Meeting minutes/Beograd 29- 30 January 2005

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Beograd 29- 30 January 2005

Hi dear Biketourists!

In cold and snowy Beograd we had our first winter meeting about new 2005 biketour travel to Moldova. Group from Vienna came early on saturday morning by train. Daka and Tiho came from Banja Luka by bus almost at the the same time. So we all together went to "Juginus" office to start our meeting. First part was not so productive because we were interupted by some baba(old woman living next door to the office). After nice lunch in vegetarian restaurant we deciced to change place and to move to "Young Researchers of Serbia" office at Novi Beograd. Later in the afternoon Rasa and Viki joined us. Some of my friends cyclists came also to help us about the route planing. We made some rough plan for the route through Bosnia, Serbia, Romania and Moldova. We set some time frame for the start from Banja Luka, dates for Beograd and for Moldova. But as no one came from Romania, and Moldova we decided to held another meeting in Beograd or Novi Sad at first weekend in March. We spoke about many other things but maybe Roeland or Jan will write soon some short evaluation of this meeting. In the meantime there is still much things to work on. So let's prepare for the next time with more info and proposals. This time we didn't have enough time for sweet night life. Guests were tired and they decided to get earlier to sleeping place. Good buy till the next biketour meeting in Beograd.


Biketour Winter meeting 29- 30 January.

People present: Jan; Janneke; Karl; Tiho; Milan; Barca; Daka; Johan (Mountaineer, Serbia-Romania) Rasa; Viki.


1. Danube Introduction 2. Introduction to different countries by National + Local Organizers (route, accommodations) 3. Actions/Performance 4. Conference Branch 5. Theme 6. Website + outreach 7. Money 8. Help Roelie 9. National Coordinator, What’s that. 10. Ideas to make BT better. 11. Time-line 12. Next meeting


Ecotopia Gathering (according to our information from EYFA): 1-7 August: preparation camp 8-22 August: Ecotopia Gathering 2005 Location: North- West Moldova, Village Saharna, District Rezina, near the river Nistru (and near to Transdniestr)

UNESCO Project: “biking the Balkans”. They plan a project trip visiting 6-7 UNESCO sites in the Balkans in June. They start in Venice and will end somewhere in Montenegro. A diverse group from 70-80 scientists, NGO’s, volunteers, elderly and youngsters, will travel between the points of interest by bus and then will cycle around the area while promoting Ecology.

1. Introduction to different countries by National + Local Organizers (route, accommodations)

Bosnia & Herzegovina: The political situation is a kind of shitty. Traffic, angry drivers and the lack of cycle paths could be a problem, but not more problematic than normal. We will explain the situation to the participants in detail and ofcourse Tiho and Daka will make sure to find a carlight road for us to cycle on. As we will often be cycling along rivers there should not be so big roads. Landmines: The areas where they remain are well known and Tiho will provide us with detailed maps, showing these area’s. In the recent history there was a lot of violence and people have enough of it. We should noot be having problems since the people are generally friendly and used to foreigners. Local Markets with (still old-style farmed, so No-Need-To-Say-Organic) Vegetables and Fruits can be found in large numbers.

The damn DAMs: According to info spread out to Bosnia, the EU has to close all Nuclear Powerplants till 2010. this will result in an enourmous lack of NRG and this is also the expressed reason for mainly one German company, MBB (which is the same German WEAPON FACTORY which produced the bomber plains which dropped bombs on Banja Luka.)to plan and lobby for the building of several dam’s in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia & Montenegro. (accordin to info from Germany, the people owning the Nuclear powerplants just signed a contract saying that the Powerplants will remain functional untill atleast 2030.) On the place Buk Bijela, a Dam from 125 meter high is planned, which will flood 12 KM from the by UNESCO protected, beautiful Tara Canyon. The German investor, invests $400 milion. the expected yearly income is $55 milion. from 30 till 50 years the German company will be receiving asll the electricity which will be generated and Germany will just pay $400.000 a year for this. Montenegro is the only country who has an Ecological constitution, so the attack on their nicest canyon is also an attac on their constitution. 99% from the inhabitants are against! Everybody is uniting against the dam; two universities of sience, two churches.. The Prime minister though says that NGO’s don’t know what they are talking about and doesn’t care about any public opinion. In Bosnia, less people are against because it is a good opportunity for jobs, even if only temporary.( the construction of the dam should take up to 5 years.) The cooperation between Montenegro and bosnia is rather difficult due to the long distance and means of communication. There is not one detailed place to find up-to-date info on the subject but a bit should be found at: There is also a Tara phote gallery, and Damn, I’m looking forward to go there;

