GBI stands for Global Biking Initiative
Since 2008, a fast growing global community within the ITC (Information Technology and Communications) Industry spends time and effort in cycling for the good cause.
Every year, several new countries are joining the community and more and more GBI events during a year are taking place. The main event is still the GBI in Europe, crossing several countries and lasting between five and eight days with a few hundred participants from all over the world.
Participants raise fund for a charity in their home country. Country local GBI organisations are taking care of fund raising and fund spending - making sure that the donations are made for long term intended causes - e.g. following the motto : give somebody a fishing pole rather the fish to guarantee most impact.
A Germany based global organisation is organising the GBI events, mainly the International (European) GBI tour. Country local GBI organisations may organise their own local rides - or they ask the global organisation to set them up.
The idea for the Global Biking Initiative was born on Wednesday, 2nd January 2008 at 12:45 in the Vodafone Canteen Am Seestern 1 in Düsseldorf.
A Vodafone Employee and three external IT consultants, working together on an IT project, fancied lunch together and complained about their personal increase in weight which occurred between Christmas and New Year. Equipped with a lot of problem solving skills, the solution was quickly found: Cycling! Not too exhausting, with a lot of fun and with the possibility to get within one day a lot of different impressions.
The basic set-up and target were defined within 10 minutes:
1) Cycling to the Vodafone Group Headquarter in Newbury (UK) to have a real impact to the personal body weight
2) Trying to find another six people - so cycling with ten people would be a great success
3) Give the project a good reason, so cycling for a good cause - mean, raising fund for charities
4) In return, asking suppliers to cover the costs so that people can focus on fund raising
5) Go with a real challenging target, but have fun and enjoy unforgettable moments
The first GBI started on May, 28th 2008 in Düsseldorf and 63 people in total cycled during this event, 32 of them even the complete distance. More than 20 sponsors supported the initiative and more than 23.000.- Euro fund was raised. After a great welcome in Newbury and a lot of memorable experiences during a complete cycling week we decided to re-do this tour every year!
The basic principle haven't changed since then and there was only one original target we constantly miss: for what reason ever - nobody has ever lost weight during a ride.
What are the prerequisites to join?
From a community point of view:
In principle, everybody older than 18 years can join a GBI ride. However, as the event is also a networking event within the ITC industry, it makes sense to have a strong (professional) relationship to this business. Most member of our community come from mobile operators or solution providers from all over the world. But other people are also warmely welcomed.
From a sportive point of view:
You need to be able to cycle hundred kilometers a day and this over a period of several days. As an absolute minimum to join a GBI team we see a lowest pace of 15 km/h in average over a complete day and you should have cycled at least once more than hundred kilometers within a day and another couple of ten kilometers the following day for training purposes.
As you will cycle as part of a larger team, you are not alone. We have almost never seen a GBI'an, who had to give up due to physical reasons. The contrary is more true: teams want to finish a leg, even it takes them ten to twelve hours with early start and late arrival.
From a technical point of view:
Your best friend during the ride will probably be your bicycle. It has therefore to be in a good technical condition and has to fulfill all legal requirements. For your own safety, we will take bicycles out from the event, if they have obvious technical deficiencies.
From an administrative point of view:
There are two components which you have to fulfill to join a GBI tour:
1) You have to register online and pay the participation fee. This fee just covers the basic costs of an event, without any extras. Once you have paid this fee, your registration is confirmed.
Please note that you have to pay the participation fee within a few days (usually 10-14 days, depending on the event) after you have registered and received the invoice. Otherwise your registration will be cancelled.
2) As the Global Biking Initiative is all about charity, you have to raise a certain amount of money for your local charity through your personal network. The threshold is set by your country local GBI organization. Once your GBI Country Champion has affirmed that you have contributed to the fund raising activities, your participation is confirmed.
We have summarized all relevant information about the event registration and the fund raising in the Registration & Fundraising Guide.
How can I sponsor/donate?
There are two different ways of sponsoring or donating for the Global Biking Initiative:
1) Appear as an official sponsor at the GBI.
There are different sponsoring packages with interesting benefits and additional options. We will find a package that fits best for your purpose.
If you are interested in becoming an official GBI sponsor, please contact us.
2) Support particular cyclist(s) with your donation.
Every single participant has to raise funds prior to a GBI event. There are different mechanisms within the different countries how this funds are collected - so please talk to your cyclist(s) or the GBI Country Champion to find out how to donate for participants.
