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      Ibike Tours

     

    Program Philosophy

    The Structure

    We offer small group (12 people max.) exploration of fascinating cultures, ethnic diversity, and the natural and social complexity of the world. To enhance our contact with the areas we visit, the primary mode of travel is bicycle. Thus we have a ground level view culture, historic sites, museums, architecture, religion, ecological niches, and the realities of daily life. We meet with unique local people and enjoy bicycling beautiful backroads. The programs are designed to be environmentally friendly, economically beneficial, educational, enriching and culturally sensitive, and accessible to ordinary active people who seek moderate adventure.

    Ibike's people-to-people programs offer you the unique opportunity to discover a fascinating and diverse world at a personal level. Most tourists see only congested capital cities, animals in game parks and other tourists on beaches. Bicycle travel removes the barriers between you, the land and its people. Join us in exploring untouristed rural areas and experience the sights, sounds, tastes and vitality of our multicultural world. We enjoy leisurely interactions with people during visits to homes, schools and markets, and are generally awed by the hospitality and extraordinary landscapes. Learn of developments, and achievements, and the complexity and diversity of the world that rarely come to the attention of the West.

    Guides with a broad knowledge of the destination accompany each group. Topics range from art to zoology -- while local culture, ecology, economics, and history are also explored. You will return with hours of stories to tell.

    Ibike offers both the resources and social opportunities of group travel and the flexibility to pursue individual interests. If you are new to this type of travel or bicycling, the program will build your self-confidence and self-sufficiency. You gain new insights and positive feelings about yourself and the world.

    The Participant

    Programs are open to everyone. We do not restrict participation based on nationality, national origins, race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation.

    Ibike programs are for all good-natured realists who appreciate the rewards of self-contained bicycle touring. You should be prepared to encounter customs, cuisines, attitudes, accommodations and living standards which differ from your own. People everywhere respond warmly to an attitude of friendship and respect. Men and women from the America's, Europe, Asia and Africa, ranging in age from mid- teens to mid-seventies have toured with Ibike. In fact, most trips have repeat customers. You don't need extensive bicycle touring experience, however, you should be healthy, familiar with cycling and prepared for adventure. The cycling is easy to moderate, with occasional challenging sections. Extra side trips are available for the more active. Trips vary from all paved routes, to mixed on- and off-road courses.

    While we use bicycles as the main means of transport, the real objective of the program is too provide you with experiences which enriches and possibly changes your life.  Ibike offers unique opportunities, personal achievement and new friends -- an expedition that is fun, challenging, educational and unrivaled!

    Defining the Program

    We rarely use the term ecotourism in any of our publicity. We have long been uncomfortable with the term because it has been used to embrace ANY travel that includes "nature" -- getting out of a city -- even when getting there by a gas guzzling SUV (sport-utility vehicle or four-wheel drive) and ripping up the savannah in the process.

    As an alternative we try to practice what we have come to call "E3 Programs"; environmentally friendly (using primarily non-motorized transport, but reflecting all aspects of the projects including printing, selection of energy efficient lodging and local produced food and goods), economically beneficial (supporting the decentralized, indigenous economy, including local produced food and goods) and educational/enriching (exploring the diversity and complexity of the local natural and human ecosystem.) If you draw these as a triangle, each element reinforces the others.  The use of non-motorized transports virtually mandates patronizing local business and the increased exposure to the local culture, economy and environment inherently leads to enhanced educational and enriching experiences.  Aiming for a well rounded educational experience, is a natural for getting into the community and supporting local businesses and argues for eliminating the barriers of glass, steel and speed that go with motor vehicles. Including as a goal supporting local suppliers of goods and service dictates increased interaction with the cultural and enriching experiences and the use of non-motorized transport virtually assures that the benefits will be decentralized and widely beneficial.

    Within the E3 structure a bike ride and lecture in an urban historic district, a work project in a village and a forest walk learning about ethno-botany and looking for primates all have the same weight, as we think they should.

    Download and print a Bicycle Africa brochure (PDF).

    Responsible Travel Program Design Criteria

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