Bicycle travel is one of the fastest growing tourism and leisure activities in the country. Given the great changes we face nowadays, this is an environmentally friendly way of traveling that promotes better physical and psychological well-being.
The aim of this campaign is to finance the identification of 500 new kilometers of roads with low traffic - as well as cycle paths, greenways and rails-to-trails when they exist - in order to contribute for a better territorial cohesion, encompassing more routes in the north of the country.
As can be seen in the General Map of the National Cycle Touring Network , the northern part of the country still has a small number of identified routes.
Thus, simultaneously contributing to the growth of the network - a totally private project that has been under development since 2011 - the intention is to identify more routes in the provinces of Minho, Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Beira Alta and Beira Litoral in order to achieve a better territorial distribution of tourists by bicycle, bringing them from the coastal and south areas (more saturated) and taking them to cycle through these regions strongly affected by human desertification.
This contributes so that these provinces can see their towns and cities visited by fans of long distance bicycle travels, a tourism activity increasingly practiced by Portuguese and foreigners in our country .
These 500 km should represent about 10 new sections for the network, with about 50 km each, and should be identified in the areas of Gerês and Galicia, Ponte da Barca, Chaves, Vila Real, Guarda, Aveiro and Tomar .
More information about the National Cyclie Touring Network here.
About the author
Born in 1973 in a small village in Beira Alta, Paulo Guerra dos Santos has lived in Lisbon since his first year of age.
Graduated in Civil Engineering at ISEL, Lisbon, he specialized in Toad Projects and Transports. Since 1995 he carries out projects, with a strong use of computer-aided design and engineering technologies, in the areas of Topography and Road Project.
There is also a second training area, Industrial Robotics, where he worked and provided training for much of the 1990 decade
and early 2000.
In the summer of 2010 he stopped his professional activity for 4 months and made an epic trip: 100 days of cycling in Portugal, an adventure recorded daily on the travel blog .
This knowledge, combined with the experience and passion for bicycle travels, has been used to identify the National Cycle Touring Network and take it to other travelers in the form of a roadbook with detailed maps and GPS tracks to be used as a travel guide. In 2020, the Road Book already has 123 sections and respective maps totaling 5283 km of identified routes.
The author solo develops this entire project.
His biggest ambition? Be the first man ever cycling on Mars. Or on the moon.
Budget and due dates
The funds intended - to identify these 500 new km - will used to support the costs of the various bicycle trips to be carried out in the areas to be identified as well as costs for stays, food, travel to the places (preferably by train, whenever this option exists), suppliant material such as inner tubes and tires, and all the office work to create the tourist guide in PDF with maps and technical information, as well as construction of GPS tracks for satellite navigation.
It is estimated that, on average, the cost of georeferencing routes and building the tourist guide is around €10 per kilometer. Hence the €5000 to identify 500 km. Maybe a few more actually (but that's a surprise!).
June and July 2020 (60 days) - Fundraising campaign;
August 2020 - Office work for research, definition and preparation of new routes to be identified;
September and October 2020 - Field work with successive bicycle trips in situ for validating routes and points of natural and heritage interest, capturing photos, recording GPS tracks, obtaining technical data such as altitudes and slopes, etc.;
November 2020 - Design of maps and final GPS tracks, for each of the new sections;
December 2020 - New sections are sent to all campaign supporters;
Note: for supporters whose donation is equal to or greater than €50, the Road Book 2021 will be offered in full, with the current sections already identified by the National Cycling Tourism Network plus the new ones to be identified with this campaign. Road Book 2021 is estimated to be available during the first quarter of next year.