The Ecotopia Biketour will move from Northern England, through France, Belgium, (maybe the Netherlands briefly) and Germany. See the rough route on googlemaps It will be about 1600km long, which is shorter than last year's and we'll take a little more time to do it (a bit over two months). (Hopefully it's an improvement...ah, don't you love learning from lessons!)
Places + events + dates we are planning for so far:
Pre-Biketour week a few events happening in London that you might want to come along to if you arrive in London before Friday:
General meeting place and 'home' for us in the week is the arts organisation that Mark works at: Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6AB
- Map and directions at http://www.artsadmin.co.uk/toynbeestudios/
- Going on all week is the Interference project http://www.artsadmin.co.uk/education/project.php?id=299 which has a fixed group so we can't join in, but there are extra things going on in connection to it that we can take part in, especially the evenings and on Friday.
- At Artsadmin there are free showers (and there's a cafe but it's a bit expensive)
Sunday 20 June
- Laura and Wouter arrive in London to stay with Mark and have a nice time in London, finish a million last things for organising BT 2010, do some t-shirt, flyer, sticker and patch printing and get our equipment together!
Monday 21 June
- 1800 - Climate Camp London action in central London - Bloody Oil! Drum it Out! http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/local-groups/london
Tuesday 22 June
- 1900-2100 - free workshop on Twitter for activists -The Tweet Smell of Success http://just-do-it.org.uk/twitter-training-for-activists
Wednesday 23 June
- Daytime - some of us might be going to near Heathrow Airport to meet Grow Heathrow http://www.transitionheathrow.com/grow-heathrow
- Evening - meeting about BT 2010 budget, and maybe a cinema night at the Ratstar
Thursday 24 June
- Daytime - maybe a lot of people are arriving today - come to Artsadmin to meet up in the Brick Room and find out what jobs we need you to do!
- 1900-2200 - free Interference activist artist film night in the Theatre at Artsadmin with food and drink.
- Go to our sleeping place in Camberwell together - The Ratstar, 298-300 Camberwell Road, London SE5 0DL - 6km from Artsadmin
Friday 25 June - the day that Ecotopia Biketour 2010 really starts!
- Daytime - taking part in the last day of Artsadmin's Interference project, building our own portable rocket stove, screenprinting t-shirts and flags, and fixing up our bikes with some visiting mechanics.
- 1800 London Critical Mass! meet at the South Bank, under Waterloo Bridge southern end, 4km from Artsadmin and the Ratstar. Critical mass gathers from 1800 but usually doesn't leave until 1900 so don't worry if you're running late.
- Go to the Ratstar
Saturday 26 June
- Quick group meeting to organise food and travel, introductions, clarify what we're doing today and in the next few days.
- 1000 first group leaves the Ratstar to go to Kings Cross station.
- We are travelling on 3 different trains in groups of 5 from London Kings Cross to Darlington leaving at 1130, 1200 and 1600
- We are arriving at Darlington station between 1400 and 1830, and will be met be people from the Darlington Cycle Campaign http://bikedarlington.blogspot.com/ and Darlington Friends of the Earth http://darlingtonfoe.blogspot.com/ who will cycle the 10km with us to our first sleeping place Clow Beck Eco Centre http://www.clervaux.org.uk/index.php?s=farm&a=68&p=main, where we will cook for ourselves and watch the film 'Beauty and the Bike'. http://www.bikebeauty.org/
- If you can afford it, please pay the cost of 19GBP for your train ticket, we have some funding to pay for some of these tickets, but not all of them. (To be discussed on the tour)
Sunday 27 June - Darlington to Botton Village (near Danby) 55km
Monday 28 June - Botton to York - 65km - a big day of cycling with a big hill at the start
- Sleeping place in York: St Barnabas Church Hall, details to follow
- Monday night TCCC pub crawl
Tuesday 29 June - York
- participate in the "Open day" at the Towards Carfree Cities Conference IX 
- Carfree film night
Wednesday 30 June - York
- Biketour Consensus Decision Making workshop led by Seeds for Change  1000-1700
- Possible TCCC boat trip in the evening
Thursday 1 - York-Pontefract - 50km
- We will cycle through 'Megawatt Valley' where three of the biggest coal fired power stations in the UK sit near each other. The largest, Drax Power station provide 7% of the UK's electricity and is the UK's single largest emitter of carbon dioxide, and the highest estimated emitter of Nitrogen Oxide in the European Union.
Friday 2 July - Pontefract to Leeds - 40km
Saturday 3 July - Leeds
- Workshop day, led by us: What on earth is this "climate justice"? ; Vegan cooking ; Bicycle maintenance & repair ; open to more (feel free to prepare something of 1 hour!)