Proposed Bosnian Route: comments on this route proposal Banja Luka, Jajce, Bugojno, Prozor, Konjic, Sarajevo, Dobro Polje, Srbinje, Gorazde visegrad and than cross the borders to Serbia. the estimated time for this stretch is 2 weeks.

Bosnian and Herzegovinan National Organisers:

MLADI ISTRAZIVACI BANJALUKE (Young Researchers of Banja Luka) Miodrag and Tihomir Dakic Mladena Stojanovica 2 78 000 Banja Luka Tel/fax: +387(0) 51 320 960 E-mail: SERBIA & MONTENEGRO

2. (Danube Introduction)

There was the idea from a few people from the Bakan Unity Ride to cycle down to the black sea. GTZ (germany) is collecting route-info along the whole Danube and is mapping this. A reason for choosing the southern route is that it is less hilly, so easier to cycle. We can basically choose between Mountains or the river. Their general idea was to go south towards Bucharest and that north to Moldova. It was just an idea, they didn’t find any local organisers yet.

Dirty rivers is a mayor problem in Serbia. (--> mayor clean-up actions) All kinds of fishing farmers made small sidebranches from rivers into their ponds full of poor fish and now these small rivers are standing dry. Also water “gets stolen” because water could be used for free in recent history but now some private companies decided to start selling this water.

Some time ago there was a big Environmental forum with about 50 NGO’s from Serbia, interested in river cleaning and management. Daka and Milan will find out about the contacts to these organisations and ask them what, how and where can Biketour help.

The problems in Bosnia and Serbia are local/national problems in areas where not so many tourists come. We have to keep this in mind before printing to many English fliers.

For the Serbian route we were thinking about some clean-up actions along the river Sava or Danube since we will be following them a significant opart from this years biketour.

Proposed Serbian Route: Uzice, Kosjeric, Valjevo, Ub, Obrenovac, Beograd and from here there are two options, the north or the south route with the Carpatian Mountainss (Romania) in the middle. South North Smederevo Pancevo Pozarevac Vrsac Veliko Gradiste ROMANIA Donji Milanovac Kladovo ROMANIA

Serbian & Montenergan National Organisers:

“YUGO CYCLING CAMPAIGN” Milan Boric. Andricev venac 2 11 000 Beograd Serbia E-mail: web:


The Romanian and Moldovan route stay open since we don’t have any organisers yet. we tried to estimate the distances of two routes, the north and the southone and they are very similar; around 1500 km from the western Romanian borders to the Ecotopia Gathering in Moldova.

Ideas to get locccal organisers in Moldova: - Roeland will ask EYFA and the Contacts from Vita - Use the EYFA list to call out for help. We suggested that Pippa would do this since she has nice writing skills, but if she doesn’t want Roeland will do it. - there were Moldovan people on the Wintermeeting from EYFA in PULA. Roeland will check.

Ideas to get locccal organisers in Romania: -Daniel Mourek has connections with the Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation -Johan (jone(at) has contacts to GTZ and they have several contacts with NGO’s in Romania,( probably mainly in the south.) -TPN still exists but with a total new crew, there were 2 participants on the EYFA wintermeeting in Pula which Roeland will contact and Viki will contact his ((ex)TPN) Romanian friends. -The Ecotopia Romania Association contact:, Karl said he will contact Paul for help. -Use the EYFA list to call out for help. We suggested that Pippa would do this since she has nice writing skills, but if she doesn’t want Roeland will do it. - Roeland Will ask Irina from EYFA.

3. Performance

There is the idea to encourage people to come to the starting point about 5 days earlier in order to prepare for the biketour in several ways: - a theathre play/ performance which can be played to attract general attention in places (town squares) where we would otherwise pass unnoticed. - making paniers, (we do need somebody to run this workshop) - Making banners - Checking your bike for safety workshop.

