Conditions of Participation
BaltiCCycle (BC) is not a commercial tour, all organizers are volunteers, and the registration fee collected goes only for covering organizational expenses. Each route is different, therefore it is impossible to work out all details in advance. Joining BC, you become a part of the team, and we expect from you a good will and a right understanding of our principles and rules. Your assistance in organizing daily program and solving all difficulties is highly appreciated.
Note. The ride will happen on the conditions we offer here if more than 10 participants register for the main part of the route from La Paz to Tupiza. We must know it in advance (for booking plane tickets, hostels, etc.); therefore, the deadline of registration is fixed at the November 30 , 2017. People, who want to join us for the shorter part, can register later. If we not collect enough participants, the current ride conditions can be changed (membership fee will increase). After registering, you will be regularly informed by email about the registration progress.
The BC2018 expedition to Bolivia is scheduled for participants having experience in long-distance travels and harsh cycling-camping conditions as well as cycling on unpaved roads and in unpopulated areas. The main part of the route goes on high altitudes reaching 4000m and more. You should be familiar with symptoms of altitude sickness and the risk related to it. To cycle the whole route is a big challenge. Be prepared for adventures, extreme weather conditions and unexpected obstacles on the road. The ride is open for everybody but before signing you should think about your mental and physical capability to complete it.
BC participants gather for the ride from different countries and continents. We recommend bringing on your bike a national flag or other symbol that local people could see us as international friendly cycling community. We will raise our flags on 6000m volcanoes to commemorate 100 years Independence of Baltic States.
Organizational rules. We try to keep our organizational principles similar to the previous BC tours.
- The daily cycling distance averaged through the whole route is 64.2km. It is shorter as usual because of hard cycling conditions.
- The rest days are planned once a week or more often, if there are famous sights on the route.
- The route will often go through unpopulated areas, therefore we will often camp in a wild nature. In towns and villages we will sleep in hostels if they available. Many sleeping places are not arranged in advance, and starting in the morning you do not always know where you will sleep at night. The driver of our supported car will look for sleeping places and help us to find them leaving marking signs or informing by mobile phone if the net is available.
- The maps with a marked day’s route will be distributed during a map-meeting every morning as well as the day’s program explained.
- From sleeping to sleeping place you can travel individually or in small groups. When according the program some common event is planned we will cycle in one group wearing T-shirts and other BC symbols.
- Though we will have the support car on the whole route, you should be ready to carry all your necessary stuff on the bike for a few days (in case of car break or other unexpected circumstances). The service of luggage transportation is limited to 25kg in one standard bag (you will receive it). This service is included in the membership fee.
- In case of serious emergency you can call the driver (though the cell phone net coverage is limited to the major populated areas) asking to transport to the nearest first aid or service centre. In case of injury, sickness or other reason when participant is not able to continue cycling for more than 2-3 days, the organizers can offer to transport the cyclist and his bike for 2-3 days.
- The condition of roads is very different and varies depending on the weather. You should be very careful when cycling down on unpaved roads. Many unexpected obstacles like stones, sand, ice can cause a serious accident.
Arrival/Departure. Costs of the arrival/departure are not included in the participation fee. You can join and finish the ride at any point of the route, and you have to plan yourself how to do it. We can pick you up for the additional fee (5 € / 10km) in the radius of 50km (100km both ways). You should contact the ride organizers at least two days before. Though the ride schedule is fixed but the real dates in some parts of the route can be slightly shifted (plus/minus 1 day) because of unexpected obstacles. Have it in your mind when planning arrival.
Click – here – to find the rough recommendations how to reach us on the route. If you are interested in a group flight ticket, mark it in the Registration Form.
Click – here – how to prepare your bicycle to a plane transport.
Visas. You have to check if you need visas at your country’s consulates. It is recommended to obtain all necessary visas individually, no group visas available. The major part of the route we will cycle in Bolivia but enter Peru for 1 day and Chile for 5 days. Citizens of EU countries are allowed to enter these countries and stay up to 90 days. Your passport should be valid at least a half of the year ahead from the start of ride.
