What is the Ecotopia Biketour?
Ecotopia Biketour is a self-organized environmental and social activist bicycle tour that has been cycling through different parts of Europe each summer since 1990. On our way we visit social and environmental projects and groups, to learn about their struggles and visions, to exchange knowledge, to create connections and to support them by participating in actions or doing some physical work.
We are usually between 20 and 40 people participating on the tour at the same time, although few people join for the whole trip. For the majority of people it is the first or second time to join the Ecotopia Biketour. We rarely cycle all together, usually some people go ahead in the morning and mark the route with arrows on the road. People then follow in small groups in their own speed and rhythm. We keep distances at a level where everyone can participate, with no particular fitness required.
We have a set of core values (called Participation Guidelines) that include ecological sustainability, anti-oppression, veganism, skill-sharing, multi-linguality and consensus-based decision making.
We try to create a non-hierarchical environment by rotating responsibilities, sharing skills and respecting personal needs. People can sign up for daily tasks (cooking, pulling a trailer, marking the route, etc.), but everyone can decide individually how much they want to do. We meet up every couple of days to talk about how it is going and to make consensus decisions. It is one of our core values to create a non-discriminatory environment.
We cook with wood, carry all our equipment ourselves and try to buy local and organic food and to dumpster-dive where possible. Participants are asked to donate between 3 and 5 Euros a day to cover the food costs, but people who cannot give this donation are also welcome to join.