SlowUP Alsace makes its grand comeback! 

Despite uncertainties surrounding the weather, the 2022 edition of slowUp Alsace lived up to all expectations. Following a two-year break imposed by the health crisis, its long-awaited return saw 32,000 participants spending an enjoyable day along the local wine route.

La 8e édition du slowUp Alsace a tenu toutes ses promesses © CC-Selestat – R. Schmitt
La 8e édition du slowUp Alsace a tenu toutes ses promesses © CC-Selestat – R. Schmitt

No less than 32,000 people took part in the 8th edition of slowUP Alsace on Sunday 5 June. Two years on from the previous edition, this was a very good turnout. Especially since stormy skies had been threatening the event for days beforehand. 

"We were worried right up until the last minute because it was still raining heavily the morning of the event," says Christine Becht, the slowUP coordinator for Sélestat. “We eventually caught a stroke of luck with beautiful sunny skies lasting until 4pm. There was light rain, but not enough to cancel the event. Overall, it was a really nice day. The crowd was slightly smaller than in 2019 but considering the weather it was still a very good turnout."

Starting in Dambach-la-Ville, passing through Sélestat and Châtenois, and finishing in Bergheim, young and old alike travelled along the Wine Route and the Alsace Vineyard Bicycle Route (both fully blocked off to vehicles). There were several loops of 7, 8, 11, 16, 19 and even 38 kilometers to choose between, with all means of travel allowed: bike, scooter, rollerblade and on foot.

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"Local tourism taken at your own pace"

Combining cycle and wine tourism, the event's main attraction was a leisurely ride to the foot of the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle where you could enjoy a few glasses of white wine. Not to mention some optional stops along the way at the Seigneurie d'Andlau workshops and the humanist library in Sélestat. Whether you prefer browsing local products or enjoying the natural, architectural beauties of Central Alsace, all ages and interests were catered for. 

La place festive de Scherwiller © CC-Selestat – R. Schmitt
La place festive de Scherwiller © CC-Selestat – R. Schmitt

"It's local tourism taken at your own pace," observes Christine Becht. “There were some very lively areas, especially in Bergheim and Châtenois. The different sites really complemented each other. As did the more rural areas like Scherwiller where many participants took a pause in the middle of the vineyards. Some preferred the countryside routes while others took full advantage of the energetic squares hosting stands, tastings and concerts. The inflatables were a big hit with the kids."

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One thousand volunteers 

This event wouldn't be possible without continued investment from the eleven towns who cover the course route. Special mention also goes to the emergency services, security and road service provided by the European Collectivity of Alsace. A grand total of one thousand volunteers, including signallers, offered their services for the special occasion. "Without them, nothing would be possible," says Christine Becht. "We are delighted with their efforts and thank all our sponsors for their support. Social media comments are raving about it. We can tell that this unique event really appeals to people.  " 

Le plaisir simple de pédaler au milieu des vignes © CC-Selestat – R. Schmitt
Le plaisir simple de pédaler au milieu des vignes © CC-Selestat – R. Schmitt

François Muller from the Bergheim festival committee added: "It went really well, people were super happy that slowUp was back. It was a very nice day with a great atmosphere. All our activities, both in town and on the football field, went really well. Lots of people showed up and the weather was finally on our side. We've already held an inital debriefing with our partner associations and everyone is ready to start planning next year's edition." The next slowUp Alsace will take place on Sunday 4 June, 2023.

Ten years on from the event’s very first edition, it will also mark the 70th anniversary of the Alsace Wine Route!

Florian Dacheux