Luberon Coeur de Provence is a land of cycling: families, sportsmen, friends and tribes will find something to satisfy their desires. We asked Mr. Philippe Rondot, freelance worker at Cyclix in Cavaillon, a bicycle rental shop, he tells us about his profession, a real passion!
The beginnings in the profession
“At the age of 5, I arrived in Cavaillon with my parents who sold fruit and vegetables. My daddy quickly gave me a taste for sports. Naturally after my accounting studies, I wanted to take over a bicycle shop. I worked in a store as an employee at Cycles Rieu in Cavaillon in 1994, where I stayed until 1997 before partnering with Cavaillon 2 wheels in 1997.
I started this activity as a repairman and salesman in 1997 in a company that already existed, at the time called Cavaillon 2 wheels which sold scooters, bicycles and also offered the rental of bicycles. At the time, the Rental Bike Park was not owned by us, it was owned by a company called Homes Away, which rented houses to Americans.
Before 1997, only one bicycle rental company existed in the Luberon, which was the one owned by Martine Tampier in Ménerbes: the wheels of the Luberon.
Little by little, we realized that more and more tourists came to Provence around the Luberon and wanted to rent bicycles. We soon realized that there was a huge potential for cycling in the Luberon.
On November 1, 1997, Cavaillon 2 wheels became Cyclix. At this time, I decided to split the bike activity from the scooter activity. On the one hand, two associates took care of the scooters, and I and another associate in the bicycle branch.
From 1997 to 2010, our revenue is only growing. In 2010, we found a land to build a “Culture Vélo” store in Cavaillon to move the sales and repair activity, to keep only bike rental at Cyclix.
However, in 2016, I decided to separate the sale and repair legally, so I sell the sales and repair activity in March 2016 to 2 of my employees the building I had built.
I keep my local Cyclix in Cavaillon to only rent bicycles.
I am currently self-employed with only one employee. We offer the delivery of bicycles, I will say that half of our bikes are delivered. When the bike path is created in Cavaillon, everything will be easier! ”
Which bicycles are available for rent?
“I rent all bike categories except cargo bikes. I have children's bikes, carrioles to put behind bikes, baby seats, followers bikes, tandems, racing bikes of different qualities, mountain bikes, electric racing bikes, electric mountain bikes and muscle ATVs. Prices range from 12 euros for a child bike to 60 euros for an electric mountain bike by day.”
Cycling, a real passion
“As a practitioner, I am fortunate to have participated in competitions and I was able to taste the electric bike. It's really something awesome! We can make efforts to his measure, he really brings something even to a great athlete: he will be able to make a moderate effort without losing his technique in addition without exhausting himself!
For the less sporty, it allows to get less tired to avoid having aches, it is very important! In the Luberon, it is very popular because even if a person is not fit to climb to certain perched villages, he can practice cycling without getting tired! Every 5 km there is a village to cross, you can make small steps discovering a lot of things. There is a huge panel of interest that we find very little elsewhere. This year, the French enthusiasm for cycling has been impressive! COVID-19 has pushed people to practice green and quiet tourism, to take the time.
By cycling, we discover the territory differently, we move faster than on foot and we discover even more. You can hear all the noises, smell all the smells. We have the visibility of a person walking, but we discover even more, and things we don't expect. Whatever the season, it's an eternal start: the same route in spring, summer, autonomous or winter is different, we discover new colors and that is really the richness of the Luberon! ”
“THE MORE WE PRACTICE THE BIKE, THE MORE WE WANT TO PRACTICE! "
Cycling for everyone !
"I think that the appearance of other bicycle rental companies in the Luberon was really necessary. Supply creates demand. If you are walking in a village and when you arrived in this village you saw a sign indicating that there is a cycle path and that in the street you see a bicycle rental company, you are going to want to do it . The trend has really progressed and has become very positive. I myself could not meet all of the demand throughout the Luberon, even near Cavaillon. At least there are bicycles for everyone and everywhere, this is very important in this region. For example, if someone has a problem with a bicycle far from my store, I can ask the bicycle rental company on site when possible to help them. This is mutual aid too! "
A favorite course ?
"I really like the northern part of the Luberon, which is very rich in heritage. Then, the Cavaillon, Robion, Bonnieux, Ménerbes and Lacoste route. Otherwise, the ochres by bike are to be done too! The whole of the Luberon is accessible, you can take long routes!
“Originally, I was one of the first members of Vélo Loisir en Luberon, today Vélo Loisir Provence. I've been treasurer for five years. I followed all the developments, the bike paths and the developments that have been made. They are at the origin of the signposted routes, it's an incredible institutional infrastructure! When people see signage, it makes them want to ride a bike, they feel safe!
Vélo Loisir Provence is very present and actively participates in the promotion of cycling in the Luberon through trade fairs, accommodation providers, rental companies ... this allows us to discuss, get to know each other and create a network, which is very important. It also offers flyers that we can give to our customers. Vélo Loisir Provence has become essential for the proper functioning and development of cycling tourism in the Luberon! "
"Cycling is really a supportive thing. And that's only the beginning ! "
More information on www.veloloisirprovence.com
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