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Ecotopia Biketour: Summer 2017

Ecotopia Biketour is a self-organized, international community that has been organizing a yearly bicycle tour in different regions of Europe since 1990. During the tour we visit environmental and social projects and practice forms of activism and sustainable living. We follow a vegan diet, practice consensus decision making, and share skills by doing workshops. Ecotopia Biketour is for anyone interested in travelling by bike, community life, DIY, environmentalism, and learning by experience.

Usually 20–40 people cycle with us at the same time. Most people join for somewhere between 2 weeks and 2 months and participate in the tour for the first or second time. We rarely cycle all together, usually some people go ahead in the morning and mark the route with arrows on the road. People then follow in small groups in their own speed and rhythm. We keep distances at a level where no particular fitness or experience is necessary.

We try to create a non-hierarchical environment by rotating responsibilities, sharing skills and respecting personal needs. People can sign up for daily tasks (cooking, pulling a trailer, marking the route, etc.), but everyone can decide individually how much they want to do. We meet up every couple of days to talk about how it is going and to collectively make decisions. It is one of our core values to create a non-discriminatory environment.

We cook communally with wood, carry all our equipment ourselves and try to buy local and organic food and to dumpster-dive where possible. Participants are asked to donate 3–5 € per day to cover the food costs, but people who cannot give this donation are also welcome to join.

This year we will focus on skill-sharing and other forms of alternative education. We will have workshops regularly where we want to share abilities and knowledge within our group and with the projects we are going to visit. We will start at the end of June in Strasbourg in France and will cycle for 3 months via Nancy (Vélorution Universelle), Bure, Freiburg, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva, Grenoble, Toulouse to Barcelona and end near Tarragona. The exact route and dates are being announced on our website.

If you have some recommendations for projects, groups and events for us to visit on the way or would like to help preparing the tour, write to 2017@ecotopiabiketour.net these principles – to make the Biketour experience an example of the social and political values we all share.

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