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This cross-border cycle path links the Atlantic Pyrenees to towns on the Spanish side of the border

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This cross-border cycle path links the Atlantic Pyrenees to towns on the Spanish side of the border
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Ederbidea in Euskera (Basque) means beautiful path.

Ederbidea is also a unique cross-border cycle route that links the French Basque Country with Gipuzkoa and Navarre on the Spanish side of the border.

It is more than 200 kilometres by bike, one of the starting points being Bayonne, from where cyclist, Raphaël Leforestier picks it up.

"I use the bike to go for a ride at the weekend with my sweetheart between Biarritz- Bayonne - Anglet and afterwards, if not during the week, for work meetings in Bayonne," says Leforestier.

Furthermore, promoting cycling as a means of transport becomes a way of reducing the frequent traffic jams during the tourist season on the Basque coast.

"One of Ederbidea's challenges was to develop mobility on a daily basis, with a highly developed automobile flow, particularly during the summer, and the challenge was also to offer residents and tourists who come to our territory an alternative to car travel by bicycle," says Sabine Etcheverry, the project manager of Ederbidea.

Ederbidea has 240km of cycling tracks. The total budget is 9.4 million euros, 65% of which is co-financed by the European Cohesion Policy.

Bike workshops

Bicycles have many lives. Recycl'arte in Hendaye offers workshops to members enabling them to come and repair their bikes themselves.

It's an idea that could be shared across the border thanks Ederbidea.

"In these workshops, what we learn is more autonomy. Your bike is in fact a simple, low tech object, which means that it can be repaired very easily," says Claire Dutrillaux, Recycl'arte coordinator.

"There are all kinds of people who meet at the bike workshop. There are very nice exchanges that take place and we realise that when there are several people, we are more intelligent."

On the other side of the border in Navarre: bridges, tunnels and cycle paths have been built thanks to Ederbidea.

The project is also a key link in Eurovelo1: 8,000 km of cycle lanes linking Norway with Portugal via Latasa, near Pamplona.

"We now have 67 more kilometres in Navarre, linked not only to a simple trip but to a route that connects us between regions, between countries and beyond," says Maitena Ezkutari, general director of tourism, trade and consumer affairs for the government of Navarra.

"And I believe that cycling is also a slower way to get to know, to travel, to visit other regions."