A four day bicycle tour through the southern islands of Finland.

Ride report on EcoTrip 2000
Ride report on EcoTrip 2001
Ride report on EcoTrip 2002 Schweiz


Eco-Trip is a short trip that has been organised each year for the last four years by Olli Kuusisto of the Kaarina-Piikkiö Open College. It is a fairly leisurely 250km ride through the islands off the southwest coast of Finland. The ride is four days long, and winds through some very picturesque countryside. Most of the participants ride trikes or two-wheeled recumbents; battery-assisted vehicles are also in evidence and Olli takes his solar- and wind-powered boat. Anyone is welcome, though - there are usually one or two people riding perfectly ordinary diamond-frame bicycles.

Jarmo Laine's 'Perspirator', with Jarmo inside it (EcoTrip 2000) The aim of the tour is to have fun and enjoy the ride; equally important is to take a message to the people along the way that transport doesn't have to involve petrol or high speeds. To this latter end, several presentations are made along the way. This year the message was accompanied by dancers and a classical septet. But the bikes themselves are the biggest attraction. From Jarmo Laine's "Perspirator", an enclosed battery-assisted vehicle, to the famous Hipparion, a front-wheel, lean-steering trike built by Esko Meriluoto, the "exhibits" are a fascinating collection of lovingly built and passionately ridden machines.

By no means all the machines are owner-built - many people come along riding commercially available bikes.

Pekka Rautiainen and the support vehicle (Ecotrip 2000) Because some of the bikes are experimental, there is a support vehicle. Most people carry the essentials on their bikes and put their overnight stuff in the support vehicle.

Maybe useful notes


There is a terrific interactive map system for the Turku region at You can zoom in and move around quite quickly.

For Finland in summer, you need:

If you are interested in future Eco-Trips

So far, Olli Kuusisto has organised all the Eco-Trips, ably assisted by various friends and helpers. There is a web page which should have contact details. There has been some suggestion that the Eco-Trips should be held in other countries, so if you want to organise one (or help organise one) in your country, I'm sure Olli would love to hear from you.

Preparing a trike for aircraft transport

I took a Windcheetah along for EcoTrip 2000, and a Greenspeed GTO for EcoTrip 2001.

My GTO has a Rohloff rear hub and a SpeedDrive front chainwheel, so I have no oily, bendable derailleurs to worry about. The seat is integral, with no cushions to fall off and the steering is underseat. The only preparation I did for the GTO was to remove the nasty sharp pedals, remove the fragile bits (bottle holders, mirrors, lights, cyclocomputer), and run the flag down into the seat.

Preparing the Windcheetah took longer. It survived four loads and four unloads in this state. It takes about 15 minutes to half an hour to do this and the same to get the trike back into a ridable state. Some of these steps need the appropriate tools, of course.

Some people recommend lowering the tyre pressure. The theory is that the bike is exposed to very low air pressure at 10,000 metres altitude, and the tyres might explode. However, the baggage hold is pressurised in most aircraft, so this step seems unnecessary.
Counter graphic readers. Last update: 16 September 2001, Karl Auer