Everything You Need To Know
Last updated on: Apr 23, 2014

As Riders:

How can I register for the tour?
See the Riders page for details and procedure.

What level of experience do I need?
Riders should have done multi-day self-supported rides before joining GBSR 2014. At least you should have cycled several days over 200 km each to get a sense of what the tour will be like. Please bear in mind that you will need extra time at camp, for food and laundry. You will have to find your own way along the planned route.The route will mostly use roads (smaller roads preferred) and occasionally lead along bike trails. You should be familiar and comfortable with riding roads. A GPS device containg the tracks for all days (will be provided ahead of the start) is highly recommended. Please familiarize yourself with the functions and use of your device before the start and be sure to have the maps installed you will need.

I am new to velomobiling, can I participate?
You could, but it's not recommended. Riders should have experience with riding these machines to feel comfortable and safe; their muscles should have adjusted. Even though you may be a trained rider, not being adapted to the specifics of velomobiles could spoil your adventure.

I will have a brand new velomobile for the tour, can I participate?
No, please don't bring essential equipment right off the shelf. All equipment on the tour should have been tested and proven. Your velomobile should have had a few weeks or 1.000 km of good use before you take it on a tour like this. All riders should check their machines before coming to the start: Brakes, lighting system, batteries, suspension, nuts and bolts, tires and tubes. You don't want to be stuck somewhere on the roads with equipment that you have not tested and checked before.

What do I need to bring?
Next to your velomobile you will need the following:Tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, tool kit, spare tires and several spare tubes, replacements such as brake cables or shifting cables, a few links of your type of chain, quick links, chain oil, a pump which actually works, second battery pack for lighting and a charger, a GPS and/or maps, clothes and your personal stuff. If you want to prepare your own meals, you will have to bring that equipment, too. It helps to make a list and double check with others. Pack all your belongings into your velomobile before the start and take a ride to see if everything fits, nothing rubs or gets caught in the chain, that you have enough elbow room, suspension doesn't bottom out with all the weight, and what have you …
Very important: Be sure to bring a valid ID (passport for non-EU riders, who should also check on possible visa requirements in due time).

How do I get to the start and back home from the finish?
You will have to make your own arrangements to get to the start and back home after the finish. Some will ride there, others will rent a van or drive their own car to the start.

When do I need to be at the start?
On the day of the start, the sending off ceremony will be held around 10 am. All riders should be at the start on the day before, at the latest for the initial riders' briefing at 6 pm and the big dinner gathering at 8 pm. Riders meeting will be at the campground (see Schedule page), dinner venue is TBD.

How much will it cost to participate?
Be prepared to cover all costs for food and drinks on the ride, meals and camp ground fees. This may take 60-100 Euros a day. There will be 4 ferry rides on the tour, two of which are longer. All riders will receive a cost estimate for the ferries in advance. All accommodations will be on campgrounds.

Is there a registration/organization fee?
Yes, the registration fee is 300 €. It should cover the time, work and cost of preparing a tour like this – believe me, it means a lot of work, I have been through this before. Should we be able to secure sufficient sponsoring, a part of the fee could be reimburse or used to cover extras & goodies.

What happens to the money if I withdraw?
1/3 of the fee (100 Euro) is non refundable, 2/3 will be reimbursed upon your withdrawal if your cancellation is received at least 60 days before the start. Sorry, but should you withdraw less than 60 days before the start, your fee is lost.

Do I need to follow the planned route?
No, although it is strongly recommended to do so. You're free to choose your own route on riding and rest days. You will be expected to stop at the town designated for the lunch break and you need to be at the site for the night. These will be opportunities for others to make contact with the tour, for media to visit. Keep in mind that it could be very helpful to be on the designated route when you have a problem – other riders will pass by and surely help. If you follow your own paths, you're entirely on your own.

What about Kaliningrad, isn’t it complicated to travel the Russian Federation?
Deleted because the tour will not cover the Russian Federation.

What are the risks involved? How about safety on the roads?
Be mindful of the fact that you are yourself responsible for all actions on the tour, on and off the roads. Don not follow the track provided without checkingreal world conditions, road signage and road conditions. Sometimes the track will follow the road while there’s a good bike trail running right next to it. Use the trails wherever feasible.
Ride carefully and make sure to be seen. Your velomobile should have sufficient lighting installed, and you should bring enough battery capacity. Make sure to recharge.
We may encounter elks/moose on the roads, but the greater challenge will be posed by mosquitos. Bring a good insect repellent, chances are high you will need it.

Do you offer a „wimp-option“?
Sorry, this option is no longer available.
Riders signing up for the entire tour will have preference over those seeking to register for part of the tour. If you would really like to join but are unsure whether you could do the full distance or you are so indispensable on the job that you can’t take three weeks off, there will be a few slots for riding part of the tour. See the tour schedule for the dates and daily distances. Reasonable packages are:
- Lübeck to Stockholm, 7 days, incl. city rides at Copenhagen and Stockholm, back home by ferry
- Lübeck to Helsinki, 9 days, 
incl. city rides at Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki, back by ferry
- Tallinn to Lübeck, 12 days, incl. city rides at Tallinn, Riga, Gdansk, travel to Tallinn by ferry (would work for joining at Helsinki or Riga as well)
- Beach Break, which is riding Lübeck to Stockholm (7 days) or Helsinki (9 days), take a week off, and rejoin the tour at Riga or else at Stegna, east of Gdansk.
I you would like to take advantage of one of these options, email the Tour Captain for details. In order to be inmcluded in the activitiers and reservations, you need to be registered

Is there anything else I could do or contribute?
Help in the organization is always welcome. If you are familiar with sections of the route and camping facilities along our way, your input will be highly welcome. Any contacts you may in the capitals we will visit (officials, media, places to stay) will be miuch appreciated. Also, think about bringing equipment for photos and video. Others will love to hear from us as the tour progresses.

© Josef FL Janning 2013