Biketour 2013

From Ecotopia Biketour Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


These are the "Berlin Base"'s working groups for the most urgent organisatory stuff until the Kick-Off days. Some of the groups use sections below or subpages as their work base.

Please don't just skip this section if you're not in Berlin, but think about how you can still contribute - especially if you arrive a few days earlier! The Groups with a * behind them are those that you can easily join to work with online!

  • Booklet Group: Collecting content, layouting, printing *
  • Material Group: Get, order, pick-up, transport material to Kick-Off Days Place
  • Kick-Off Days Group: Design the Programme, contact partners for collaboration
    • Kick-Off Days Food Sub-Group: Organise food for Kick-Off Days, start of the tour and genereal stocks (e.g. fair coffee, spices, grains...?), transport food to Kick-Off Days Place
  • Maps Group: Collecting, preparing, scanning or printing detailed road maps from regions of the route *
  • Food Research Group: Put together a list of oportunities for buying seasonal, local and/or organic food along the whole route (and maybe even pre-order food to pick up on the way) *
  • Media Group: Organising nice films, books, etc. for us to take along *
  • Translation Group: Coordinating necessary translation work and some doing it *
  • Propaganda Group: Designing and Printing our Print Material; thinking about ways to document the tour *
  • Mapping Group: Brainstorming and organising ways of using the medium "map" more on this year's tour in order to express our experiences (besides blogging, painting, podcasting, filming, etc.) *
  • FLOSS Group: Doing everything possible until July to improve our ICTs a bit

Create and join further possibe further Working Groups!

  • Accommodate early arrivers
  • Fundraising: Writing applications *, soli-parties and soli-events *
  • Theme Group: Thinking more about what "borders" can mean, what/how to learn about it and how it could be dealt with *
  • ...

So far...

12 people from the Europe wide Biketour Collective met in Berlin in the snow for the annual Winter Meeting. You can read the agenda and a summary of the minutes here...

As you can see from these pages, many things are still up for debate- so if you have some ideas - make your self a login and add them to the relevant pages or contact and remember 'You are the Biketour!!'

So why another Biketour??

  1. Because we believe in DIY, slow travel and Doing it Ourselves!
  2. Because we have a 23 year legacy of creating incredible experiences / skills sharing / self organising / experiential education ... and we want to do it again!
  3. Because we want to use our energy and momentum to further the campaigns that matter to us most
  4. Because we want to learn from the existing social and activism projects that are happening all over Europe NOW!
  5. Because we want to make things happen - and believe we can do that together
  6. Because you know it will be the adventure of 2013!

This Years Theme


Brainstorm from the recent Winter Meeting:::::

  • WHAT; Migrant Struggles; Fortress Europe; physical borders and ownership of space; social; psychological; on and offline borders; the virtual and cultural borders.
  • HOW; by having a strong focus(s) on what we can achieve; being sensitive to local border perception.Visiting historical and modern day border struggles and traces.
  • Action suggestions raged from joining up with existing actions such as the Berlin Wall / East Side Gallery or refugee protests; creating moc border control points; bespoke passports; comparing policies; finding commonalities and sharing skills and cultures, stories; recording and documenting them as radio / video / blog posts and e-activisim tactics.
  • Slogan words brainstorm: commons / community / borders, boundaries and beyond / recycling borders / rethink borders / cultural exchange /granica, hranic, Granit, Grenze, granični / mapping, remap borders /reclaim / open (your borders, boundaries) / identities / identify your borders/boundaries / .. of the commons / geh an deine Grenze(n)! / Allmende / iron wheels / limits / crossing / terre / pedal movement / paddle / libre (freedom) / movement (body, social)

We have a consensus about 'Borders, Boundaries and Beyond' as a (broad) theme, but need to focus snappy slogan and focus one one or some of the above suggestions, depending on the projects and campaigns we wish to highlight for 2013.

  • Some Suggestions about Discussions or Reflections on Borders:
    • the dialectics / relations between borders (peripherie) and their centers
    • ....

Biketour 2013 is cycling for a slogan!

We are looking for a slogan, preferably something positive and imperative eg "cycling towards degrowth!"

Check out some ideas on the 2013 Slogan page

Route Ideas

This year the tour is likely to

  • start in ((north)/northeastern Germany (most likely Berlin, but could also be somewhere at the coast)
  • end somewhere in the wide region between the adriatic and the carpathian mountains, between the tatra and northern dinaric alps

This rough decision was taken during the Winter Meeting 2013. During the following month, the route will be concretised in order to have "skeleton".

