Newsletter #2 – 2014

Dear Ecotopians!
you are reading Newsletter #2 for 2014, a month before the tour is going to start now with a lot of information. Take a bit of time to read everything, especially since it is time not only to get yourself prepared but also contribute to collective needs (thanks to all of you who have done so already!), which you will find towards the end of the mail. Here is the content of this mail:

  • Route announcement
  • Registration
  • A bit about Ecotopia Biketour 2014
  • Call for Transport of Collective Kitchen Equipment
  • Call for Transport of Bike Trailers
  • Spread the Word!
  • We still need you to translate!
  • What to bring on the Biketour
  • Contribute to collective Equipment

First the most exciting part! The route is going to go like this:
11th-13th July – Sofija, Bulgaria
22nd July – Niš, Serbia
27th-30th July – Prishtina, Kosovo
2nd August – Skopje, Macedonia
15th August – Ierissos, Halkidiki, Greece
21st August – Thessaloniki, Greece
6th Sept – Volos, Greece
25th-30th Sept – Athens, Greece
Though beware, we are still confirming dates with some of our stops so there might be changes of a few days! So, now is the time to get your travel booked or to start thinking about how to get to the Biketour by hitchhiking or cycling! :) In the near future, a map of the route and day-by-day plan will be posted up onto the website along with project names (as long as they don’t mind it being made public)… keep checking!


Online registration will open at the beginning of next week. You do not have to register – Ecotopia Biketour is open and so is your decision to join it also spontaneously. The reason we ask people to register, if they can, is that it helps us to know who is bringing what, and how many people we will be on any one day and where we should expect people to join us at different pick up points along the way.

A bit about Ecotopia Biketour

For those of you who haven’t been on the tour with us before, you should expect to experience something new – as will those you have been there before! Eating as one big group, taking on collective responsibilities, taking time to make decisions fairly and not settling anywhere for too long. Your nomadic life will have many learning experiences, not least from the projects we visit of which there are urban and community gardening, eco-villages, squats, social centres, critical mass, natural building and environmental protests! This year the Biketour will make history as it is going through two countries previously untouched by any Ecotopia journey: GREECE & KOSOVO. Here’s a tasty taste of a project we will visit on the Biketour!

PER.KA, Thessaloniki, Greece
The group PERKA was created with the occupation of a former military base in the beginning of 2011 by people whose goal was the communal and in-season cultivation of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs in a field or an appropriate space near the city of Thessaloniki. The cultivation/farming is not for profit, it covers part of the members’ needs, it supports vulnerable social groups amd is based on the principles of organic, biodynamic or natural farming, using native seeds and plants, while at the same time gardeners enjoy the benefits of working with and being in contact with the earth. Based on the principles of communicality, self-management, egalitarianism and continued education, each person is free to define their own methods and agricultural techniques as well as distribution of gardening tasks and produce.
With our positive attitude and actions, we try to understand the natural cycles, learn from them, and find a cooperative way for escaping the crisis, especially the social one.”
Ok, now for two pleas. Listen up!

1) Call out for Collective Cooking Equipment!

This one is the most urgent! The communal Biketour cooking equipment (pans, chopping boards etc.) stayed on in Cluj, Romania after the end of last year’s Biketour and it’s still there. It urgently needs to be transported from Cluj to Sofia somehow … so here is a plea for anyone who can to aid it’s migration south! Is anybody travelling from Cluj to Thessaloniki or from Cluj to Sofia in the next four weeks, for the start of the Biketour or on a non-Biketour-related journey and could carry some extra luggage?

2) The tale of the Trailer

We currently only have one trailer in Thessaloniki which is ready to come with us on the Biketour. However, this is not enough to transport all of our collective things! Usually we have three. A second one is travelling with a participant from last year supposedly coming to Thessalonik but hasn’t arrived yet. A third one we could borrow is with a collective in Vienna, anybody passing through there could pick it up – get in touch with us! If you know of other options for a second and third trailer tell us. Please help us to bring them to Sofia for the start of the Biketour!

And here are more practical things to get yourself prepared and how you can contribute

Spread the word!

Tell your friends and comrades that the Ecotopia Biketour is happening soon – e.g. by forwarding this Newsletter! You can get hold of flyers in an increasing number of languages here, print them out and give them to everyone you meet, distribute them at your self-organized bike-workshop, social centre or solidarity party!

We still need you to translate!

As an international group we have so many languages to offer! Lend your language skills – to translate flyers and webpages – so that we can reach more people. If you can’t, ask your friends if they have time. Any language will be useful but these are currently actively sought:

  • Albanian
  • Macedonian
  • Bulgarian
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • German

What to bring on the Biketour

Let’s start with The Essentials for everyone…

  • A bicycle that fits you and you have tested before
  • A puncture repair kit, spare tubes and bike pump
  • A bike lock
  • Bikelights, back and front
  • Panniers to carry your stuff in – carrying a backpack is no fun at all!
  • Cycling clothes for all types of weather (but not too many!)
  • A headtorch
  • Water container (it’s gonna be hot so this one is important!)
  • Swimming stuff and towel
  • Sun cream, sunglasses and long sleeved shirts
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Medication you (might) need
  • Plate, cup, knive & cutlery
  • A tent (some people might share with you!)
  • Sleeping bag & mat
  • Valid ID (e.g. a passport)
  • Money – approx. €3-5 per day for biketour donations

After this, take a deep breath, and have a look at the full list of things to bring here.

Collective equipment

Additionally there are some collective things we need and some things that can be brought by a few people and shared so we are not all taking along masses of stuff unnecessarily! Take a look at this list on our wiki and add your name to the things you can bring along. If you think we forgot something important, just add it to the list yourself! If you have an extra space or you need a space in a tent – use this wiki page to offer it / find it (it’s a bit like a dating forum, but for people and tents) :

For any questions regarding this year’s tour please contact team-2014 at ecotopiabiketour dot net
When on the road you will find a phone number for the respective country on our website
excited to meet you on a bicycle soon!
The Ecotopia Biketour

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