Cycling for libraries is an independent international bicycle tour “unconference” for librarians and library lovers.

Cycling for libraries supports at its core international grassroots networking, the mental and physical well-being of library professionals, and the crucial role of libraries for society and intellectual and scientific education in general.

Being Bicycle based, Cycling For Libraries naturally supports ecological values and an environmentally friendly way of life.

Many key values are inherited from librarianship. Thise of liberalism, openness, lifelong learning, access to information and innovativeness.

Of course librarianship, like the bicycle, is also by it’s very nature humanist, internationalist, cross-boundary and hands-on.

Every year in several countries around the world library professionals gather together and cycle considerable distances stopping at libraries along the way on a cycling conference that lasts anywhere from a few days to a week.

In May 20102, a group of Finnish librarians launched the idea of organizing an alternative bicycle conference, known as an ‘unconference’ in order to network with with colleagues from all over Europe and collectively discuss the issues and challenges that libraries face.

Joined by other librarians of different nationalities, they decided to cycle the 70 km from Borås to Gothenburg in Sweden to attend the 76th conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions which was taking place there in the summer of 2010.

Based on their success, the organizers of this unconference by bike planned the first official edition of Cycling for libraries between Copenhagen and Berlin in the Summer of 2011, riding an adventurous 650 km in the process.

The following year in Summer 2012, a hundred participants met to cycle 600 km from Vilnius to Tallinn and in Summer 2013, a meeting of librarians and bibliophiles departed from Amsterdam to cycle to Brussels in 9 days.

As a result of these different cycling librarian get togethers, the International Association for Library Advocacy (IALA) was founded at the start of 2014 with the mission to organize further editions of Cycling for Libraries.

At the 80th IFLA Congress in Lyon in 2014, a French speaking branch of Cycling for Libraries was formed known as Cyclo-biblio. Later in the Summer nearly a hundred international librarians cycled from the coast in Montpellier to Lyon to promote libraries and their services in the areas they cycled through.

How it works

Cycling for libraries is an opportunity to meet colleagues from all over Europe to exchange ideas and discuss the promotion of libraries. It is also an opportunity for participants to develop their professional network and to strengthen their commitment as library advocates.

Equally important, Cycling for Libraries allows participants to visit local authority libraries, documentation centres and university libraries in the areas they cycle through, gaining more experience of different library environments.

These visits are done at the genial pace of a bicycle, which gives participants the time to chat with passers by and any other cyclists they may meet along the way.

With participants being both novice and experienced cyclists, each route is adapted and itineraries planned in conjunction with national cycling associations and in particular with the French association for the development of cycle routes and greenways for France.

You may have heard of the term “velorution” and in this case it can be applied to libraries as well – while a velorution is the movement aiming to promote the use of the bicycle as a mode of transportation, Cyclo-biblio takes this even further by using the bicycle as a mode of transportation to promote libraries and show how they are still revolutionary to societies today.

Previous Editions

27 May – 7 June 2011650 kmCopenhagen – BerlinShifting traditions
28 July – 7 August 2012600 kmVilnius – TallinnRe-positioning libraries
18 – 26 June 2013220 kmAmsterdam – BrusselsInformation society skills and training / Rights
6 – 14 August 2014460 kmMontpellier – LyonLibraries “outside the walls
6 – 10 June 2015215 kmBasel – StrasbourgLibraries and the social link
1 – 10 September 2015675 kmOslo – AarhusMakerspaces / New buildings / New Challenges, new skills and competences
1 – 7 June 2016375 kmToulouse – BordeauxTowards participatory libraries!
5 – 11 August 2016385 kmWelland – OntarioMulticulturalism
17 – 20 May 2017150 kmÖresund tourInformation specialists
18 – 24 June 2017300 kmLe LémanFrancophonie and cooperation
28 August – 1 September 2017350 kmBrașov – SibiuCicloBiblio in Romania
10 – 13 September 2017300 kmTrois-Ponts – GenkCycling and learning / Collaboration
June 2 – 7, 2018350 kmAngers – La RochelleWhat is a library for?
31 May – 6 June 2019350 kmLe Havre – ParisCyclo Biblio Haar
3 June – 8 June 2023Lille – DunkirkLa Flandrienne

Worldwide Movement

If you want to create your own Cycling for Libraries ride to advocate for libraries and the benefits they bring to our communities, reach out on social media using the hashtag #cyclingforlibraries to discover if any colleagues have already put plans into motion in your area, or to find like-minded individual with which to collaborate on your own adventure.

They said about libraries…

An original idea. That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.”


“There is not such a cradle of democracy on earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.”