Acclimatization. The majority of route goes at altitudes between 3000 and 4000 meters above sea level, only some days reaching close to 5000m. La Paz airport – El Alto – Is located at 4060m (it is the highest situated international airport in the world), and altitude sickness is almost inevitable when landing here directly from lower lands. You can expect fatigue, headache, vomits, irregular heart pulse, and shortage of breath. These symptoms usually overcome after 2-4 days depending on person. Therefore, we recommend arriving to La Paz earlier to have enough time for acclimatization or start to take special pills (i.e. Sorojchi, Diuramid or simple Aspirin) at home a few days before the arrival. More about travelling at high altitudes read – here; in particular how to deal with altitude sickness in Bolivia read – here.
Weather conditions. Bolivia’s climate has two distinct seasons: the dry season – winter – from May to October, and the rainy season – summer – from November to April. Weather conditions vary essentially going from highlands to lowlands. The major part of our route will go through the Altiplano, which is less affected by rains, especially in the south where it turns to a desert. In March the average max temperature at 4000m in La Paz is 14C, and the average min 2C; the length of day is 12.7 hours, having 4.9 sunlight hours. The average max and min temperatures at 3600m in Uyuni are 20C and 12C. Still at higher altitudes minus temperatures are possible during the night. On Yungas route warm, humid weather and refreshing breezes are expected every day.
Hiking to volcanoes. We plan to climb the summits of two volcanoes at altitudes 5920m and at 6008m. Except for high altitudes the climb is technically simple and does not require special equipment or rock climbing skills. Nevertheless, you should own good hiking shoes, hiking clothes, rucksack, and alpenstock advisable. The climbs are scheduled at the end of main route (on 27th and 30th days) when our bodies will be acclimatized perfectly to high altitudes. Those who will not climb will have a rest in a campsite.
Catering. It depends on you, but it is highly recommended to bring along a gas stove for preparing meal in the campsites. There will be long wild parts of the route without restaurants and supermarkets. Entering unpopulated areas it will be a possibility to carry some reserve of products as well as drinkable water for necessary number of days in our van. If no drinkable water at the campsite, the driver is responsible for providing it.
Vaccination. You have to bring with you the International Certificate of Vaccination (the yellow booklet) with certifications of vaccination. The vaccination/medicine to be active must be taken a few weeks before your start. Consult with your local vaccination centre.
No obligatory vaccinations are required for Bolivia, though the yellow fever vaccine may be required if you are coming from a country with known cases such as Peru or Brazil. Recommended vaccinations:
- hepatitis A,
- hepatitis B,
- yellow fever,
Necessary equipment and documents:
- bicycle prepared for long travel (carriers with panniers or saddlebags, safe brakes, reflectors and lights); click – here – for the recommendations how to prepare the bike;
- passport of your bike or other document proving your ownership (you have to show it when entering/leaving the country);
- good bike wear for different weather conditions, sun protection creams, and glasses;
- cyclist first-aid kit (more parts and tools in the support car);
- first-aid kit (more medicines in the support car);
- mosquito net and insect repellents;
- valid passport with necessary visas (at least a half of the year ahead);
- INDIVIDUAL MEDICAL INSURANCE is obligatory, no group insurance is provided;
- camping gear (windproof-waterproof tent with hard ground pegs, warm sleeping bag, gas stove, headlamp, etc.); note: in La Paz you can buy screw-on and pierceable canisters for gas stoves but you will not find easy-click canisters;
- hiking shoes and other equipment for hiking to 6000m peaks;
- money for personal expenses i.e. bicycle repair, food, museums, excursions, permits to National Parks, and other expenses);
- mobile phone;
- GPS receiver with off-line maps (you can buy Bolivia Garmin map – here – or download for free Open Street maps; The Google maps have less details).
Children until 18. Children can take part in the ride only together with parents (one or both) or another adult who is authorized by notary to take care and is fully responsible for the juvenile.
Luggage transport. We strongly recommend carrying all necessary personal stuff in the panniers on your bike. The service of luggage transportation by the support car is limited to 25kg in one standard bag you will receive; it is included in the registration fee. You should be ready to carry all your stuff a few days on the bike if it will be necessary because of delayed car formalities on the borders or in case of emergency (car break or some other unexpected circumstances). If you plan to transport any additional bag in the support car you have to indicate when registering and pay in advance (2€ / day).