See the 2013 route page for

  • ideas for places to visit, routes, contacts (add yours, too!)
  • maps with route ideas and existing 'borders'

For projects and places off the 2013 route - you can add them here: Other Route Ideas Page - 2014?

2013 Aims

There have been many discussions about Aims & Sub Campaigns that the BT wish to support ...some of thoses can be added here.

Kick-off days

Our Kick off days in Berlin are fast approaching!! And will be held in (or near to) Berlin 12th - 15th July 2013....

Suggestions for workshops during these days:: (or workshops during the tour en route)

Tools for change:

  • Facilitation workshop /
  • decision making processes: in groups, in stressy situaitons ("quick decision making"), by consensus
  • Tools for action workshop
  • Popular Education workshop
  • Games / energisers / moral boosting!
  • Workshop planning
  • Action planning
  • Non-hierarchical organisation
  • non-violent communication

Biketour History / Future

  • Ecorates and solidarity economics
  • What is the Biketour
  • Reflections of last year
  • Organising Ourselves: BT 2013 structure

Borders in Berlin:

  • Historical (Bike) tour of the Berlin Wall / Berlin; highlighting what's usually not mentioned in history books
  • Film screening of the 2013 Refugee Revolution Caravan project with discussion
  • Film screenings (Borders / activism in Eastern Europe)
  • 100% Tempelhof project (gardens) (gentrification) (anti urban development)
  • Workshop on Critical Cartography
  • Berlin Anti Eviction campaign
  • Coincide with existing bike or border event.....?

Bikes bikes bikes:

  • Bike repair / maintanance workshop
  • Regenbogenwerkstatt?
  • Kopi Bike welding fridays
  • Schwarzer Kanal Bike workshop
  • Spontaneious City Critical Mass
  • Link up with Bike Surf Berlin [1]

Practical stuff:

  • Rocket stove workshop
  • First aid workshop / course? (Red Cross, THW, etc.?)

Lets get Visible!:

  • Screen Printing BT t-shirst Kopi / Rauchhaus
  • Making banners / materials
  • Improve your Bike

Meeting up with others:

Visiting Projects: - also possible host / workshop spaces Plattenladen Lanterne Rouge friedel / f54 Kesselberg Kopi squat Schwarzer Kanal Wagenplatz Bethanien House project New Yorck 59 Rauchhaus Tempest Library ((ZEGG)) Funkhaus Grünau

Berlin Border Groups: Forderverein Karawane e.v Ak – undocumentierte Arbeit Reach Out Berlin Antidiskriminierungsbüro Kein Mensch ist illegal Fight Racism Now Women In Exile Blokupy Berlin Womens Bike Project Berlin schnittselle Die Karawane Schulerinner woller mehr Kampagne für Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt Libertad! e.V. ABC Berlin ARI Antirassistische Initiative Initative gegen Abschiebehaft Corasol

Berlin DIY Bike Projects Rainbow Factory hubSchrauber - die Fahrradfakultät Bike Surf Berlin Uni Rad ADFC Bike Aid Les Lanternes Rouges Rad Container Berlin cargo bike network Berlin Bamboo Bikes

Keep then coming ......!

Things needed for biketour

Collective Equipment

Biketour as a collective "has" some collective stuff (pans / trailers), which are collectively transported and used during the tour. During the rest of the year, these things are stored in different places and should all come together again by the start of the next tour. Things used in 2012 and planned to use in 2013 can be found on the 2013 Equipment page. Please update this page with the things you have and write how they can get to the starting point of the tour!

Private Stuff

Every individual joining the tour will have to use some private stuff. See page what to bring for ideas about what participants need.

Additional things

The tour lives from its different people and all the (material and immaterial) things that these people bring and share. On the 2013 Equipment page you can announce what kind of additional things you will bring to the tour. This can help us to make sure in advance that we won't find ourselves in the strange situations of having 25 guitars but no single bike pump ;). You can also find some inspirations on what to bring.


Food on the Biketour cannot be bought beforehand for and transported over more than two months. We need to buy things in between. It is always challenging to get food that matches criteria like vegan, local, ecolocical, no-cooling-needed, nutritous and from a production/distribution facility worth supporting. Help us to spot places beforehand on our 2013 Food page!

Media (Films, Books, ...)

Watching films and reading books/(maga)zines/etc. can help us understand certain local histories and backgrounds. Here's 2013 Media Library where you can collect all media that you think is useful for the understanding of the regions we pass through or this years theme. (Or just for sharing your favorite film/book...). It would be great if you could take the media with you that you put on the wiki, but of course someone else can get them, too.