What bicycle types are allowed?
You can join a GBI event with all kind of bicycles, as long as they have two tires only. Most often, you will find ATBs, citybikes, racing bikes or mountainbikes. You may also find some e-bikes.
If you plan to join the GBI with an e-bike, please consider that a typical leg is approx. 100 - 120 km long. An average e-bike battery lasts for approx. 50 km or 4 hours until you have to recharge them.
You might wonder what track the GBI follows. We offer two different tracks per day: A short track 1 and a longer track 2.
Track 1 usually follows fixed ground but there might be some parts of a track which is on gravel or other non-fixed surface. In this case, there will be two different tracks 1a and 1b where 1b is on tar only. This is the optimal track for e.g. racing bikes which don't to cycle the long track.
Track 2 follows tarred streets only and is therefore optimal for racing bikes. But other bicycles can follow this track of course as well.
There is one important pre-requisite you have to consider: Doesn't matter what bike type you choose, it has to fulfill all legal requirements and has to be in an optimal technical condition. Bicycles with technical problems or limitations will be banned from taking part.
What are these jerseys and trousers about?
Each participant gets a free, with your name personalised, officially branded tour jersey. This jersey has to be worn on the first day during the opening ceremony and on the last day during the group cycling event. The final layout of the jersey is usually published six to eight weeks prior to the tour.
There is the possibility to order in the same style branded cycling trousers. These trousers can be ordered with or without suspenders. Approx. eight weeks prior the tour we usually contact the participants to get the details clarified (configuration, size, etc.).
There is also the possibility to order GBI branded windbreakers. These windbreakers are 'tour-neutral', means there is no year or tour branding, but the official GBI colours and logo. Approx. eight weeks prior to the tour we usually contact the participants to get the details clarified (size).
Can I buy GBI stuff somewhere?
We sell several GBI branded products like jerseys, bike short, jackets or photo calendars. You can order these products in the GBI Onlineshop on our website. We are continuously developing new GBI branded products to satisfy our customers needs.
We offer, in addition to the shipping options, also handover options at the GBI Europe onsite registration or at the Vodafone Campus in Düsseldorf, which is interesting for GBI Europe participants, who wants to save the shipping cost. You also could try to find other people in your country, who want to order GBI products as well and save shipping costs, too.
When we stay in sporthalls or other budget locations like hostels, etc., we take care that you can charge your mobile. There are usually multiple sockets available where you can charge your mobiles.
Voltage: 230 V (alternating current)
Frequency: 50 Hz
Supported connector (plug) types: Type C (CEE 7/16) and Type E+F (CEE 7/7)
Please note that we don't have adapters for other plugs then the above mentioend.
What about alcohol, drugs, etc?
Everything which is legally allowed in the country we are cycling, is also allowed during a GBI. If you use, own, sell, buy or share illegal substances, you will be taken out from the GBI ride. This is especially valid for drugs and doping. Illegal behavior will further be brought to the local legal authority attention. It is that simple.
If you are unsure whether a specific sustance is allowed, please contact the touroffice during the ride or contact our support prior an event.
May be a special comment to alcohol: You can drink alcohol, especially during the evening hours. We will even offer beer and sometimes cocktails. But please a) respect the fact that some cultures do not allow the use of alcohol and some GBI'ans will therefore not drink alcohol and b) make sure that your consumation of alcohol does not result in a negative behaviour which affects others.
Do I have to cycle all stages?
In principle, a GBI tour is designed in a way that you can cycle all stages without a break between. But there are of course a lot of reasons why you might not be able to cycle one leg or even several days. Technical issues with your bicycle or personal medical problems are well understood.
In this case, you will be transported from the departure to the arrival later in the morning and spend the rest of the day at the arrival destination (where you are free to visit near by towns, etc). If you like, you can of course help the support team (e.g. carrying the luggage, mount the arrival arch or distribute the matraces). It's up to you.
How do I pay the registration fee?
Please use the following information to transfer your registration fee to our bank account.
Account Owner: GBI Event GmbH, Am Kapellchen 26, 41470 Neuss, Germany
Bank Institute: Postbank Dortmund, Hiltropwall 4 -12, D- 44137 Dortmund
Bank Account 94968463
For 2016 we can offer payment by Paypal as an easy and fast payment alternative. You can select PayPal during the registration process.