Biketour 2001 had “rinkydink” on their ride, Milan and Rasha will contact a guy in Bulgaria to find out how to make a pedal powered soundsystem and make it. Jan will try to stimulate people to meet on the EYFA wintermeeting in Ireland to think about theatre techniques. Milan and Rasha have got several contacts for people who do fire-shows. Street theatre: preparing food and giving it away to homelesses. A nice performance/direct action can be to paint bikelanes on the street. Making instruments-workshop from recycled materials. Maybe gat a professional Dummer teacher to learn us the basics, Rasha knows more people and will contact them. Janneke will be our International Performance Coordinator (be contacting thearte schools..?)

4. Theme

Up till now our main focus seems to be on Rivers. We heard about a Cianide spill (which is needed to extract gold from the mine) in Baia Mare, Romania into a river. so even though we don’t have NC’s for Romania, the rivers seem to attract the attention this year.

However, every country/ region can have a sub-theme, related to the main theme.

We played a bit around with “Uniting the Balkans” and rivers and came up with the following slogans: “Rivers know no borders!” “Rivers unite people!” “United river cleaners back to balkan!” “polution of rivers knows no borders!” Janneke will make a special wiki site with themes and slogans.

5. Web and outreach

All NC’s are going to check how much the printing costs are for Stickers, flyers and posters. We decided that last year there weren’t enough flyers so this year we want to take alot. ofcourse we need international biketour flyers in the languages from the countries which the BT 05 passes (+english) and local flyers addressing the local problems in less languages. We want a small flyer: “how to find us”, a foldable poster with background info about us and several different action announcement flyers ( can be similar lay-out design and changing language and text). We will use wiki as a tool to all work on the flyer-texts. New recyclable Biketour stickers with web-address. Design from stickers, posters, T-shirt’s, ect will be stimulated to be done by our mailing-list readers.

We used to have a static website and then we found out about “wiki” on the EYFA meeting in Pula and added a forum(EYFA) to the list of Biketour tools. We are planning to start a online database of info gathered by Biketours from the past and from the future. the Website address will also not be changing all the time but will remain on the same place from till over 50 years. we will pay a 40-80 euro fee for an unlimited webspace, every year, to Jan’s friend in Luxembourg. Jan wants to have a site with a wiki and a forum integrated into the :”normal” site. with a possibility where people can “log-in” and up/down-load pictures from internet even during the tour(s). There will be thousands of photo’s and with time and natural selection the nicest pictures will remain online.

Jan takes care about the TEST version from out website and finds help from others with ideas and design. Marek Burek offered to help with the design of this new and improved website.

The action informations will be in as many languages as possible but the general Biketour information is in English because the participants are supposed to have a basic knowledge of English.

Participant outreach: Stickers Biketour presentations (pippa and Ivsha gave a presentation in Zagreb and this resulted in aboutn 10 participants from Croatia last year!) Janneke, Roeland and Daka will give presentations about biketour. Arne and Uli already gave a presentastion on the “Jugend Umwelt Congress”.

Viki will maybe borrow us his T-shirt making equipment.

We think Jason meggs’ video is important. we would like to have 3 versions: -20-30 seconds for web and TV -10-15 minutes for presentiations - 30 min- as long as Jason wants, to not limit his artistic possibilities, will be shown at film-festivals:)

The old website is still being hosted by Janneke’s brother but he changed the password. Janneke will change add some texts and will also send Roeland the new password for the old webiste.

We have to find Rosa (from Celtic Safari) maybe Pippa or Mihail know where she is or how to contact her. we need her to give/sell us the redirect:

there has to be a call out for organisers on the web ASAP.

6. Money

There has to be more opneness in the money situation, more democracy. there are always problems with receipts.

(does EYFA still have our Pots?) roeland will find out.

If we will get funding or no, everybody will be looking for possibilities to raise Biketour funds in alternative ways. like parties.

We want more trailers!