Neither organizers nor drivers are responsible for safety of your luggage. You should insure your luggage against theft personally.
Transportation from Tupiza to La Paz. The best way is to take a night train from Tupiza to Oruro, and then the bus to La Paz. Another option is to take a train from Tupiza to Uyuni and then a flight to La Paz. The support van can take your luggage but the bicycle most probably you have to take with you. We can buy the train/bus/flight ticket for you if you ask for this service during the ride. The price of train/bus tickets vary depending on the travel class; you can buy them on – check here. The flight from Uyuni to La Paz with Bolivian Airlines costs ~80€.
Membership fee. The membership fee is fixed to 18€ per diem. You have to indicate the number of days you plan to travel in the table of the Registration Form, and your membership fee will be counted automatically. To organize the whole event with fewer troubles we ask everybody who has intention to take part in the expedition to register as soon as possible.
If the registration and the half of membership fee are not received until November 30, 2017, the discounts are cancelled. The second half of participation fee must be paid 5 days before your start date; otherwise the whole fee increases by 10% as well. Participants who do not have any discount, must pay the fee at least 5 days before their start date; otherwise the fee increases by 10% as well.
The membership fee will not be required from those local cyclists who help in organising the ride and will cycle less than 3 days. They have to cover only the sleeping costs. The organizers will appreciate if local participants will purchase a package with ride symbols (T-shirts, flag and sticker).
The membership fee includes:
- sleeping places for a tent under simple conditions (drinking water, waste-baskets) in wild campsites or in private land as well as in fully equipped official campsites or hostels when outdoor camping is not available;
- car following the group with first-aid kit and basic bicycle repair instruments and tools; possibility to call the car in case of emergency;
- transportation of 1 standard 25kg bag;
- copies of maps with the marked route; list of recommended sights as well as a short description and a daily consultation regarding the route and cultural program;
- T-shirts (for 20-days and more participation), flag and sticker with BC2018 ride symbols;
- cosy surprises prepared by organizers or local authorities.
Discounts. The discounts are applicable only if the Registration Form and at least the half of membership fee is received before November 30, 2017. The second part of the fee must be paid 5 days before your start, otherwise the whole fee will increase by 10%. Discounts do not accumulate.
- 15% – for students (until 26 years old), families (3 and more persons) and BC veterans who cycled more than 100 days in the previous BC tours. If the 100th day comes during the ride, the discount will be counted from that day.
- special – participants who obtain potential sponsors or support organizers before or during expedition in another way will receive a privilege discount negotiated personally.
Additional paid service (optional):
booked by registration;
- transportation of one additional personal luggage up to 20kg (2€ / day);
- T-shirt with the logo of the ride – additional or for participants cycling less than 20 days – 15€;
booked during the ride:
- bicycle spare parts (bike shop price; we will have a very limited amount of spare parts);
- possibility to use transport of organizers for arrival/departure to/from the ride in the radius of 50km (5€ / 10km);
- train/bus/flight ticket from Tupiza to La Paz.
Resignation rules. The date of resignation is fixed up when the resignation letter is received by organizers (before the ride by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, during the ride it should be delivered to the leaders of expedition and confirmed by them). The date is important, because it determines the amount of refund. The membership fee for the travel days exceeding 30 days after resignation date are fully returned, and for the first 30 days are returned in the following manner:
- up to 60 days before the start: – 100%;
- 10-60 days before the start: – 70%;
- less than 10 days before the start – no money repaid, however 70% are deposited in participant’s account for the next year BC tours;
- after 20 and more days of cycling – 80% of unused money (for the first 20 days no refund);
- money is paid back under mentioned above circumstances within 30 days after the end of the expedition;
- money is not paid back for participants excluded from the tour;
- if you decide to change the sleeping place provided by organizers to another, you will yourself cover a cost for it, the organizers don’t give money back if you don’t sleep with a group;
- if due to some reasons the participant separates from the group for one or more days (nights) no refund for this lost time is applicable.