“I had no books at home. I started to frequent a public library in Lisbon. It was there, with no help except curiosity and the will to learn, that my taste for reading developed and was refined.”


The types of cycles that are recommended for use on Cycling For Libraries rides:

While it is possible to attend individual sessions to meet colleagues for the purpose of information sharing and library promotion, we suggest completing the whole ride. Pick a bicycle you are comfortable covering long ground on, such as a gravel bike, which are currently very popular, a road bike which is faster but perhaps a little less comfortable over longer distances, a hybrid bike which provides greater comfort over urban terrain, a mountain bike if you want the ultimate in suspension, or if you prefer some assistance on the hills or over longer distances, then a pedelec e-bike such as an Orbea Rise M10 or an Orbea Rise M20. Please ensure any e-bikes are legal in the countries the tour is passing through.

Bikes we like right now

Boardman ADV 8.9e The Boardman ADV 8.9e is a fast and practical electric gravel bike that blends the speed of a road bike with a relaxed position and off-road focused geometry. With the Fazua Evation drive system, versatile design, and well-balanced ride, it’s perfect for UK adventures.

Boardman HYB 8.9e Womens

Boardman ADV 9.4 Experience top of the range cycling with an all-new C10 Carbon frame, SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS 12-speed wireless shifting, and SRAM Rival hydraulic disc brakes, perfect for challenging journey.

Boardman ADV 9.0 An exhilarating union of Shimano GRX gravel-specific groupset, C10 Carbon Frame and Fork, and Panaracer Gravel King SK Tyres, for a weight-efficient and versatile ride on asphalt and dirt.

Boardman ADV 8.9

Boardman ADV 8.6 An adventure bike with a versatile design and advanced technology, the Boardman ADV 8.6 delivers comfort, control, and performance on any terrain.

Boardman ADV 8.6 Women’s The Boardman ADV 8.6 Women’s is a versatile and capable bike that offers a comfortable and confident ride on and off-road. With its high-quality components and thoughtful design, this bike is a top choice for female riders looking for exceptional performance and control.

Boardman CXR 8.9 The CXR 8.9 is a high-performance cyclocross bike that delivers exceptional agility, responsiveness, and durability. Equipped with top-of-the-line components, it’s perfect for the serious racer or off-road enthusiast.

Boardman URB 8.9 The Boardman URB 8.9 offers a low-maintenance urban cycling experience with its sleek design, lightweight frame, and powerful braking system. Say goodbye to chain maintenance and hello to hassle-free riding.

Boardman URB 8.6 The Boardman URB 8.6 is a lightweight urban bike designed for low-maintenance commuting. With its stylish aluminium frame, Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, it offers a reliable and efficient ride for urban commuters.

Boardman HYB 8.9e An exceptional electric hybrid bike with a powerful Fazua Evation drive system, advanced technology, and reliable performance, perfect for enhancing fitness, having fun, and commuting with ease.

Boardman HYB 8.9 A high-performance hybrid bike with top-quality components and unrivalled comfort.

Boardman HYB 8.8 The Boardman HYB 8.8 is a versatile hybrid bike designed for leisure and fitness purposes. With a lightweight frame, reliable drivetrain, and powerful brakes, it delivers performance and comfort on various terrains.

Boardman HYB 8.8 Women’s The Boardman HYB 8.8 Women’s is a high-performance hybrid bike that combines a lightweight frame, off-road gearing, and powerful disc brakes for a thrilling and versatile ride.

Boardman HYB 8.6 The Boardman HYB 8.6 Green is a high-performance hybrid bike featuring a lightweight triple butted aluminium frame, a wide range Shimano Alivio drivetrain, and reliable Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. 

Boardman HYB 8.6 Women’s Lightweight triple butted aluminium frame, wide range Shimano Alivio gears, and reliable Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, this bike offers speed, performance, and versatility for various terrains and riding styles.

Boardman MTX 8.9 The Boardman MTX 8.9 is a versatile front suspension hybrid designed for off-road adventures and urban commuting. With its lightweight frame, advanced technology, and exceptional performance, this bike excels in any terrain.

Boardman MTX 8.8 The Boardman MTX 8.8 is a high-performing front suspension hybrid bike that combines comfort and versatility. With its lightweight frame, responsive suspension fork, puncture-resistant tires, and comfortable saddle, this bike is perfect for tackling any terrain.

Boardman MTX 8.8 Women’s A high-performing hybrid bike designed with the female rider in mind, offering comfort, efficiency, and versatility for tackling any terrain with confidence.

