Sustainable cycle tour seeks adventurers

Youth-led sustainability charity the Otesha Project UK will embark upon its most challenging cycle tour yet this summer

Participants will be running workshops and performing a play to spread a message of environmental sustainability and social justice.

Otesha UK have run cycle tours every summer since 2008, each in a different part of the UK. All tours have had the core aims of demonstrating how everyday choices can impact the world and inspiring young adults to create social and environmental change.

The group are now seeking adventurers aged 18-28 for the six-week ‘western quest’. Cycling around the UK’s south-west coastline from 10 August to 22 September, participants will deliver their education programme to festivals, schools and community groups. Team members will also have the chance to visit inspiring places such as organic farms and permaculture projects.

“Western quest is our most epic and challenging tour, so it’s for young people who have a thirst for adventure and are up for learning new skills. Six weeks on tour means they’ll be a living demonstration of how to live in a low-impact way, which is an amazing experience,” says tour co-ordinator Calu Lema.

The play and workshops will explore the impact of individual actions on the planet and other people. Issues focused on will include local food, energy use, recycled fashion and, of course, bicycles and sustainable transport.

As well as cycling everywhere, participants will carry all they need on panniers, eat locally produced organic food wherever possible and work together using consensus decision making. Although the route is pre-prepared, tour members will provide input into the drama performance and the running of workshops.

2007 tour member Adam says: “Otesha has introduced me to some of the most inspiring people I know, revolutionised my sense of self as a part of a greater world, given me the drive and the inspiration to do all that I can to treat that world with the utmost respect, and instilled in me the confidence that through human action and urgency, a better world is possible.”

No great acting ability, knowledge of sustainability or even a great bike is required as a pre-departure training week will cover theatre performance, sustainable living and bike maintenance skills. However, enthusiasm and willingness to learn are a must say the organisers.

“Applications for tour members are now open, but places are filling up fast and are first-come, first-served, so it’s best to get in there quick,” says tour co-ordinator Sam White. Those interested in having a performance of the play or a workshop run at their school or organisation along the way are also being asked to contact the Otesha Project.