How to use soft mobility in the countryside?
photo by Sarah

   04 JULY 2022

Here I am, freshly arrived in the countryside! The fresh air and the butterflies are there to welcome me... and keep me prisoner. Without a car, I'm a bit stuck at home, right? The town is several kilometres away, the supermarket is in the next village... Do I have to take the car? The price of fuel doesn't make me feel like it anymore.

After having tested a little all the modes of soft mobility, I submit to you the result of my experiments so that you can benefit to the maximum' without taking you too much head!


Soft mobility, do you want me?


🚲 I've been told to take a bike, here are the good starting tips I'm sharing with you


1. Identify the right routes

    • Find the roads that are less busy: sometimes an old road still exists, parallel to a more recent expressway, which would be much less busy with motorists and therefore freer, safer and less polluted for you! Having the road all to yourself, smelling all the good smells of nature, that's great!
    • Help yourself to cycle route applications such as Geobike (or your phone's default GPS application if it has a "bike" mode!)


2. Get a bike, but a used one!

      • Classic mechanical bike : to flex your muscles and enjoy the scenery!
      • Cargo bike : As soon as you have small children, it becomes very practical and makes shopping easier (note that there is also the option of taking a bike trailer for this).
      • Electrically Assisted Bicycle (EAB): to get less tired, less sweaty on a slope and not lose all your money in this purchase! (and enjoy the speed too, it's pretty cool)

    According to the association Bicycle & TerritoriesIn fact, 80% of journeys in the countryside would be made by car, but 50% for journeys of less than 5km! And I thought the problem was the long distances...


    🚗 Let's look at the car side anyway, because not all of us are ready to take the bike every day


    1. Carpooling

    The more the merrier? Not to mention the savings in time, money and, as a bonus, great encounters! Who says better?


    2. Car-sharing

    Car-sharing is still not very developed in France and is more likely to be found in towns than in the countryside. However, it would have its place in the countryside, where non-working people do not use their cars every day.

    You can ask your local council to make one or more cars available to residents, but it would be nice to talk to your neighbours first. Maybe some of them would be willing to set up this system?


    3. The bus?

    I haven't yet asked myself the question "does the bus go through my house? It could be another solution, as simple as that, in the countryside, but sometimes there are specific routes already set up between villages by the communes. All I have to do is check if there is a shuttle near my home. A phone call to the town hall and that's it!


    Intermodal travel

    Intermodality, what is it? 🤔

    It is the use of several types of transport for the same journey. In rural areas, it is the bicycle that is enhanced by this practice.

    • Bike + train or bus (if it can take your bike!) is the great favourite of intermodality
    • Bus + train + carpooling... As long as it doesn't add hours to your journey, the possibilities are endless!

    💡 If you are still a city dweller and are thinking of moving to the country, finding out if there is a train station upstream can be a good location criterion in your search.

    This article was written by Marie cycling in any weather, or with a cat in your arms


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