Biketour 2015

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Organising Biketour 2015

Autumn/Winter meeting

To help make a decision on where the Autumn meeting will be held, please add your suggestions...

Here is a map with the possible locations:

  1. City
  2. Why hold it here?
  3. Drawbacks

  • Lituana
  1. Vilnius
  2. Venue used before by BT
  3. May have to pay for venue

  • Poland:
  1. Warsaw
  2. BT contact based there
  3. Not thinking to go through Poland in BT

  1. Poznan
  2. Feminist Social Centre
    Central location, cheap buses
  3. As above

  • Sweden
  1. Malmo
  2. Radical Theatre could be used as venue
  3. Expensive to get to

  1. Gothenburg
  2. BT participant based there. Female only-anarcho-feminist Sambaband
  3. Not accessible especially to those in South

  • Slovakia
  1. Bratislava
  2. Contact from BT 2014 based there
    More accessible to South/East participants
  3. Not a location for BT 2015

  • Denmark
  1. Copenhagen
  2. Large Social Centre just outside and small residential collective inside. Lots going on.
  3. Not such an easy location to get to from except Germany/UK - the dominant BT countries!

  • Finland
  1. Helsinki
  2. Sambaband. Strong anti-mining movement. Anarchist bookshop/infoshop
  3. It's a really awkward/expensive to get there.

New way of organising

In brief, we would suggest that the organising to be DECENTRALISED, made more HORIZONTAL and be more true to the VALUES and COLLECTIVE organisation aspired to on the Biketour itself.

  • Open and horizontal group
    • anyone can join (past organisers or
      participants, local and regional contacts etc.). In the best case at
      least 7 people would work together remotely from different locations.
  • The organisation process would start as soon as this year's Biketour
    ends so as not to lose momentum and so that there is a longer period of
    time to sort out the tour.
  • A start up group of a few people who know now that they wish to be
    part of an organising group would advertise for more people to join the
    group via the BT email lists and in the countries of the BT 2015 (with
    flyers etc). The Autumn meeting will be an opportunity for the group to
    meet and discuss how to go from there. We would propose that to make
    this organisational structure possible, the region will have to be
    decided soon, as well as a date for the Autumn meeting, in order to
    invite people from the region to the meeting and start with the
    collectivisation and decentralising of the organisation. We propose the
    long weekend from the 28th of November to the 1st of December. After the
    Autumn meeting, the preparation of the Biketour would start.
  • The work should be split into as small as possible tasks and managed
    in a tasklist, to make it as easy as possible to take on responsibility.
    The online organising could be simplified to one platform (potentially
  • Possibly, there could be a rotating system of people responsible for
    overseeing that there are no gaps in organising and for making roles
    clear. This is something that the organisation group would decide.
  • The group would communicate regularly online. Due to difficulties with
    the email server this year, the server will have be reviewed.
  • Visits could be made to projects/regions
    • funding for this and other
      expenses would be deciding as and when the money is needed, but no EVS
      money would be taken this year.


The suggestion has been made to go to Scandinavia and/or the Baltic states on next year's biketour.

Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus were also suggested as possibilities. If you have any ideas of projects to visit on in these regions, please add them below.

Insert non-formatted text here=== Suggestions for projects to visit next year ===

Copenhagen - a small residential collective with bike workshop inside the city (Bethlehem collective) and a large cultural and environmental collective outside of the city (Makvarket)

finland eco villages and
artist place are
enthousiastic about
our project and willing to help us.
if ferry prices affects route choice
we might be able to find 
local help in the form 

of a van and trailor to bord the ferry and

decrease the cost of 

individual bike transport

or/and participants could

old broken umbrellas material

and make 

a light compact bicycle bag taking the wheels off, and then carry it over the shoulder as a free luggage rather than a paying bicycle (this is the technique I use)


To be discussed!

Feedback from 2014

Here are the notes taken from the feedback session. Comic coming soon!

Notes taken during the feedback session in Athens on 29 September 2014

please contribute your points according to topic or open a new one if you think it is missing


We discussed the following topics in small groups

  • Cycling
Cycling continued
Cycling Summary
  • Tasks
Tasks continued
Tasks Summary
  • Group Dynamics
Group dynamics
Group dynamics continued
  • Projects
Projects continued
Group dynamics/projects Summary
  • Miscellaneous
Everything else
Misc Summary

Inspiration for 2015 and thoughts from the peanut gallery

I thought you'd enjoy the story of Ethan Hughes and the super hero ride across the US--. Or just search for 'Ethan Hughes' and 'possibility alliance' or 'haul of justice'. A bunch of people set off across the US on bicycles, dressed as superheros, with a goal of helping whoever needed help--regardless of social/economic status or whether the help-needed was "conventional" (changing a flat tire of a car, building a traditional building) or more eco-friendly. Ethan and others have since founded an electricity-free, fossil-fuel-free farm in missouri called "the possibility alliance".

Also-- it occurred to me that you probably don't need total decentralization, just better distribution and variety of centralized and decentralized experiences. Perhaps have a meeting location like La ZAD where everyone could gather and stay for a week and then plan the rest of the ride. So the first half (month) of ecotopia could be smaller groups getting themselves to the meeting location. The second half could be organized based on input of anyone who manages to get themselves to the meeting location. In a way that might be like going back to how ecotopia started-- a bike ride to a gathering. The cargo bike collective in Vienna seemed particularly well informed about various bike-related gatherings happening in 2014 (everyone seems to invite them to any bike-related happening). They knew of a week or two long bike-related gathering or bike circus happening somewhere in bulgaria or romania. I met them at Pedala Fest in Zagreb in June. Consider also what ecotopia might be like without any funding. Maybe that funding actually causes some problems that wouldn't exist otherwise.

Speaking for myself-- I made it to the 2014 organizing meeting but not the ride, and managed to participate in part of Velokarawane-- I probably cannot tolerate a very centralized trip structure. I like that BT appears to sign a route so that everyone need not stay together the whole day. I would often leave and rejoin Velokarawane to get enough "decentralized" or personal time. I found it hard to go from long-term solo travel to spending a lot of time in a group. Hence my proposal of making ecotopia more of a gathering in one place (for at least part of it) once more. I have no idea whether I'll be able to participate much in 2015. But I wonder how these rides can be managed to avoid burnout and to encourage repeat participation. If the main goal were to encourage european bike and car-free culture might the result be something different than a two-month long bike ride?

Also--wouldn't it be cool if there could be a summer gathering of bike tours--Velokarawane, ecotopia, and even the more formal paid ones--cycling alternatives? -- plus a travelling bike circus or band or two?