How to spent left over money: Website for more years; Outreach material like recyclable stickers; Movie from jason meggs (500-600 euro)

In the train back to Vienna came up that we also wanted to use the leftover money to reimburse the meeting in studene, Czech Republic and this meeting in Beograd. (i didn’t see this in my notes but according everyone but me it was decided in the meeting) So people who need to get their travels reimbursed have to send their tickets from these meetings to World Carfree Network. We will reimburse 50% from the ticket and only if you send the ticket.

for the future meetings we will look (if there is any money left) at who is most needed at the meetings, like National Coordinators. Biketour as a real organisation? Where should it be located: Prague, nice and central in Europe and better funding opportunities. Will there be problems with WCN? we don’t think so. Maybe we can be a part of the struckture from EYFA and a membership organisation from WCN? We have to discuss this issue on Biketour 2005. We started from scrap in 2004. We didn’t have any reference exept old websites. We want to struckture (minimal) Biketour and archife our experiences to learn from in the future. We are the best networking tool for EYFA since we are “forced” to live close together, on biketour, the closest and long lasting connections will be made. We have to discuss our connection with EYFA, with EYFA. Daka will raise this issue on the wintermeeting (EYFA Board meeting) We already atre connecting more visibly with EYFA: we have a mailing list we will/can get email addresses. We always have 6 places for BT people on winter meetings.

8. HELP Roelie!

Roeland will make a special page on the wiki where everybody can add things that have to be done (txts that have to be written, banners that have to be made, etc) the things on this list can be done by everybody. when people are starting to work on a task, they will add this on the wiki.

We will start to use the “EYFA-CODECS” for e-mail subjects, Daka will send them to the list.

9. National Coordinators:

see the wiki: how to guides for a NC.

10. Ideas how to make BT better:

We want more trailers: two for food and pots and pans, one with a soundsystem, workshop material and one with spare parts. Everybody has to have the basic spair parts with them. the special tools and parts will be carried in a special trailer. Some people don’t know what to take, they are no cyclists but tourists. For this reson we need the bikerepair workshop in the begining. also, we need cycle groups, no isolation, since there are not so many bikeshops in Bosnia. Tiho will provide a list with contact details of all bikestores which we are coming close to. We could make printable checklists: “what to bring.” Maybe we need a “responsibility form” where people state that it is their own responsibility to have lioghts and insurance, etc. we can stimulate people to have health tests in the hospital butcan’t oblige them since they can cost quite some money. We can write a program on how to physically prepare for the Biketour. (last year an Austrian girl had to give up cause she couldn’t keep up with the group) We will recommend helmets; (most of the bicycle accidents resultin head injury.) People need to have some gears on their bike since they will be crossing some parts of the Carpatians. again we can’t oblige people to buy a new bicycle but have to trust that the people are now what they are doing. We realized that we could be scaring people when we put this info on the website, so we have to promise “future participants” that we will do our best to find the most nice route from Start to Moldova. (we will do so by testing the route) We have to have a snake bite workshop (: can the person who proposed this take care about this workshop?) The repetition of the bikerepair workshop is not our responsibility, it is the responsibility for the whole group, whichh will be divided into smaller working groups. whenever a newcomer arives, the small group has to ask a certain range of questions and have the task to prepare her/him. It would be nice if these small groups would set up a bikerepair workshop on a market place. Roeland already made a start on the how-to-guides for tasks and added them onto the wiki, please continue you all! We have to stimulate participants to prepare workshops. All new people are introduced to the group in the morning circle, after the introduction they will be asked to fill out a registration form so that we have enough information in case of an emergency. We also need to have a clear record of when and where people are ariving. Biketour desides on its own dayly schedule Put: “ideas to make BT better” on the wiki

11. timeline

Didn’t get this info...

12. Next meeting

Next meeting is important to have people from at least Romania. looking at the visa problem it is likely that the meeting will be in Serbia again. We are wondering about how long our stay is in Molova and wonder if we need a NC there... Our next meeting is set on 4-5-6 March and can be prosponned in case of no Romanian/Moldavian NC’s

Cluj 16.4.04

minutes fom the 16.4.04 - meeting in cluj find the to-do - list resulting from that meeting here


romania - 3 possibilities to enter :

we have to start earlier, we counted back from moldova with the thought to arrive at ecotopia ~10.8.,possibly starts the 7.8. when we start exactly depends on which route we take in the west of romania we will discuss that online and decide till next weekend - 26.4. - for the RO-side of the iron gates, that was no-go-zone during kommunism and during the war, so there is no infrastrukture at all - but a tarmac road - only 1 km gravel.