Print Material On the Road

  • 2013 Booklet: including schedule, description of places
  • small language book
  • maps?
  • stickers?

check and keep BT_2013_advertising_material updated :D


  • Where to publicize it
    • some ideas on last year's page [Biketour 2012]
    • put new ideas here!

Get involved!

See the website's Get Involved Page [2] for common things to help with. If you pick one or come up with something new: Down here is space to organise or share your work with others!

Creative Work


We are always looking for translators - if you spreak the local language of any of the places we willl be passing through - please get in touch: info[at] or see the 2013 Text that needs translating page.

2013 Funding

We are currently seeking funding towards the 2013 Biketour See the Fundraising page

On the tour: Topics for Discussions or ad-hoc workshops

  • Making a Rocket Stove
  • Offline and online life: Why do so few people care about their online behaviour even though they are very stricly supporting alternative ways of living offline and even though they are socio-critical in the offline world?
  • Online Security and the Right to Informational Self-Determination
  • Corporate Design: Do we also need this? Or should we as critical and alternative people reject the idea that a neat, sterile, clean and reproducible logo should "brandmark" all our publications and even daily items? Do we limit our ways of artistic expressions by trying to produce recognisable media? What are the general psychological rules behind (corporate) design and why does it play a big role in capitalism?
  • Anti-Advertisement Activism
  • First Aid
  • Samba
  • Action Training
  • Language Basics
  • Organic Agriculture Basics
  • Bike Maintenance
  • Facilitation of Group Meetings and Concensus Decision Making
  • Majority Decisions vs. Consensus; Consensus vs. Consent
  • Reflective Language and non-violent communication
  • How to self-organise?
  • Forms of Solidarian / Alternative Economy
  • De-Growth
  • Mapping / Critical Carthography
  • Pro Border vs. No Border: Successionism and Cosmopolitanism in the Left
  • ...
  • ...

Archive of Mailing List Communications

Travel plans and advice

After the Tour

Ecotopia Biketour 2013: notes from the final circle

To conclude this amazing trip, on October 1st, we held a circle at the Casa de Cultura Permanenta in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Below is a summary of what we discussed. Any contributions to this discussion are welcome :)

What went well

  • Route: well planned distances and places; borders/ minority communities linked well with the theme
  • Projects: well researched, good contacts
  • Organisation: adaptability, especially when in a large group; project liaison teams worked well with handover and sharing of responsibility
  • Theme/ activism: worked well in the last few weeks of the tour especially, with links to workshops and activism to existing groups and demos in the city.
  • Food: quite resourceful, especially in areas with farms; tasty!
  • Materials: resourcefulness with making/ acquiring cooking equipment, e.g. rocket stoves; good and sufficient
    • >> good mix of nice people and lots of respect

What could have been done better

  • Route: shorter cycling days to be more inclusive/ make biketour more accessible; more rest days in countryside rather than cities
  • Projects: better to spend more time at each project so we can really contribute
  • Organisation: booklet with project info, etc., would have been useful at the beginning of the tour; shorter route and longer in projects would give people more time to recuperate from cycling and then plan/ do workshops, activism and work on internal organisation
  • Theme/ activism: had some missed opportunities; again, longer stops would free up time for workshops on theme, etc.; more encouragement of people to have workshops prepared before biketour begins; some time at the beginning of the trip, not in a city, to plan workshop, do skillshares and have time to self-organise more effectively
  • Food: quite resourceful, especially in areas with farms; tasty!
  • Materials: could make more use of digital resources to share and distribute amongst ourselves and projects we visit, e.g. films on USB sticks
  • Blog/ media: communal hard drive, gather resources in advance; communal computer may mean more people contributing to blog and to have audio/ video editing capabilities
    • >>too little talking about values and important community stuff in the whole group (i.e. ‘community’)
    • >> principles were often left aside or compromised; more consistency with biketour principles needed i.e.
  • shopping habits, rubbish
  • group dynamics
  • transport (flying)
  • self-sufficiency, DIY, low impact, non-monetary recomp
  • awareness about food; quality, nutrition, sources

Other observations:

  • we cycled from Berlin to Cluj in time!
  • lots of people were interested and came on the tour
  • schedule was ‘rushy’; not more than one thing/ event/ agenda point per day
  • too few local participants/ native speakers of countries further away from Germany
  • theme was not well communicated/ confusing, not enough focus within the group and among projects regarding the theme; more of a clear message next year? Focus on theme, especially when choosing projects; schedule more workshops/ sessions about theme
  • spontaneity better than structure
  • quality of experience cannot be planned; more ‘empty space’ on the schedule may mean more trust and flow
  • more facilitation/ delegation and less “responsibility”
  • more wild camping = more silence, less stress
  • cities: pros = connections with people, private space; cons: stress, dispersion of group members so harder to do things together

Why another biketour?

