throughout the trek and several bike repair shops will be set up around the course.
The race has 15 distinct rules, all ensuring the open-minded and welcoming atmosphere an event like this should have. Riders must refrain from any insulting, racist or morally dubious behaviour, including drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, as well as, using motor-powered additions to bikes. Participants are also encouraged to wear helmets and exercise caution.
Each month the procession starts from the same place, le place de la Liberte, and introduces sights like the seaside town of Mourillon, the Besagne district, the Downtown district, and several other local sights. The event is often commended for its charitable achievements gathered from fundraising components like sweet and drink sales, cinema tickets and skating.
Toulon, which is the fifteenth largest city in France, was the first ever city to entertain the Rolling Town circuit near the Mourillon beaches. Eight hundred people joined the first event, after which the amount of participants grew heavily.
Image credit: Wolfgang Staudt