Sportsman promotes sustainable bicycle tourism in flat, pedal-friendly Yucatán

Jean Pequignot, foreground, travels with a friend on bicycle throughout Yucatan. Photo: Facebook / Jean Pequignot
Jean Pequignot, foreground, travels with a friend on bicycle throughout Yucatán. Photo: Facebook / Jean Pequignot

Jean Pequignot climbed a bicycle for the first time at age 12.

Born to a French father and Mexican mother, Pequignot began with mountain biking, which was popular in his Mexico City neighborhood.

Now he is also an urban cyclist.

“I do not say that I am an activist, because I do not like the word, but as a means of transport I use the bicycle and not the car,” he said in an interview with La Jornada Maya, where he spoke of the importance of using a bicycle when it can replace a car.

The cyclist talks about having a singular interest in a cycling trend called cicloturismo, a recreational and non-competitive activity for people wishing to travel long distances, and discover new places, on two wheels.

Recently, Pequignot traveled 5,000 kilometers from northern Canada to the municipality of Los Cabos, in Baja California Sur. He took Highway 101 from its beginning to where it ends, along the coast.

“That trip changed my life, it made me a simpler and more focused person,” said Pequignot. “It also made me realize the importance of bicycle tourism and the possibility we have of developing it in Yucatán.”

His trips and experiences have led him to develop a sustainable cycling project in the state of Yucatán, where he intends to replicate the Pacific Coast model, providing cyclists with spaces to spend the night and cover their needs at affordable prices.

“The idea is to put a palapa in the communities, so that it serves as the whereabouts for the cyclists,” he said. “Let each traveler take his hammock, and with all the above, at a very affordable price. The route is not yet there, but when it starts up, there will be a bicycle boom.”

For Pequignot, the discipline of bicycle tourism offers a completely different perspective for travelers, because it allows a more complete experience because it promotes coexistence with the communities that are part of the route.

“We want to do something, raise awareness of cycling, because although lately it has gained a lot of strength in Mérida, I am sure there is still a lot to do,” said Pequignot. “I encourage the use of bicycles as a means of transport, but also as an opportunity to discover different places.”

The cyclist explains that in Yucatán there is a great opportunity for the realization of this sport.

“The important thing is to see the bicycle not as an alternative, but as a solution,” he said adding that the region has a built-in advantage. “Mérida is flat and the peninsula is too, so, except for the heat, it is the ideal terrain for riding a bicycle.”

Source: La Jornada Maya