  • “tradition”?
  • ambition to do criticised things better next year
  • using the potential of the biketour community to support local activist groups, before, during and after
  • open minds that are still closed…

What are our aims and how can we achieve them?

  • live in a mobile intentional non-hierarchical community
  • be a point of entry for people into a consensus based/ alternative way of living
  • interaction with an contribution to communities
  • lots of personal learning experiences
  • more cross-border friendships
  • tighten leftist/ alternative networks in Europe and beyond
  • challenge ourselves in new environments and face other phenomena/ social problems
  • promote the “biketour way of life”/ travelling further
  • more environmentally friendly travel
  • focus on the theme
  • lower aims (?) to begin with, concentrate on sharing/ experiencing rather than being disappointed with lack of ‘activism’ for example
  • more time/ space to reflect and discuss topic/ theme
  • informal learning and skill sharing
  • balance of activist tourism = actively contributing to projects/ people we vist and doing actions
  • research tools for large groups in meetings to ease discussion and decision making processes
  • be conscious of how we present the biketour, make it clear what we aim to achieve/ do; possible name change…?
  • more working groups during tour, which could also exist within coordination group before tour starts
  • plan actions before tour; what kind of actions would be relevant and effective?
  • focus on/ find out about specific campaigns linked to theme ot engage in and be more inclusive
  • have a few sets of single/ double days booked in for workshops and find out in advance what people want to learn and what skills we can share as a biketour

Presentation(s) about the 2013 Ecotopia Biketour

Notes from a presentation given in NOV2013 in Thessaloniki. They can be altered and used for other presentations elsewhere


  • community group:
    • not a formal group. We meet as individuals at the beginning of and during the biketour, and it's changing all the time during the tour.
    • living communally, intentionally trying to create a mobile, flexible intentional community.
  • non-hierarchical:
    • we use consensus decision-making and have 'circles' to make practical decisions and plans, and to have discussions about the way we want to live, e.g. ethical consumption, how we use money, gender roles, efficiency vs. space to learn. Mood circles occasionally to check on individuals' feelings. which usually happen every few days. Announcement circles in the morning/ evening to fill in information gaps between longer circles.
    • shared responsibilites/ DIY ethic: teams for food, route, trailers, thank yous to hosts, handling money, blog/ media, actions, etc.
  • solidarity economics:
    • anonymous donations according to means. anyone can come, no one should be excluded because of financial matters.
  • sustainability and 'leave no trace':
    • responsible consumption; all communal meals are vegan & aim to source food from local producers.
    • use of rocket stove to cook without fossil fuels
    • chalk/ sticks/ stones used to make arrows to mark route
  • workshops to share skills and explore issues:
    • discussions and workshops on theme (this year on borders), gender, facilitation & consensus, identity, critical mapping, bike maintenance
    • films brought on hard drive/ USB stick to show and share when facilities available
  • sleeping places:
    • exchanging practical work for hospitality at projects and squats
    • wild camping
  • meetings for organising BT held in autumn and spring, communication globally via BT org & participants list + wiki pages

[showed photos of foraging for fruit, cooking & eating together, using the rocket stove, circles, BT arrow, wild camping spots]


  • description of route from berlin to cluj
  • decided over time with input from participants past, present & future
  • followed iron curtain trail & curved through former yugoslavia to fit with theme of borders
  • attention drawn to bosnia/ croatia/ serbia section, learnt a lot about history of this region

[photos of landscapes, people cycling!]

  • projects:
    • squats we visited or stayed in: belgrade, berlin, novi sad, ljubljana, prague, zagreb, maribor
    • eco farms: stanciova in romania, longo mai in austria
    • art project in slovenia
    • bike kitchens: zagreb, berlin, vienna, prague, belgrade
    • protests/ activism camps: rosia montana, lausitz climate camp, anti-deportation demo in vienna, oranienplatz refugee camp
    • other: zegg, der winckel, roma children's playday in usti nad labem, bad eisenkappel

[photos from projects, etc.]


  • emphasised that ideas are welcome for next year's tour