Who? Emiel van Eck, second year Forest and Nature Management at VHL Velp
What? Together with eight fellow students he is planning a 900 km biking tour in Greece from 14 July to 9 August
Why? To raise funds for a plan to provide white bikes at the Strofylia nature reserve in Greece. En route they will also pick up litter and talk to local mayors about sustainability.
‘The lady at the Greek organization we are in touch with is worried about that too. The Greeks drive fast and are not aware of cyclists. There was even talk of a police escort but that isn't feasible. We'll cycle carefully and maybe wear helmets. We'll wear bright orange and green T-shirts, in the VHL colours.'
How did you hit on the idea?
‘The idea of a bike ride came up during a guest lecture by a Greek entrepreneur. Later on VHL turned out to have a link with Strofylia and we came up with this plan.'
Have you collected much money yet?
‘The counter is already at 1200 euros, thanks to sponsorship by friends, family and teachers. The student societies are helping too. Last Friday there was a racing bike with a simulation standing at the bar here at VHL, and two months ago there was a Greek party at Arboricultura. And at the open day we sold Greek snacks.
Is there a chance of encountering strange animals there?
‘We have to watch out for poisonous snakes and scorpions. Apart from that we might see some unusual salamanders and reptiles.' AB
The cyclists can be followed on their (Dutch) blog: www.griekenlandfietsers.tumblr.com