The International Cycling History Conferences allow all those interested in the history of the bicycle to meet, including enthusiasts, researchers, museum curators, and collectors. The conference is hosted in a different country each year, and offers an opportunity to gather and present the advances in knowledge relating to the varied aspects of cycling history. The researched presentations are then published in the conference proceedings.
The 26th International Cycling History Conference in 2015 will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first long-distance ride in history: the journey from Paris to Avignon by the Olivier brothers, who became the promoters of the velocipede industry.
The Conference will take place in Entraigues-sur-la-Sorgue (France), and it will be overseen by the Féderation française de cyclotourisme (French Cycle Tourism Federation). The FFCT has delegated the organisation of the conference to the cycle touring division of the Association Sportive des PTT d’Avignon (Avignon postal workers’ sports association), in close collaboration with the municipality of Entraigues-sur-la-Sorgue.
In organising this spectacular event, ASPTT Avignon asked for the support of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Council, the Vaucluse General Council, the Greater Avignon community of communes and the municipality of Entraigues.
The French Cycling Tourism Federation encompasses 127,000 members in almost 3000 clubs. They practise cycling in all forms except for competitions – bike rides, rallies, randonneuring, trips, cycle camping, stays in France and abroad, mountain biking, work use.
The small town of Entraigues-sur-la-Sorgue is part of the Communes of Greater Avignon community, and as the crow flies is only a few miles away from the place where the Olivier brothers ended their bicycle journey. It is a peaceful town where life is good. The heart of Entraigues has kept the appearance of a village, with its little winding streets, old church, Templars’ tower and the remains of its ramparts. But it is also a modern, dynamic and sport-loving municipality. The town is traversed by the river Sorgue, whose source is the famous Fontaine de Vaucluse.
Entraigues has two hotels (with 19 and 30 rooms) and several restaurants. You can easily get to the conference room on foot. There are also guestrooms and charming holiday cottages in the countryside a few miles away, but you would need a vehicle. There is also a commercial zone 5 miles away, where there are reasonably priced hotels. You can find these on the Internet.
Getting to Entraigues is easy: the TGV (high speed train) will take you from Paris to Avignon in 3 hours, from London to Avignon in 7 hours. From the TGV station there is a bus that takes you to Entraigues in 30 minutes. In 2015 a regional train will serve Entraigues (on the Avignon-Carpentras line). Avignon also has an airport linked to Paris, London and Amsterdam.