Right now, there is no possibility to pay by credit card.
Cash Payment:We are no longer offering Cash Payment at the Onsite Registration of the tour. You have to choose one of the other payment methods instead.
How can I cancel my registration?
Sometimes it may happens that you have already registered for a GBI tour, but later you'll have to cancel your registration due to important issues.
The following cancellation conditions apply for events organized by the GBI Event GmbH (e.g. GBI Europe, GBI Deutschland):
1) Written cancellations up to one month before the start of the event:
a) Refund of the registration fee and the booked options minus € 80.- processing fee.
b) Already raised funds can't be refunded (or according to GBI local organization's policy)
c) The fee can be re-allocated at 100% to an alternative participant. This also applies to the already raised donations (or according to GBI local organization's policy). However, an official tour jersey for the alternative participant can't be guaranteed.
2) Cancellation less than one month before the start of the event:
a) A refund of the registration fee and the booked options is not possible.
b) The fee can be re-allocated at 100% to an alternative participant. This also applies to the already raised donations (or according to GBI local organization's policy). However, an official tour jersey for the alternative participant can't be guaranteed. The alternative participant can order at standard conditions an official non-personalized jersey.
How do I pay the required fund?
Your country local organization is organizing the fund raising activities.
The different countries are using different approaches. Some countries are using online solutions like fundraisingbox, other countries collect the funds in cash and hand it also over to the supported charity in cash or the fund is directly donated to the charity by the individual cyclists and closely monitored by the GBI Country Champion.
So it is best to talk to your GBI Country Champion to find out what method you have to choose in your country.
Do I have to use my own bike?
Usually the cyclists use their own bikes on the tour. But it may happen that you are not able to use your own bike (e.g. bike transport by plane is too expensive or you have not a bike for these distances). The GBI organisation owns a limited number of mountainbikes (standard and premium MTB) and rent them to participant. These bikes are well maintained and properly equipped (lights, bike lock, mud guards, rack, flat-less tires etc.).
You can choose the rental bikes as optional service during the event registration. Rental prices and further details are listed in our Rental Bikes Flyer or in the 'Services & Prices' section of each GBI Event.
Can I attend a GBI tour without cycling?
If you are not interested in cycling itself or temporarily not able to cycle, but want to be part of the GBI tour, we will be very glad to welcome you as a volunteer during the tour.
Such a huge event needs many people doing many things. Depending on your preferences and skills you will be appointed to a certain team. Accomodation and food will be covered by the GBI as reward for your help.
For further information please contact us.
Can I change my booked options?
Until the end of the registration period it is possible to cancel the booked options or to book additional options. But please note that this is manual effort and should be kept to a minimum. After the end of the registration period the booking of additional services is subject to availability (e.g. hotel accommodation, bus transfer, rental bikes). The cancellation of booked services will be handled according to our cancellation policy (to be found under 'Terms & Conditions').
For any change please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
When will the registration close?
The official online registration will close by end of March 2016 or after 400 people have a confirmed registration.
There is a possibility to register still later, but we have to charge an additional fee and it is not ensured that there is an availability for you (e.g. for hotel accommodation, bus transportation, or rental bikes). And you will not get a personalized tour jersey with your name and stars on it, but only a tour jersey without name and stars.
Does the GBI respect different cultures & religions?
Every year people from different cultures or with different religious habits join the GBI events. A major aspect of the GBI is to respect all people in their way of thinking and behaving. Therefore we offer special facilities like separated praying rooms, separated female dormitories and halal food (at least for the GBI Europe events).
My country is not listed in the registration form
During the registration process you have to choose a country you will collect your donations for. Typically this is the country of your citizenship or the country where you live. In this list of countries all current GBI countries are presented. If you would like to participate for a country that is not listed there, you can establish a new GBI country. In that case please send us a mail to email@example.com. We will inform you about the next steps. You could choose a charity in your country which will be supported by your donations, etc.
As the GBI is a growing community we are very proud to welcome a new country in our global footprint.
How can I increase my donations?
There are many ways to find donators or to increase the donation volume.
We published some valuable aspects of fund raising on our website.
Do I have to cycle the complete tour?
You do not have to cycle all stages. You could also choose to cycle only one or more stages. But keep in mind that you have to organize the transportation by your own. More information for participation on daily basis will be published on the event website.
And if you are not able to cycle a day during the tour (e.g. you are ill, the distance is too long or mountains to high) it is no problem to rest for the day and go with the tour bus to the destination of the day.