Sunday 4 July - Leeds-Sheffield - 60km - a big day of cycling going from one big city to another through a fairly urban area
Monday 5 July - Sheffield-Wincle (near Buxton) - 55km
Tuesday 6 July - Wincle-Whitchurch - 65km
Wednesday 7 July - Whitchurch-Huntington Lane Camp (near Telford) - 40km
Thursday 8 & Friday 9 July - Huntington Lane Camp 
- rest days, or optional visit by train to Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales , or action around the Huntington Lane camp
Saturday 10 July - Huntington Lane-Leintwardine, Craven Arms - 50km
Sunday 11 July - Leintwardine-Canon Frome Court (near Hereford) - 50km
Mon 12 July - Canon Frome-Abergavenny - 55km
- staying at Abergavenny Gaia Coach Institute - , Llwyn Ffranc Farm, Llanfihangel Crucorney, NP7 8EN (4 miles north of Abergavenny) Directions here 
Tues 13 July - Abergavenny
- rest day, including some helping on the organic farm
Weds 14 July - Abergavenny-Merthyr Tydfil - 35km
Thurs 15 July - Merthyr Tydfil-Usk - 50km
Fri 16 July - Usk-Bristol - 45km
Sat 17 July & Sun 18 July - Bristol In Bristol we are staying at a squat, you can find us here: The Factory, 2-8 Cave street, st pauls, Bristol Bs2 8ru
- Day of visits to local projects/organisations in Bristol including Southmead Carnival
Mon 19 July - Bristol-Pewsey - 70km - a fairly big day - a long distance but completely flat with an easy route
Tues 20 July - Pewsey-Northdown Orchard - 55km
Weds 21 July - Northdown-Havant - 55km
Thurs 22 July - Havant-Portsmouth Harbour 15km & Portsmouth-Le Havre by ferry
- Arrive at ferry port at 0700, ferry leaves Portsmouth 0830, arrives Le Have 1245. This is the only ferry that day, we cannot miss it!
- We already have 20 cheap tickets at 16 GBP each for cyclists on this ferry - these will be taken by the first 20 people to register.After these might not be space for any more cyclists or you might have to pay more or take a different ferry, so register as soon as possible!
- We will probably ask you to pay us back for your ticket if you can afford it, we have some funding to pay for some of these tickets, but not all of them. (To be discussed on the tour)
* 22nd July - 1st August Camp Action Climat (french climate camp ) Le Havre, France.
- 2 August - near Yport
- 3 August - Saint-Valery-en-Caux
- 4 August - Penly
- 5 August - Nolette, near Noyelles-sur-mer
- 6-7 August - Ruisseauville "A petits pas"  Environmental education, eco-construction
- 8 August - Landrethun le Nord, eco-construction "Le Chenelet"
- 9-11 August - Calais - Helping illegalised migrants and no borders activists
- 12 August - Herzeele
- 13th August - Keiem, Belgium (camping on a biological farm)
- 14th August - De Haan (camping on a biological farm)
- 15th August - sleeping in De Haan, but activities in Oostende. Paulusfeesten and climate events: continuing the "Big Ask" for a climate law, we'll have a critical mass, play "climate monopoly" on the beach, have a mass dance lesson, concert with Cold Cut as part of the "Energy Union Tour".
- 16th August - oostende - Gent (Staying in Merelbeke). 65km
* 16th or 17th August - Gent. Critical mass + presentations/workshops: Who wants to organise this?
- 18th August - somewhere south-west of Brussels
(? possible) *19th - 20th August - Nethen - Permaculture festival www.festivalpermaculture.be
- 21st August - 35km - Linter - a workshop in the afternoon/evening with Pieter, a trainer in Conscious Connected Breathing, coming from Hamburg, Germany.
(?maybe earlier) *23rd August - 55km - staying somewhere in the netherlands near Maastricht / Sittard / Geleen & meeting up with dutch people to cycle to the klimacamp!
- 24th August - 55km - We will arrive to the klima camp in Borschemich-Erkelenz, Germany!! [http:/www.klimacamp2010.de/ Klima Camp]
- 25th August - 60km - Bike-action around the coal mine + party at the klimacamp
- 26th + 27th August - workshop and action-preparation days
- 28th August - mass action day for the Klimacamp
- 29th August - Packing up the camp / A biketour evaluation on our successes, concrete suggestions on improvements and planning for next year's tour
- 30th Erkelenz-Cologne - 50km
- 31st Cologne - an ecotopia biketour 20th anniversary reunion party !
Activist/Ecologist Events in north-western europe, summer 2010
How did we come to this proposal? We decided to evaluate all events, camps and gatherings together, instead of automatically going to an Ecotopia gathering now. After lots of broad brainstorming and discussion, and an amazing compilation of activist events near the general route proposals, we came up with what you can see above. See the larger list of possible events here: http://btwiki.ecobytes.net/Possible_Activist_Events_for_BT2010. Please add anything else that you hear about! The list can also be seen on an open edit google map at http://bit.ly/ceNwc6
How to get to BT 2010
If you register then we'll send you the details of where we are the night that you want to join us so you can find us :) and if you need further help on how to get to a certain place, or you didn't recieve details.... email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!
