Bicycle Tour of France

The Office of Mission and Values is excited to offer a new kind of Vincentian Heritage Tour. A bicycle tour from Dax to Paris in June.

The trip has been designed and will be led by Tom O’Brien and David Wellman from the DePaul's Department of Religious Studies, as an alternative take on the Vincentian Heritage Tour.  The goal of this trip will be the same as all the other Vincentian Heritage Tours, to deepen one’s understanding of the lives of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, and to reflect on the relevance of their work in the 21st century.  This trip will have with an added dimension: we are planning this trip as an interreligious pilgrimage and an opportunity to travel across France as a community of cyclists.

What is an interreligious pilgrimage? For Wellman and O'Brien, it means inviting as religiously diverse a group of DePaul folks as can be mustered (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Indigenous and Secular folks), who are interested in exploring what it means to build community together while cycling a route that will trace the life of Vincent de Paul, from his birthplace in the Aquitaine near the Spanish border to his resting place in Paris.  As the current and former Directors of DePaul’s Center for Interreligious Engagement, Tom and David see this pilgrimage as an extension of their work of building bridges among people of different traditions.

Travel will rely on a combination of trains, buses and bikes.  Participants will begin by flying to Paris and making their way by train directly to Dax, then travel by bus and bicycles to Toulouse, Carcassonne, Lyon, Perouges, Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne, Tournus, Beaune, Vezelay, Joigny, Folleville and finally, Paris, where they will be met by Fr. Ed Udovic, who will lead them on a Vincentian tour of the City of Light.

The planned trip is not arduous.  The pace will be leisurely and they will be accompanied by a “sag wagon” if anyone needs a break from pedaling. The bikes are being provided by a team from The Netherlands that includes a driver/bike mechanic and guide.  Due to the amount of distance that needs to be covered, the trip will not entirely take place on bikes. The participants will be using busses and trains for portions of the tour.

The trip is in the determination phase and needs possible participants to contact the trip coordinators to determine the viability and price point this version of the trip. The route was scouted last summer, and everything is in place.  Now all we need is you!

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