Boardman MTX 8.6 The Boardman MTX 8.6 is a high-performance multi-terrain bike that delivers exceptional control, comfort, and versatility. With a lightweight aluminium frame, advanced suspension, and top-notch components, this bike is built for adventure and exploration.

Boardman MTX 8.6 Women’s The Boardman MTX 8.6 Women’s is a versatile and high-performance multi-terrain crossover bike designed specifically for female riders. With its lightweight frame, powerful components, and comfortable ride, it’s the perfect companion for any cycling adventure.

Boardman MHT 8.6 The Boardman MHT 8.6 is a high-performance mountain bike designed for UK riders. With its lightweight frame, trail geometry, and quality components, this bike delivers exceptional performance on various terrains. Whether you’re shredding singletrack or climbing steep trails, the MHT 8.6 is the perfect companion for your off-road adventures.

Boardman MHT 8.6 Women’s The Boardman MHT 8.6 Women’s is a top-performing mountain bike designed for female riders. With its advanced features and trail-friendly design, it offers an exceptional riding experience on any terrain.

Boardman MHT 8.8 The Boardman MHT 8.8 is a high-performance 29er mountain bike designed for cross-country and trail riding. With its lightweight frame, advanced components, and exceptional geometry, this bike delivers unmatched agility and control in any terrain.

Boardman MHT 8.8 Womens The Boardman MHT 8.8 Women’s is a powerhouse mountain bike designed to tackle rugged terrains and push your limits. With top-of-the-line components and exceptional performance, it’s the ultimate companion for adrenaline-seeking riders.

Boardman MHT 8.9 The Boardman MHT 8.9 is a high-performance mountain bike with a lightweight frame, SRAM’s 12-speed SX Eagle drivetrain, powerful Level T hydraulic disc brakes, and agile handling. Conquer any trail with confidence and enjoy the thrill of off-road riding.

Boardman MTR 8.6 The Boardman MTR 8.6 is a trail-conquering powerhouse that delivers unparalleled performance and control on any terrain. With its top-of-the-line components and advanced design, this bike is a game-changer in the world of mountain biking.

Boardman MTR 8.8 The Boardman MTR 8.8 is a trail-riding machine that combines advanced technology, durable construction, and precision handling. With its trail-ready geometry and top-notch components, this bike is built to conquer any trail with confidence.

Boardman MTR 8.8 Women’s The Boardman MTR 8.8 Women’s MTB is a high-performance mountain bike designed to take your trail riding to new heights. With its top-of-the-line components and trail-ready geometry, this bike offers unmatched performance and control.

Boardman MTR 8.9 The Boardman MTR 8.9 is a trail-ready full suspension rig that offers exceptional performance and versatility. With its top-of-the-line components, comfortable geometry, and advanced suspension system, it’s the perfect choice for riders looking to tackle any trail with confidence.

Boardman MTR 9.0 The Boardman MTR 9.0 is a trail-blazing mountain bike designed to take on any terrain with confidence. With its upgraded X9 Alloy frame, RockShox suspension, and Shimano SLX groupset, this bike offers unparalleled performance for riders seeking adventure.

Boardman SLR 8.6 The Boardman SLR 8.6 offers market-leading performance without compromising on comfort or quality. With its lightweight frame, reliable components, and versatile nature, it’s the perfect road bike for riders of all levels.

Boardman SLR 8.6 Women’s The Boardman SLR 8.6 Women’s is the ultimate road bike for women cyclists who crave top-notch performance and comfort. With its lightweight frame, advanced components, and female-specific design, this bike is ready to take on any challenge.

Boardman SLR 8.8 The Boardman SLR 8.8 is a high-spec aluminium road bike that offers fast and comfortable riding with precise handling. Its lightweight frame, wide gear range, and versatile performance make it an excellent choice for sportives, commutes, and recreational rides.

Boardman SLR 8.9 The Boardman SLR 8.9 is a high-performance road bike with a lightweight carbon frame, updated shifting technology, and optimized contact points, making it a top contender for riders seeking a versatile and fast ride.

Boardman SLR 8.9 Women’s The Boardman SLR 8.9 Women’s is a lightweight and high-performance road bike built for female riders. With its aerodynamic design, advanced components, and optimized geometry, this bike delivers an exceptional ride in any conditions.

Boardman SLR 8.9 Disc The Boardman SLR 8.9 Disc Carbon offers unmatched speed, comfort, and performance, making it the top choice for serious riders.

Boardman SLR 9.6 Disc The Boardman SLR 9.6 Disc Carbon is a high-performance road bike built for speed, comfort, and versatility. With its lightweight frame, advanced technology, and aerodynamic design, this bike will take your riding to the next level.