I do not know for which team I should register
For cyclists who want to participate for the first time it is often difficult to select the 'right' team.
An initial overview of the teams will be published on the event site and in the registration section. Here you will find the team captains name and picture, the planned average speed and the choosen track (track 1a & 1b are the regular tracks, track 2 is the long track (about 150-200 km per day!). In the description the team captains give you some more information, e.g. how many breaks per day, when the team starts in the moring, whether only particular bike types are allowed or preferred, etc. Also you find a note, whether the team is an open team (can be joined by everybody) or a closed team (in particular sponsor teams are closed and can only be joined by invitation).
Don't be afraid of the mentioned average speed of the teams. This is only a very rough planned speed, which may change depending on the wether, the topography of the track, the decision of the group and much more. The best is to classify yourself in beginner (not regular cycling, less than ~1000 km per year), intermediate (quite regular cycling, about 1000 - 5000 km per year) and skilled cyclists (regular and often cycling with sportive character, more than ~5000 km per year). For beginners it is recommended to choose teams with an average speed of up to ~22 km/h, for intermediates you could choose teams up to 25 km/h or more. But this is only a recommendation. There are several other frame conditions that can influence the choice of a team. And, very important to know, you could easily change your team during the tour on daily basis, e.g. if the team speed is to fast or to slow for you.
Sometimes the team captains write their mail addresses in the description so you can contact them prior to the registration for more information.
How should I train myself to endure the tour?
Many cyclists, who have not participated at a GBI tour before feel anxious about the distances of the single stages, the total distance or the altitude of the tour.
Although the GBI tours are quite challenging, nobody needs to be scared about this. With a certain amount of training exercises and personal fitness everybody should be able to finish all stages. At least you should have cycled 2-3 times for more than 100 km a day. You also should have cycled a significant distance (more than 70-80 km) for 2 or more days in a row. And, to strengthen your personal endurance, you should try to cycle as often as possible (e.g. in your leisure time or on your way to the office). Each kilometer counts and will make you feel better during the tour.
But if you need to skip a day of cycling or even cannot finish a certain stage, there are different possibilities that the GBI brings you to the end of the stage without cycling.
Is it possible to change the team during the tour?
Sometimes it is necessary for a cyclist to change the team, e.g. the team speed is to low/high, you want to cycle with a friend in another team, etc. In these cases you only have to speak with you team captain and inform him/her about the team change. You also have to talk with the new team captain, as he/she has to confirm it.
Can I use my own GPS device?
Yes sure, you can. Although the team captains will have GPS devices from the GBI, it is very useful to have at least one more GPS device in the team. The more the better.
Some weeks prior to the tour we will publish the GPX tracks of the tour on the event website in the section 'Downloads'. You can download them and use in your own GPS device.
What do I have to know about hotel room bookings?
If you do not want to sleep in the GBI Camp, but in a hotel room, in general the GBI offers single and double rooms in hotels of 3*** standard nearby. Depending on the amount of hotel room bookings and the local and seasonal availability of rooms it may happen that not all wishes can be realized. In that case you will be contacted as soon as possible with an alternative offer.
Please be aware that it might happen, that the hotels are not in walking distance to the GBI Camp. But in the price of the hotel rooms a shuttle bus is included to bring you to the hotel in the evening and to the Camp in the morning.
The GBI also offers one night prior to the tour start in a hotel near the start location. This accommodation can be booked separately from the general hotel package. If the hotel is not at the start location the transportation of cyclists and their bikes is included in the fee.
Can I choose a room mate for the hotel accomodation?
If you want to book a double room in a hotel from the GBI you sometimes want to stay with a friend, partner or team mate. We will contact all participants, who booked a double room in a GBI hotel, after the registration period and they can choose a room mate.
Please make sure that your room mate is informed about that and does not choose another room mate. This would make the organisation of hotel rooms very complicated and leads to heavy unnecessary mail or phone traffic.
What is the difference between track 1a/b and 2?
The GBI tour has a main track (track 1) and a longer track (track 2). It may not always be possible to offer track 2 for each stage of the tour (depending on the local situation).
Track 1a is the main track, but sometimes it may happen, that the track goes along not paved routes (e.g. gravel roads or forest roads). Track 1b follows always paved roads.
Each track (1a, 1b and 2) start and end together at the same location.