Licensed, Registered and Insured
At VeloTopo, we know the best and most exceptional experiences come with assurances. Comfort is something that goes beyond the softness of a fine feather bed – comfort is also the peace of mind that the people looking after you are licensed, registered, bonded and insured.
At VeloTopo, we take legislation very seriously, we believe that anyone booking a cycling adventure with us, deserves to be in the best of hands. As a country, France is full of red tape and to legally fall in line, cycling guide licenses are notoriously difficult to get – especially in comparison to other countries.
In order to legally operate as a cycling guide in France, companies must be in possession of an official professional cycling guide license and must be registered with the Department of Jeunesse et Sport. Even for foreign cycling guides and tour operators working in France, France doesn’t recognize any licenses but their own and without the two items mentioned above, it is illegal to guide cycling groups anywhere in France.
As a guest on any tour, it’s important that your guides are fully committed to the legalities behind their service. Without the correct paperwork in place, liability insurance policies and personal insurance policies become invalid. For guests to feel safe, relaxed and to fully immerse themselves in the amazing experience – you want to feel sure that should the unexpected happen – your tour guide is competent, covered, and legal and has all the authorization to handle any situation at hand.
At VeloTopo we make sure that we have dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. We want our guests to feel confident in our competence, which is why we have committed to ensuring we are legally covered in every way as outlined in the details below
VéloTopo is a US registered Tour Operator, we are recognized as an official Seller of Travel (EIN 30-0086744) and covered with a proper US Liability Insurance policy. VéloTopo also runs cycling tours in France as a French Registered cycling tour operation, duly authorized to legally guide cycling tours. In addition, VéloTopo is also covered with its own French Liability Insurance policy. Jean-Philippe Soulé, the owner and manager of both the US and French operations, is dedicated to providing the same level of expertise and excellence across both Continents.
To bring out the best experience in your cycling tour, we believe that having a local, fully-licensed, and bi-lingual tour operator is a vital mix when it comes to guiding you safely and efficiently on your chosen adventure. At VeloTopo we offer all of this. We make sure that our tours are drawn from a wealth of experience, adhering to the correct legislation, and having a mastery of the local language and culture.
For anyone booking a cycling tour in France, be sure to double check that the tour operators are fully licensed and that you will be led by a legally registered cycling guide. Even choosing a French tour operator isn’t always a guarantee, as often these operators are registered to sell tours as travel guides as opposed to having the right paperwork to legally guide cyclists.
All licensed guides actively working in the industry are also registered with the MCF association (Moniteurs Cyclistes Francais). There are currently more than 800 licensed cycling guides listed on the MCF register, however, only 160 are licensed road cycling guides. The other 650 guides are licensed to guide mountain bikes (VTT) or BMX excursions. Make sure your chosen cycling guide is correctly registered for the terrain you want to ride.
We at VéloTopo don’t believe language should hinder your enjoyment of your adventure. As a registered company offering cycling tours in France, we are proud to be one of only about 20 professionally licensed road cycling guides fluent in both English and French.
As a customer, we invite you to research the MCF database for your guide’s name, to ensure yourself that their qualifications are up to your expectations. If they are properly certified for road cycling tours, their qualifications will include the keyword “Route.”
Jean-Philippe Soulé currently manages both the French and US operations of VéloTopo. He is registered as a professional road cycling guide with the Department of Jeunesse et Sport of the Hautes-Pyrenees, is a registered member of MCF, and holds the legally required French professional road cycling guide license (BPJEPS).
Jean-Philippe Soulé also holds a cycling instructor license with the French FFCT, in addition to holding a professional cycling coach license with USA Cycling in the United States.
As leading experts in road cycling tours of France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and beyond, we invite you to feel at ease when booking with VeloTopo. All our guides are 100 percent licensed, legal, adequately insured, and highly knowledgeable and experienced in both the language, road etiquette, and terrain. Our goal is to deliver the experience of a lifetime, and we know you can only do that when all the pieces are put perfectly in place.
For a cycle tour company you can trust, let VeloTopo lead the way.