Pressrelease06 eng

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Press Advisory:

Multicultural group cycles from Lithuania to Croatia

Bike-it-yourself-tour: the Ecotopia Biketour 2006 comes to ###(placename) promoting sustainable transportation and do-it yourself-livestyle

Photo Opportunity

A group of 20-50 cyclists from all over Europe will arrive in ###(name of the town) on ###(date). The cyclists started their travel in Siauliai, Lithuania and are on their way to Split in Croatia.

Slow is beautiful! With that motto the group will start on 18th of June in Siauliai, Lithuania and it will take them 7 weeks of cycling through Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia to reach the annual ecological gathering Ecotopia in Zajeska. For the first time in its 16th years history, it will not end at Ecotopia camp but will continue for another 5 weeks full of cycling, international exchanges and environmental actions through Hungary, Slovenia, to end in Croatia on world carfree day - 22 of September.

This year the tour will focus on the "do-it-yourself"(DIY)-idea as opposed to the consumerism dominating western culture. Things you did yourself are much more valuable than things you bought - vegetables grown in your own garden taste better than those grown abroad, if you sew your own clothes you will like them better than those produce by underpaid workers in asia, and distances you did bike make you more happy than when you drive them. As then effects of consumerism destroys the ecological fundaments our society is resting upon, the Biketour promotes a DIY-lifestyle, shows that it is possible and teaches DIY-skills in several workshops on the way.

Apart from reaching Ecotopia in an environmentally friendly way, one aim of the Bike-it-yourself-tour is to show the world that cycling is more than just recreation. It is a means of transport we have to take into serious consideration, even for long distances. The participants want to point out the many disadvantages of the endless growth of car-based traffic and at the same time show the most sustainable and enjoyable alternative. Although the group is most often camping out, they do not need any support vehicles, because tents, cooking equipment and everything else they need is taken on the bikes and in trailers. On the other hand they take care that food and other necessities are bought local - produced as biological as possible.

Thus the biketour is the living picture how good life can be if you take the time to use your own power to do your daily distances. How much deeper the contact to your surrounding is when you are not closed in in a car and its high speed, how much more you experience, how much more you learn. That you & your bike can carry the things you need when you concentrate on the necessary things. If it is possible for a group of travellers to live in a ecological sound way it is possible for society also ! As part of the World Carfree Network the biketour promotes non-motorised solutions to the transport problem of the daily life and a respectable, not destructive way of tourism.

In the countries that will cross, the biketour is visiting groups that are working on traffic and environmental issues in their area and together they will organise activities, like discussions, workshops and actions, focused on the promotion of sustainable transport, green tourism and a sustainable way of living. Participants who are active in environmental organisations all over Europe and local activists get the possibility to exchange knowledge and experiences. Participants will join the DIY street party in Lithuania, participate in anti-via Baltica highway protest in Poland, harvest vegetables themself on an ecofarm in Slovakia and join dozens of workshops on art activism in Ecotopia!

The biketour is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, the idea was born in 1989. Visitors to the first Ecotopia in Freiburg/Germany wanted to reach this special place in a special environmentally-friendly way. Now the biketour has grown into an event in itself, organised by volunteers almost every year. The organisation during the tour is in the hands of all participants, who make decisions and divide tasks together. Everybody who is interested in participating, whether it is for several days or for six weeks, can join.

we would need more comments here - a local organiser, a national organiser maybe
  • "I like the combination of activism, travelling, education and fun."
    • Pippa/UK, participant from previous years
  • "It's the best way to learn about the places we cross, meeting nice people and showing how complete bikes can be.""
    • João/Portugal, participating for the 3rd time

See www.thebiketour.net for more details about this celebration of sustainable transportation and lifestyle.