Cycle for Life! by Annette Morris

If you are "of an age" and live here in the South of France, there is a fair chance you will have already heard of Cancer Support France (CSF).

cycle for life

CSF was set-up in 2002 to provide help to people in the unfortunate position of having a family member, or even themselves, be given the shattering news of a cancer diagnosis. The kind of support they provide is pretty varied. From the emotional to the much more practical (such as translation of the plethora of technical terms), the volunteers receive in depth training and adhere to a strict code of confidentiality.


In June 2015, to raise awareness of their services, members of the Gascony branch of CSF organised a bike ride along the full length of the Canal du Midi. This beautiful setting provided a fabulous backdrop to celebrate life, sunshine and friendship, in what for some was a big personal challenge, and to all, proved to be a well spent and enjoyable few days.


Over 60 people rode at least one day, with an heroic few riding all 5 stages from end to end. Among the riders were survivors, sufferers, supporters and sightseers, some having not cycled for decades. Following a 2nd Cycle for Life in 2016 along the Canal de Garonne, CSF consider Cycle for Life to be an annual event to raise funds for the national association, and to acknowledge the sometimes difficult, challenging work that they do for English-speakers in France.


In 2017, Cycle for Life returns to the Languedoc! It starts in Carcassonne on Thursday 22 June and over 4 days and in 4 separate stages, the 200km route takes in paths of the Canal du Midi, Canal de la Robine, through Narbonne and along the Mediterranean coast before ending in the coastal town of Sète. It promises to be a great event, with the added conviviality that a group of pedal-powered people can generate.


Regional cycle tour company and sponsor Vie et Vélo is run by Canadians Bruce and Denise who are offering help with bike hire, bike transport or booking accommodation. They have also put together an inclusive package for people coming from a little further away. Denise says "We are very excited to be supporting Cycle for Life this year! As it not only benefits a great cause, but highlights some of the fabulous cycling to be had in Languedoc. I expect it will be a great event for cycling enthusiasts of all levels".


Interested in joining the fun? Registration for the event is free. You can join for any of the 4 stages or take part in the full 200km. VTT bikes and even electric bikes can be rented locally for the occasion. For further details please visit: