Bike across the Baltic - Improving bicycle tourism around the Baltic Sea

Bike Across the Baltic Kick-off held in Turku – A good start for improving the EuroVelo10

13 October 2023
BAB kick off in Turku brought together the partners from Sweden, Poland, Estonia and Finland as well as several Finnish Associated Organisations and other stakeholders.
Technical details

The very first Bike Across the Baltic project meeting took place in Turku, Finland 26.-28.9.2023. The event brought together the partners from Sweden, Poland, Estonia and Finland as well as several Finnish Associated Organisations and other stakeholders during the three meeting days. The objective of the meeting was to further elaborate the good basis for trans-Baltic cooperation that was established during the project application phase. As the project is about helping local and regional authorities to support ,​ the AOs have a key role in the project. The meeting thus provided the opportunity to properly introduce the project to the AOs and other stakeholders both online and onsite in Turku.

During the first day, after a joint lunch and a short tour around the Turku University of Applied Sciences campus, the partners convened to discuss the project future activities together, as well as to take a first glimpse into the communication tasks as well as project financial planning and periodic reporting. The official working day was wrapped up with an introduction into route assessment and description development and an introduction to the EuroVelo route assessment, which prepared the partners for the bike trip activities the following day.

The second day started off with a first dive into the EuroVelo10 as the partners headed towards the neighboring City of Naantali to cycle a section of the EV10 route towards the municipality of Askainen.  The objective of the trip was familiarize oneself with the certification criteria in practice onsite. The trip was organized in cooperation with Mr. Jouko Parviainen from the national BikeMenu2 project, which has developed local cycling routes in the region. The participants cycled a 24km route and visited two companies that have the The sign indicates to the cyclist that certain services, such as water and tools are available for the cyclists – as well as a cyclist-welcoming attitude. The 24 km long route contained different types of terrain and cycling infrastructure, varying from gravel roads to separate cycling and pedestrian paths. Overall, the cycling trip was a refreshing and concrete way of getting familiar with the project topics and the EV10 route in Finland before the afternoon session, where project partners reviewed the upcoming project activities and schedule more deeply.

The final day of the kick-off was dedicated to joint development and peer learning. The day started off with an online project introduction aimed at project AOs and other stakeholders. Agathe Daudibon from the European Cyclists’ Federation introduced the European cycle route network, EuroVelo, and the different elements of a successful cycling tourism strategy. Project manager Heidi Heikkilä then continued with an overview of BAB project objectives and future activities and outputs, accompanied by partner introductions.

Altogether 17 participants took part in the co-creation workshop. Biking tourism topics spanning both hardware, software and orgware were covered in the very fruitful conversation, resulting in a recognition of the key development principles to guide authorities in route development. The development of the benchmarking matrix will continue based on these workshop results.