BT will be taking place in the UK from the evening of Friday 25th June until the morning of Thursday 22nd July but if you come a bit earlier it should be okay, just let us know.
How to get to the UK (please add your own knowledge and advice here) and also see the information on the FAQ page:
- Some advice on taking bikes on trains between the UK and other European countries here: http://www.seat61.com/bike-by-train.htm The information is mostly suitable to people coming from the UK, but just read it the other way round!
- If you are coming via Germany you could use the very cheap tickets - Schönes-Wochenend-Ticket (with which groups of five person can travell everywhere within Germany only on Saturday or Sunday for 37 €, no fast trains: EC, ICE) and London-Spezial (from any town in Germany to London for 49 € with ICE and Eurostar, can be booked online here: http://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/international/london-spezial.shtml, if you need help with the translation, ask Moritz).
- Some information about taking your bike on Eurostar: you can either carry it onto the train - but it needs to be inside a 'bike bag' (which you could make yourself) - or you can pay extra to have the bike transported separately (25 GBP, don't know Euros price), usually on the same train.
- For advice on taking bikes on other trains in Europe it's worth sending an email to the Biketour list to ask the experts there. Contact
- Taking bikes on trains in the UK is very complicated because we have a stupid system of around 25 different companies running different trains in different parts of the country, and each one has different rules about how you can take your bike on the train (sometimes it's free, sometimes you pay, sometimes you must make a reservation, etc.) This page http://www.atob.org.uk/Bike_Rail.html has the best explanation of each company's current rules.
- Booking tickets on UK trains can be done on lots of websites. This is the main one but is limited and sometimes doesn't show you the cheapest tickets: http://www.thetrainline.com/ A better website for ticket buying is http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/ which has tickets from all over the UK (I think) but gives good prices for trains between London and Yorkshire.
- On Saturday 26th June we have cheap tickets for 15 people and 15 bicycles to travel from London to Yorkshire by train leaving on 3 different trains between 1100 and 1600. If you aren't one of the first 15 people to register, or you are travelling on a different day you need to book another tickets. Contact us if you don't know what to do.
- In Germany, International bike tickets cost 10 Euros and are valid for most trains in Europe. http://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/fahrrad/mitnahme/preise_fahrradmitnahme.shtml
- Mark has done some price research on all the possible route to France, Belgium & Netherlands http://bit.ly/dzeFXJ The cheapest ferries are the ones from Dover, and tickets get more expensive further away.
- Sometimes it is possible to 'hitchhike' ferries by having your bike put onto a lorry and travelling on the ferry with that lorry but you need to have time for this.
- There is the "rail and sail" offer from STena line that goes between amsterdam/ rotterdam/ any station in NL and London via Harwich. Trip including train and ferry costs from 39 Euros one way, if you book at least 14 days in advance. http://www.stenaline.nl/en/ferry/london/ Don't try to look at the dutch train companies' website, it's utter crap and doesn't even show this connection...
- You can easily count on £25 - £30 from most ferry ports to london by train and a wee bit extra for your bike depending on which train company you travel with. So the Eurostar might be cheaper.
- Bringing a bicycle by international coach is not easy, although Mark and Elissa managed to take their bikes in large cardboard boxes from London to Vienna by Eurolines coach to start the 2004 tour. This was a coach company from Slovakia, maybe that made it easier.
- Taking bikes on buses and coaches in the UK is almost impossible, don't plan to do this.
Cycles in London:
- It might be possible to get hold of a bicycle in London or somewhere else in the UK - contact us if you are planning to do this. You should allow yourself time to organise this, and be aware that the organisers already have a lot of responsibilities before the tour starts.
- Any more ideas how to come to the tour? mitfahrzentralen/ ride sharing, night train offers, the Czech bus student agency (do they take bikes?) Who wants to expand the list and fill it with details ?
Route questions for the rest of Europe
Who would like to take on the over-view of Belgium ? Laura has it at the moment, but she's going to be on the whole tour, so it might not be so great for it to be just her, since she won't be particularly contactable.
- For Belgium, google fietsroutenetwork or see http://www.fietsnet.be/routeplanner/ with 18000 km of bikeroutes in Belgium. And I'll ask around in my Maastricht web for Dutch contacts as it seems bt will go through south of limburg - Daniël.
Route Ideas 2011
Ideas for 2011 include baltic states, belarus, ukraine, switzerland, italy, greece...If you have ideas for 2011, however crazy, or if you are interested in being a regional or international co-ordinator, please do so on the bt-org or biketour lists, or write to info[at]ecotopiabiketour.net It's really helpful (for themselves) for people interested in being co-ordinators next year, to join the tour for at least a week this year! Also contact us if you're interested in doing an EVS (European Voluntary Service) project as the ecotopia biketour.