2010 evaluation

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England & Wales

Who has the notes from the evaluation meeting of UK that we had when we arrived in Le Havre? At worst we could remember what we said + type it in here.

One thing that was agreed all round was that the ENGLAND/WALES ROUTE was AMAZING.

Final Biketour evaluation meeting 2010 minutes follow..... very hard for me to write these up (not just because of people's handwriting!), there was a lot of conflicting suggestions so I have tried to collate them into something understandable... (laura)

Route

  • 10 days in Le Havre: it was great to be able to help set up the camp, to not pack up our stuff everyday and, most particularly, to have time to prepare our own actions. BUT this was too long a stop in the middle of biketour for many people, especially those who only joined the tour there (the number of people went from 6 to 20, and the group split quite a bit as people went off cycling to join back with the group when it started to move daily again).
  • 30km is too short for a day because people took their time in arriving & weren't on time for meetings in the evening... to go further in a day is more satisfying & can bring the group together. (overall, we had many unforeseen 65km days)
  • A lot of the countryside was industrialised, not wild enough. Cycling through these countries was often not so beautiful, but good for recruiting new faces - we met a lot of other cyclists :D
  • highlighting the route on a map & putting it out for people to check it & copy it onto their own maps in advance is really great!! Having photocopied maps (double-sided) were great.
  • Good that most days we had the option to go on velo routes / bicycle paths, or on a mainroad. The entry gates on bike paths in England were seriously bad, as were the cobblestones on bike paths in Belgium.
  • Having a route working group is a good idea to avoid route discussions elongating circles (ie. to propose the way(s) and where to have lunch, etc.)
  • Having people who know the route could set the pace to cycle to, for everyone to cycle together. However, the people in front should have a 'maximum' speed so that people don't get left behind if trying to ride together.
  • Finding camping spots on-the-go worked Very Well - even though we were in France. The first ones to arrive around a designated village looked around or asked for a place to camp. People happily gave us access to water.
  • Make realistic plans regarding where we plan to sleep: ie. Calais, the only place the previous point caused chaos.
  • So much diversity with the sleeping spots was great - wild camping, housing projects, squats, social centres, festivals, farms and protest sites! Great how everyone came together to camp every night in one place. Only bad comment was camping next to all the cars at the Permaculture festival in Nethen - something to feedback into their own evaluation!)
  • Nice to be flexible in changing the route. ie. going to the actions in Brussels!
  • Having a Belgian co-ordinator would have been nice, or at least having the maps/route we expected (clear communication needed, and for regional organisers to be willing at least willing to contact the organised sleeping places).
  • Three cheers for our active regional co-ordinators!!! Mark, Guillaume & Marcha! Hip Hip Hooray!!!
  • Three cheers for our hosts who were all lovely and welcoming.


  • The amount of food that was skipped/dumpster-dived/recycled/picked/foraged/blagged/donated was incredible. When people were active in collecting food in creative ways instead of buying, we spent VERY LITTLE ON FOOD. One of the best moments was when in small groups or individually, everyone, not just the dinner-/breakfast-/lunch-teams, had collected food instead of buying. The diversity of food that we got from bakeries, festivals, forests, farms & bins was incredible. Feeding the biketour is VERY FEASIBLE in expensive countries: there is a lot of excess there.

Group Dynamics

Content

Planning/organisation

Overall/Feelings

Next Biketour

There are a lot of suggestions for future biketours already above and a lot of wisdom in the evaluations that are on this wiki from previous years (09, 08) too. We had separate discssions on specific route and theme for 2011, see here: [1]