May 28, 2011

Privet St. Petersburg

With one month to go till all Ride for your Rights! bikers meet in Novi Sad for the opening ceremony, local teams are working eagerly to consolidate the programmes and events in their tour towns.

Next to the opening ceremony down south, the closing ceremony in Pburg will also be one of a kind. In order to make sure that all riders will arrive in St. Petersburg safely, George and his crew from St. Petersburg Fixed Gear decided to give us their great support by picking us up from the Finnish border. Cycling on Russian streets and especially cycling in St. Petersburg takes skills, guts and the knowledge which route to take to avoid a visit to the bike clinic.

So what could be better than teaming up with St. Petersburg riders to support them in return and ride for our rights as cyclists on car and traffic dominated streets in Russia together?

Check out the video message and meet the crew

More news on Pburg and all other stops coming soon...

May 19, 2011

Bike of Honour - Inauguration

Ride for your Rights! is proud to present the first official Rider of Honour to break in the Bike of Honour.

In the spirit of the project we aimed high to begin with and were not disappointed the slightest. MEP Doris Pack, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, was our first guest to take the tour's special bicycle for a spin and to sign its frame.

The 'Bike of Honour' serves as a symbolic link of all countries involved in Ride for your Rights! It is supported by an electric motor to express the necessity for an extra boost student mobility is in need of. It is reserved for VIPs and European leaders who share the same vision as we do. 'Riders of Honour' will get to sign the frame after haven taken it for a ride.
The letter box attached to it holds our manifesto and is our moving collection point where you can drop in your ideas for improving student mobility in Europe.

But our ideas and your requests are not everything. Therefore, we will ask all our Riders of Honour to share their vision of an ideal Europe with us and to suggest ways how to realise this. Ride for your Rights! strongly believes that student mobility and innovative exchange programmes such as Campus Europae are the answer to an ideal society in Europe. Watch the following video of Doris Pack to hear from an expert on education and culture what needs to be done and improved in a joint Europe.

Who will be the next Rider of Honour? Stay hooked and find out soon.

May 15, 2011

Most honourable encounter

'How on earth?' is the question I lately often ask myself. About a year ago I thought to myself what if... what if we got a group of students from different countries together to ride a bicycle across the continent in order to convey a strong message.

One year later and with helping hands from all sides and countries, the first born thoughts have transformed themselves into a firm looking project.

Next to having been nominated for the European Charlegmane Youth Prize, gaining support from top-notch athletes and Olympic Champions, the spirit of Ride for your Rights! has touched great personalities one normally would not encounter in the daily grind.
Not long ago, I had the honour of meeting one of Austria's most inspiring persons alive. Three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize Ms Hildegard Goss-Mayr sat down with me and shared her thoughts on the importance of Human Rights teaching in Higher Education, on the necessity of nonviolent action among the youth and on the positive effects exchange programmes can have on society. If you want to catch a glimpse of the interview check out the following video.

But Hildegard Goss-Mayr was not the only inspirational person I came across lately. Stuart and Gregory from IFOR Austria were the ones making it possible for me to shoot the video and also left a deep impression on me. Generally speaking, it is not exactly normal that you meet such positive thinking guys who offer their help for free only because they believe in the underlying meaning of a project when they normally work with people such as Jane Goodall, Erin Gruwell or Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Have a look at their latest and most ambitious project FairSoul. One of my favorite videos is the one of social activists and musicians Topoke and Dominik Nostitzt who are also based in Vienna.

Topoke - Africa Moto from FairSoul-LIVE...ACT..BE on Vimeo.

What you should know is that you can meet Gregory and Stuart (maybe even Ms Hildegard Goss-Mayr) in Vienna on July 20, when we'll have our workshop on nonviolent action in cooperation with IFOR Austria. Btw, with its aim and constant endeavours for promoting peace and nonviolent action around the globe, IFOR played a vital role in the civil rights movement caused by Dr Martin Luther King back in the days.

My personal conclusion of all this: Positivism attracts positivism!


PS: A big thank you to everyone contributing to the realisation and success of Ride for your Rights!

May 13, 2011

Ride for your Rights! goes ROUND

Ever wondered what a cycling critical mass of students has in common with a professional football freestyler born in Guinea?
At first sight - apart from people using round objects for different purposes - not much!

Undoubtedly, Iya Traore is currently the most wanted football freestyler on the planet. He attracts and entertains thousands of people, young and old, tourists and locals, live or on French's got talent. Wherever he puts on his show and demonstrates his unbelievable skills, Iya Traore puts a spell on any spectator and raises awareness galore. In this respect, we found our first match. Ride for your Rights! was intiated to raise awareness and to be seen. Clearly we'd have to do handstands on our bicycles in order to achieve similar results but with a little help of everyone we can gather enough young Europeans who want to be seen and heard.

Our second match can be found when comparing the reasons behind 'the show'. In his biography Iya tells his fans that he had to stop playing for Paris Saint Germain at the top of his career because Iya had to support his father and pursue his studies. Despite these obstacles in his personal life, "With a positive attitude, Iya decided to keep on playing football, but in an original way." His eagerness to make it to the top has rewarded him with holding the Guinness World Record, various invitations to TV shows around the world and even having played for former president Jacques Chirac. So what does Iya do with all the fame? Iya has understood his function as a role model for the youth and he continues passing on his skills and knowledge to youngsters at his own football camps and at his football club back home in Guinea. In brevity, Iya shares his passion and skills for a good reason - he wants to cause a change and help those in need for better conditions.

Ride for your Rights! wishes Iya all the best in the future and is looking forward to meeting him again one day in Paris or maybe even in Guinea.


PS: On a personal note, when I first met Iya and asked him whether he would like to support Ride for your Rights! I had no idea about his popularity. Only after he had done his show for us and I had looked him up on the web and learnt about his fame, I was truly awestruck at first, then felt extremely honoured, and finally I was full of enthusiasm once again that Ride for your Rights! has great potential for reaching our own goals in Europe.

May 10, 2011

translated manifesto

We're happy to inform that we're currently working on translating the Manifesto for more support and less obstacles for student mobility to different languages. This way, we hope our message can reach a wider audience and increase support for what we consider to be a worthy cause.

At the moment, the manifesto is available in Czech, German, English, Maltese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian and Swedish. More to come.

Don't forget to sign the manifesto and spread the message!
This is not just about riding bicycles.
We're here to make a stand for student mobility!

May 6, 2011

stage A: deadline EXTENDED!

Heads up, everyone!

In the past weeks we've been working hard and we're receiving many messages of support and many pre-registration requests. We're all proud of the impact this project is having and we hope to see more of you join this ambitious ride.

As such...

Novi Sad to Pécs
You can still send us your pre-registration until May 10th, at 23h59 CET.

Join us by the Danube, and Ride for your Rights!