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Prague, 2006

Dear Friends

I am writing on behalf of the Ecotopia Biketour 2006 organizing team to ask whether you would be interested in supporting our project.

The Ecotopia Biketour began in 1990 as a way for people to travel to the Ecotopia Gathering, using the most sustainable form of transportation, the bicycle, and has already taken place fourteen times. This year's Biketour starts in Šiauliai (Lithuania) on 18 June, going through Poland, Slovakia where it will take part on the Ecotopia Gathering in Zajezka, a rural community in central Slovakia. After the end of Ecotopia the group will continue through Hungary, then Slovenia and then go to Croatia where it will end on a big celebration of World Carfree Day on 22 September. For about 4 months, it unites approximately 60 young people from across Europe, interested in sustainable transport and current ecological issues. We cycle together on an international journey, co-operating with local groups and NGOs that are also working on sustainable transport and ecological issues. We will cook organic vegetarian/ vegan food and reduce, reuse and recycle our waste.

The overall objectives of the Ecotopia Biketour are: ---to promote sustainable transport; ---to support grassroots sustainable transport groups; ---to give an alternative to the usual fly-into-the-sun-holiday-scene

The Ecotopia Biketour is also an excellent opportunity for increasing European and intercultural integration in a sustainable way. The Ecotopia Biketour is created to a large extent by its participants working together on all tasks: repairing bikes, cleaning the camp, buying/ cooking food, discussing and solving common problems that might arise and living as a mobile, sustainable community. The Ecotopia Biketour envisages that strong personal empowerment, friendships, and important international connections will be made during this time, leading to closer ties across Europe.

The Biketour is not a commercial cycling action. The goal of the tour is not to make money. We wish to popularize cycle transportation and raise public awareness on ecological problems. The organizers of this Biketour are not professional travel agencies, but members of environmental and sustainable transport organizations and friends of nature.

Its participants who pay a daily participation fee mainly finance the food. This is graded after the ecorates-system, so that those from wealthier countries subsidies those from less wealthy countries. However, substantial costs still arise for those participants from less wealthy countries for example because of the price of transport to the starting destination, and because of the costs of visas that might be needed.

During Ecotopia Biketour the average traveled distance per day is 60km. Sleeping will be arranged in gyms, barns, campsites and hostels, food prepared by the bikers themselves. Everybody can only take the luggage which she/he can carry on her/his bike, as there will be no car coming along with us. If the recommended route is used, participants will mainly cycle away from busy roads. Although on the way we will see some of the main cultural and historical sites, more importantly we will take part in activities organized in cooperation with our partner groups to draw people's, politicians' and journalists' attention to the regional environmental problems along our route, often caused by non-sustainable means of transport.

Biketour can only be realized if we find enough support, in the shape of time, materials and funding from external sources. Therefore we want to make a friendly request for you to help us support our project. We would like to ask you especially to help us get a nice route and a political active agenda so that we can help your local or national struggles with an international bike-group.

Maybe some of you are already familiar with the Ecotopia Biketour as it already passed on Poland more times. Biketour’s history really shows it is a great experience to be on.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining your activities with our project.

If you deside negative, can you please forward this mail to your friends and partners in Poland.

Thank you in advance,

We hope to have sufficiently informed you about our project and mainly we hope that you are interested in coordinating a part of the tour.

If there are more questions:

About Biketour; visit www.thebiketour.net. contact us at info@thebiketour.net

About The Ecotopia Gathering; http://www.eyfa.org/ecotopia

yours sincerely,

João Lopes

International Coordinator Ecotopia Biketour 2006




World Carfree Network

Kratka 26

100 00, Prague 10

Czech Republic