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We are bike toured the Bulgarian part of Euro Velo 6 – some staggering 300km. We are a team of 5 but one of us is a true hero! Petar lives with cerebral palsy and this was his first long distance bike tour. Now we want to make this accessible to everybody!

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Euro Velo for All

The Route and it’s problem

EuroVelo is a network of 15 long distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent.  The routes can be used by cycle tourists as well as by local people making daily journeys. You can ride out over 70 000km but…

Despite the numerous efforts of the European Cyclist Federations (ECF) and the European Commission – Euro Velo 6 and Euro Velo 13 are extremely underdeveloped in their Bulgarian parts. Some say it’s corruption, others claim it is about inadequate governing.

We say it doesn’t really matter – what matters is that tourist spend over 9 billion Euros (of over 2.9 billion bike trips) every year on these routes and Bulgarian economy is missing out (tourism is #5 in Bulgarian GDP). We want to show the world that even underprivileged people like Peter can do the trip.

The plan is to do a five day trip on Euro Velo 6, where it beautifully follows the Danube river. We won’t be doing the full speed a bike tourer usually does so we can enjoy the road and take in the spectacular Bulgarian scenery.

The Team

NEDYALKO DERVENKOV

Entrepreneur and enthusiast. International relations ambassador for the Association of Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs, executive board member for the Bulgarian Association of Startup Companies, Innovation adviser in the Bulgarian Chamber of Trade and Commerce and a proud member of @BalkansEverywhere – Ned is about startups, sustainability and adventure!

IVAN DIMITROV

Marketing leader and entrepreneur. Ivan is a digital native since the early days of digital culture and during this time has switched many times between corporations, startups and public advocacy for digital innovation and policy making. He is an avid Instagrammer, exploring Bulgaria’s abandoned industry as part of @MissionDjango and promoting bikepacking in @BalkansEverywhere

KREMENA DESPINOVA

Marketing specialist and events organization veteran. Former corporate whiz in sales and conference management, now an organizational leader at the Association of the Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Mentor at ABLE Mentor (a student mentorship program). Alternative food nerd and a passionate advocate of entomophagy (the practice of eating insects)

PETER NEFTELIMOV

Founder at neftelimov.com and profesionalisti.info. An advocate of positive journalism at uspelite.bg, a blogger at Jamba. Peter organises Run2gether and a mentor at the ABLE Mentor initiative. Studying Biotech and a firm believer that changes are achieved one step at a time.

ALEXANDER HINKOV

Journalist and social entrepreneur. Co-founder and manager of the only positive media in Bulgaria – Uspelite.bg. With his team Alex launched a clothing brand Nosiya (Носия) to promote Bulgarian folklore. Believes that effective productivity depends on empathy and sport. Loves spontaneous adventures and people’s smiles.

Our Solution and Impact

We are looking to create a sustainable approach towards equal accessibility and bike touring. Here is our plan:

I. Reoccurring events. This is our first but definitely not the last Equal opportunities for all bike tour. We are looking into organising trips every year and grow our fleet and dedicated riders with each event to come. Biketouring and bikepacking could and should be done by everyone that has the will to explore and experience this type of alternative tourism. People with special needs are severely neglected in Bulgaria when it comes to bicycle accessibility, so we are giving a shout out.

II. Provide a pool of specialised bicycles. The tandem bikes are crazy expensive, so if we manage to have one, two or a few – we will be providing access to them to all in need.

III. Raise awareness for the Euro Velo Network and in particular – Euro Velo 6 and Euro Velo 13 – their Bulgarian mishappenings. We want Bulgaria to be equally included in the Euro Velo network – to establish proper infrastructure, create sufficient awareness and attract capital within the poorest regions of the European Union.

IV. Share the love about bikepacking and biketouring. We believe that the bicycle is the best way to “travel quickly in a slow manner”. Being exposed to the outdoors, getting physically challenged and learning on the go are the things that made us fall in love with the phenomenon of Biketouring.  We are committed to promoting this phenomenon through seminars, bike competitions and dedicated online presence.