Collaborative map tool FacilMap & How we chose the region

Collaborative opensource map tool

For the planning of the Biketour, we have an online tool, an interactive, editable map where we can all work together. Anybody who’s been organising this tour can add projects, nice places, interesting events and other relevant things.

You can switch on and off marker types and routes you want to look at on the right side of the map. If you click on a marker or a line, it shows you more information like descriptions, contact-details and for routes the elevation profile. Because it’s openly published, this map is a non-editable version of the map.

For the projects we have in the map we created different marker types according to responses we get from them (e.g. positive, negative, or no interest from our side) and also according to what we can do (e.g. fix bikes, sleep, participate in events).

We have also differently coloured routes. The green one is a rough idea of the route we had after the spring meeting, the blue and red are suggested routes that we create to help us with a day-to-day route planning (these are being updated closer to the tour). The purple are other biketours which are taking place in our chosen region this year.

If you want to create your own editable map, just type “”

How we choose the region

It’s not simple to plan a huge biketour with an international group, spread all over Europe. During the tour, we already try to get a rough idea about where to go next year. For this year we had 3 proposals: Britain & Ireland, Spain & Portugal or Germany & neighbours. At our first physical organisation-meeting (the winter meeting) we collected all the criteria that would be relevant for a decision, then we evaluated the most important ones and then checked which option would do best. After this quiet intense process we had a consensus on the region “Germany + south-west.” (If you are interested in the details, you can have a look at our minutes from the meeting, under the point “Biketour 2017 – Deciding the route”.)

Then we started collecting projects and information. Via a chat-tool and some online-phone-meetings we continued exchanging our ideas.

On our second physical meeting (the spring meeting) we had to decide more precisely from where to where we would go. It was basically a choice of two options: Whether we go from Spain northwards or from Germany southwards. We had a similar procedure with evaluating all pros and cons and decided to go southwards! (More details can be found in this pad.)

The next step was to make a more detailed schedule. To get from Germany to Catalonia (with all the stops and detours we make) takes a considerable amount of time. For the distance we cycle, a reasonable amount of time should be considered (around 55 km per day, a rest day every 3 days on the road) – from the previous tours we found out that we can comfortably cycle half the days, which makes it around 2400-2600 km in 3 months.
The tour should not start too early, nor too late. Also there are some events on our route, that we considered joining. As we want to take part in the big Vélorution in early July it was clear that we need to be there in time and that we would leave when it’s over. Also in August we are going to cross paths with a similar biketour like us called AlterTour in the region of Drôme (close to Valence).
We shouldn’t be cycling in Spain during the hottest months of the year. So it’s better to be there no sooner than September. Therefore we arranged our dates more or less around these things.

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