1) via the iron gate at the danube either go on the serbian side of the danube - enter RO the 11.7. or on the romanian side of the danube - enter RO at bela crvka 9.7. 12.-13.7. Baile Herculane 14. Baia de arama 15. Targu Jiu 16. Petrosani - here we have an easy pass with max 200m slope at one piece- i forgot the height

2) go along the danube in serbia, but leave it in RO the romanians prefer this version - it is shorter and has no pass and there is a city on the way, resita i think, whit an ecological hotspot, forgot which

12. bela crvka 13. Oravita 14. Resita 15. Caransebes

3. to Timisoara 13. marauita (Moravita?) 14. Timisoara 15. Lugoj

the danube - iron gate takes us the longest time, but i guess its worth it

then 17.18 Hunedoara / Deva/ Simeria 19 Sebes 20/21 Sibiu 23/24 Sighisoara 25. Odorhei 26. Miercurea Ciuc 27. Gheorgheri 28/29/30 Lacul rosu/ Bicaz 31. Piatra Neamt 3/4/5 Iasi 5. enter Moldova

a possible variation could be : 27/28/ Miercurea-Ciuc 30. Comanesti 31. Bacau 1. Roman 3/4/5/ Iasi

--it saves us one day, but the other way is nicer

moldova 5.8. - ~ 10 .8.

depending on a lot of things, like border controll times, visa availibility at the border, environmental ngos on the way ... - it is 200 km max. the moldavians will go back home and cosider the knowledge they gained here about biketour and will then decide about where to go and where to stay, where are ecological hotspots, local groups etc there is still a question about where to cross the border to moldova - north-east of iasi or more far southeast of iasi - at the second possebility we could purchase visa at the border, but its better to get them in advance, just that moldova does not have embassies everywhere - if we decide to go south, we arrive later at ecotopia,but that will be 2 weeks long, so that is not a problem

Ecotopia Gathering (according to our information from EYFA): 1-6 August: preparation camp 7-21 August: Ecotopia Gathering 2005 Location: North- West Moldova, Village Saharna, District Rezina, near the river Nistru (and near to Transdniestr)

promotion - media

we talked about a kind of media strategie : starting from a basic bt-pressrelease which will be written in english and translated to serbian and romania it will be send to all the local organising groups to use as template to announce bt we will haev a media space on the website, where this and all following pressreleases are stored and a good selection of pictures is uploaded to - maybe also interviews and videos we will then have the task press - someone will update the template pressrelease before/after every important thing we do - actions/ border crossing ... we will further have someone working in an office as external press person, spreading the release, when the bt-press-person updated something. this person must be sorted out, he/she will send out the release to national press and local groups which are willing to help. for romania this looks quite realistic to find such persons, how is it with bosnia and serbia ?


route testing : radu knows most of the RO route personally, and the rest will be know by friends of him - hosts of us - most of it is marked red on this map of the proposed RO cyclepath network - red means tarmac surface

very important and i forgot to stress this at the meeting in moldova the route must be tested !

the RO-accomodation/action search will be coordinated by radu, who is in a network of cycle/environmental ngos who he will ask to become regional organisers :)

there is still a question about where to cross the border to moldova - north-east of iasi or more far southeast of iasi - at the second possebility we could purchase visa at the border, but its better to get them in advance, just that moldova does not have embassies everywhere - if we decide to go south, we arrive later at ecotopia,but that will be 2 weeks long, so that is not a problem 

we need at least one mobilephone number per country, better 2, and they should be known before the tour starts and travel with the tour to be there, when we cross the border


