What is the Ecotopia Biketour?

First of all: "more than a cycling holiday!!"

The bread & water tour will be a eco-mobile community connecting different environmental active people and groups on their way to Ecotopia 2004. We'll cycle about 2100 km, starting in Vienna, passing Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Bremen, and Wageningen to "Slot Loevenstein", an area of Dutch forest preservation, close to Gorinchem, situated near the Waal river. We'll do ca. 60 km per day with a restday every 4 or 5 days, riding along in small groups on a route suggested and tested by the organisational team. Additional to the cycling there will be various actions on the way, we'll meet people from the local partner organisations and will be busy organising ourselves in a nonhierarchical way.

The biketour is based on the contributions of every participant. All tasks will be done by volunteers - in other words, you should volunteer for all tasks. Speak up in the daily meetings, which will not only be used to present the suggested route and daily schedule, divide tasks and announce news, but will also be the place to discuss problems, criticisms and improvements. The interesting and inspiring mix of all different people with different backgrounds and different languages on the tour also requires a lot of patience and tolerance.

Although this tour is an action tour, it will not look like a demonstration the whole time. We will not ride in one big group but rather in small groups depending on speed and interests. You will be provided with at least one suggestion for a route per day, sometimes there are several alternatives, and we'll also point out the interesting spots of the day. The whole group will gather for actions, in the evening for dinner or for workshops and guided tours on the restdays. An average day starts with the wake-up call, breakfast and preparing your lunch package. After the morning circle and cleaning the campsite it is time to go on the road again, and you decide whether to have a break and a swim, take a rest at the next bar or to continue to the next village to do some sightseeing. In the afternoon might be an appointment for an action, to which you should come on time, and after that some volunteers will prepare dinner while you either help them or amuse yourself on the camp site. It might be your turn to do the dishes this evening before you can fall into your sleeping bag, and go to sleep with the sound of czech songs sung around the campfire ... But note - NO WARRANTY - there might not be a single day on the Bread & Watertour following exactly this plan.

Biketour aims to be a sustainable community. Think about the environmental impact of your daily choices. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! - try to limit the amount of waste you produce, and dispose of it in a decent way. Be aware what you're buying, where you're buying and how is it packaged.
Please bear in mind, that there will always be people around you with different backgrounds, habits and levels of awareness. Different people will consider different issues important, so don't be too fascist about the issue you happen to be specialised in. Instead, please bring information about it, or ask us (the coordinators) if there is a possibility for you to give a workshop/ run a discussion group about your favourite issue.


The first Ecotopia, (our ecological utopian festival village which happens every year in a different part of Europe and this year in the Netherlands) was held in 1989 at Cologne. The Bike Tour didnā..t exist at that time, so the participants came by bus. They felt very uncomfortable with their unecological way of travelling to such a special place. They started looking for an alternative and (Can you believe it?) they came to the conclusion that the bike is still the most ecological method of transport and we guarantee that it's the most exciting way of travelling to Ecotopia!

Ecotopia Biketour has already happened 13 times (with a one-year break in 1997) and has always been organised by volunteers. It promotes cycling as an alternative & sustainable way of transport and tourism. We are demonstrating against the fast growing car-culture in Europe. The culture of global progress has already occupied Eastern European countries, but people still cannot see the counter-effects and costs which they will have to pay. The mistakes Western Europe made because of its ruthless development, are now being copied by eastern countries. We want to raise the public awareness to change this way of development.

  Last updated 14 May 2004