GBSR 2014, the Great Baltic Sea Ride, happened over three weeks in July, 2014. Eight countries, rich history, a diverse cultural heritage, and beautiful landscapes made this tour a unique experience to all participants.
Our shared practice of riding human powered vehicles year round proved to be a strong show case of sustainable mobility. We shared our experience with countless people all around the Baltic Sea, have been photographed and filmed more than a million times, answered questions and offered test rides to those with serious interest.
On July 26, 2014, all riders returned to Lübeck as planned.
At 3 pm we gathered on the historic market square, the place we had started out from three weeks earlier.
GBSR 2014 is history now; one that will always be remembered by us as a great adventure and a wonderful time spent together.
The tour explored Europe's North between 53° and 61° latitude over more than 3.000 km of fine riding. We much enjoyed the summer daylight, the tranquility and wide spaces of Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Masurian Lake District, Northern Poland and Northern Germany. The tour benefitted from beautiful weather with less than half a day of rain over the entire three weeks. We did not mind the strong Northeaster blowing in our faces as we went northeast, and we enjoyed it gentle push oncewe turned west again.
We visited capital cities as well as remote villages, rode across deep forests and open farmland, travelled the endless alleys of oak trees in Poland, dipped into the many lakes along our way; somewhere to our right there always were the waters of the Baltic Sea, sometimes very close, sometimes further away beyond the horizon.
Our velomobiles made this trip a fun adventure. Fast, comfortable, taking all our luggage, velomobiles are the perfect touring machines and a strong symbol of sustainable personal mobility. We were fast even on bad surface, and flying on the many kilometers of fine asphalt. The rolling hills on most of the way were a blast to ride.
We enjoyed the breaks during riding days, meeting up with at some village market or restaurant, gas station or lakeside. Where one velomobile was parked, soon 2, 3, 5 or 8 more would join. and we enjoeyed the evenings at camp, when the heat of the day would subside, but mosquitos were bearable still. Measured by the amount of cold beer consumed, the tour had nothing of the tortures many observers assumed when looking at the stats alone. None of us had to give up for physical reasons, and the few machanical problems we encountered could be solved; so that we all returned together and in high spirits.
18 Riders from Germany, The Netherlands, and Denmark participated in GBSR 2014. Many shared impressions, pictures and video online. We met with cyclists along our route or during the after-ride cooldown at camp. Of course, we did chase the roadies wherever we met them.
Many waited on the roadside to watch the tour passing by, based on the schedule for each day and the .gpx files for that day’s route. Others followed the ride from their couch, looking for Twitter-feeds at #gbsr2014, or by visiting the tour-album on Facebook watching Harry’s movies on Vimeo or turning to our reporting from the road is on the German discussion board velomobilforum.de.
Otherwise, all advance information on the tour is here. To view the list of riders see the Riders page, to see the time table, daily destinations and possible places to see the tour, go to the pages Schedule and Ride Along for more information.
The official tour poster displayed above was created by C Michael Lewis