- the first typo3-page is ready, jan will change the redirect this week. the design is still quite rough, and wiki and forum etc are still extern, we will integrate them and add functions in the next weeks - we will have a blog to make a online diary. this blog should be easy printable, we could then hang it up in for locals on actions or for our hosts - we could have a gps/mobile driven online map showing where we are and our route - alex/RO has experience with that in romania, he will check out, if that will also work internationally. if not,we could cheat a bit and put a map drawn online, which changes automatically every day - but this would be the planned route, not the real one - we will have a media section, which is easy accessible for media and also easy for us to put releases and photos, audio- or videofiles - we need lots of country information on the website -how to travel with a bike, money, visa, safety, insurance stuff, vegan foods ...- for RO this exists on, but its in german, jan will ask on the list if someone is willing to translate it - we need to ask the passportnumber from everyone in the registration from - so we can send a list of bordercrossers - names & ppno - to the border police some days in advance


do the text in english and translate it to the local languages, add country specific info -> theme who will write it ?


we need a promotion email soon - radu will do a romanian version to send to all his contacts as soon as we know the exact dates. who does an english and serbian version ?


- alex and gheorge from moldova will collect the info - possibly the visa regime for EU-citicens will fall in july - who is collecting that info for RO - serbia - bosnia ? - we need to ask the passportnumber from everyone in the registration from - so we can send a list of bordercrossers - names & - to the border police some days in advance


the local organisers do not consider their country especially dangerous - except while camping in the outscirts of big cities and as long as you do not give thives great opportunities ccn has experience with biketours in RO since 1992 and they did not make bad experiences apart from a guy staying behind and leaving his bellybag with important stuff on his bike while buying icecream so we should take care for each other and at night park our bikes in one big heap, maybe covered in a tarpolin


we have a 32.000 eur- application running at the eu, and a small one at x-minus-y - mainly for visa costs sponsorship is difficult - to ask local organisiers to ask mayors to ask local shops or farmers to give us something food, not money - might work in RO - big companies are often bad and what do we have to offer except to mention them on our website - it takes a lot of energy - but if you feel like doing it, go ahaed, just ask only good companies :) RO is more expensive than you might expect - 50 eurocents for a loaf of bread and 3-5 euro per person for professional accomodation in tourist regions - but surely we will try to get bt-discount, ask ngos and mayors and generally do not need luxuory stuff i found these hints on accommodations including a letter janneke wrote to our czech hosts last year - who would like to go over it and include our experiences from last year ?

theme suggestion

15th ecotopia biketour europe cycles east rivers don't know borders


rivers don't know borders the 15 th ecotopia biketour cycles east

for RO the focus will be more be to promote sustainable transport moldova does not know it now ecotopia is also thinking of having rivers (or water ?) as theme

Ecotopia Moldova August 2005

Here's all I remember from the meeting we had on Ecotopia with Randy from World Carfree Network . Add/change whatever you like.

The relation between biketour and World carfree Network

We agreed on that the situation will stay like it is. Officially, biketour will stay a project of World Carfree network. There will be an EVS volunteer working at WCN for biketour.

Money that is left from the participation fees

Finally we agreed... The suggestion was made that we could use the money as a nice gift to 2 people who have done a lot for biketour on the way. Then some people preferred that everybody would just get back a little part of the money that is left. Finally we decided that everybody will get the opportunity to get some money back from the leftovers from the participation fees. How much that is depends on the ecorate of the country and the time somebody joined biketour. (Joao calculated everything for each person, ask him) Then everybody can decide for themselves if they want to receive the money, or donate it (or partly) as a gift to a person or to the biketour fund for next year. The people who were still at Ecotopia already took their money if they wanted to. Monika said that she will be responsible for letting the others know and possibly for sending them the money (possibly together with a biketour cd-rom).

The EU grant

Biketour received a grant this year and we discussed about how to spend that money. As the outcome of the discussion, Randy made an excel sheet of the [budget]. There are also some (hopefully) clarifying notes. The sheet is still missing a lot of names from individuals and local groups that we wanted to give money, so if anybody knows any (Javier?), PLEASE ADD!

Continuation of biketour

World carfree network will apply for an evs position for an international coordinator. Depending on if we make it to the september deadline, the person could start in december or february. Suggestion: we can use the money from the EU fund as a loan to let the volunteer start earlier (like now). The EVS money can pay back for that next year. Apart from the international coordinator, there will be contact points in each country. The contact people try to help organising, keep themselves updated about what's going on, meet every month online and every 3 months face to face.

The permanent biketour will start in 2007.