Intentionally designed for beginner and intermediate cyclists, this experiential sustainable living program is often the first bicycle tour for many of our participants. The stunning places you will visit on this bicycle tour and the extraordinary people you will meet will challenge and inspire you.
This is the perfect bicycle tour if you’re seeking to learn to tour with your bicycle and gear, but aren’t quite feeling ready to head out completely on your own. We will teach you how to fix your own flats, basics of bicycle mechanics, the fundamentals of safe bicycle touring, and provide you with mostly low-traffic routes. Our staff pre-deliver all the food and kitchen supplies to each of our hosts before the tour, so all you will need to carry on your bicycle is your own clothing and gear (you can either bring your own bike + gear, or rent from us for this bicycle tour).
This sustainable living bicycle tour is sure to be an experiential learning intensive for all those who participate. It’s where theory steps aside and reality begins: where the doing is the learning and the learning is in the doing. You’ll pick up valuable first-hand sustainable living knowledge and time-honored techniques, master skills no book or film could ever teach you and become part of building of a better, greener, more sustainable world.
The most inspiring and transformational aspect of this bicycle tour is the incredible community that forms during each sustainable living program. Each bicycle tour program tends to attract an unbelievable diverse range of participants of all ages, backgrounds and races who deeply care about their world. The depth and richness of dialogue naturally leads to friendships and relationships that last well past the bicycle tour expedition itself.
Throughout this week-long sustainable living bicycle tour program you will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of educational hands-on activities. You’ll visit family organic farms, learning how your food is grown, what it means for something to be organic, and why it’s absolutely critical to support local organic farmers. You will also cycle to model sustainable living eco-villages and intentional communities where you will learn all about the challenges and gifts of choosing to live in community. Along the way, we will make stops at green businesses and cooperatives, demonstrating the power of community economics and sustainable living.
Since our sustainable living bicycle tour participants come with a truly diverse range of backgrounds and experiences — some have never camped, some have never done a bike tour before, and some are entirely new to sustainable living, we begin with a full-day orientation that covers a rather stunning range of topics. We spend the day learning about each other, forming a bicycle tour community-on-wheels, and talking about the basics of camping and how to ride your bicycle safely on the road.
Visit incredible places on the edge of the sustainable living revolution
Bright and early on the morning after our bicycle tour orientation, we will set out for an incredible week of biking, camping, learning and eating healthy organic food. The places we will visit will both inspire and ground learning in experience. By visiting places and people “really doing it”, we see, hear and feel the how the ideas and philosophies of sustainability, permaculture, regenerative design and intentional community translate to real life, with all the pitfalls and difficulties, as well as the unexpected joy, that come when you dare to realize a dream.
The specific itinerary for each sustainable living departure varies depending on many factors – workload on the farms we’re visiting as some are often simply too busy to host us during certain weeks, routing, and other factors – however each program consists of biking roughly every other day, with service projects and educational activities on non-biking days. Most of the hosts you will visit on our sustainable living programs are organic farms, but we always seek to incorporate green businesses, permaculture and natural building sites whenever possible.
Here are some of the sustainable living hosts with whom we often work for our sustainability bicycle expeditions; this is only a sample list and is not indicative of site visits on any given program:
- Dharmalaya Center for Human Development
Developed on just a 3/4-acre property in suburban Eugene, this model permaculture site features a strawbale/cob buildings and classroom, solar photovoltaic panels, passive solar design, rainwater catchment systems, composting bathroom facilities, as well as a greywater catchment and filtration system that delivers post-shower water to a backyard pond. It is truly an incredible model of sustainable living in a suburban context.
Dedicated to a holistic vision of social, spiritual and ecological community, Dharmalaya serves as a hub of regenerative activity for the neighborhood and larger community with a variety of programs. The site is also host to the PROUT Institute (Progressive Resource Utilization Theory) and other permaculture and yoga-related research and development.
- Maitreya Ecovillage and Intentional Community
Maitreya is a small, residential sustainable living community whose intention is that members know each other well enough that they naturally turn to each other for friendship and support. The community’s buildings are green, it grows much of its own food, and it hosts concerts, dances, yoga and mediation circles, and other events focused on learning and growth.
- MattCyn Farms
This family-owned organic farm grows food sustainably, caring for the land as well as providing a valuable food source for local eaters. As Michael Pollan has pointed out in his recent books, it’s vital that we begin to “solarize” agriculture, moving from fossil-fuel-heavy methods to organic farming, and localizing our food supply so that we are not burning oil to ship refrigerated food vast distances. Putting farming back into the hands of small-scale farmers within local areas is good for people (especially kids, who grow up with access to green spaces and a closer relationship with animals and crops), as well as good for the land. It also makes for more delicious food!
- Sunbow Farm
Sunbow Farm was established by Harry MacCormack in 1972, as an intentional organic market-garden. The farm is a complex of living structures: 6 greenhouse/grow tunnels, shade houses, several barns, and a cob/rammed earth education center and bath house. Four wells provide pristine water to all life on the property. Sunbow is an island of alternative reality in a society tugged by upward mobility and financial gain regardless of consequences. Here it is clear that the farm and all life are our primary teachers. In that sense the farm is a life-promoting lab.
- Comprehensive pre-trip training on safety, bike mechanics and community living.
- Service projects with extraordinary hosts working on sustainability and progressive thinking.
- Healthy, nutritious, organic, vegan meals sure to keep you rolling!
- Experienced and knowledgeable tour support staff team.
- Carefully selected, low-traffic routing and directions.
- Camping accommodation for the biking portion of the course
Being the change by doing – an unparalleled sustainable living experience
Along the way we’ll be part of the permaculture transformation, helping to create a sustainable living system in an urban environment. You’ll be building your knowledge as well with this up-close, hands-on living workshop so when you leave you’ll be equipped to build a better world for yourself and your family.
For all of you who want to see and experience a simpler, greener way of sustainable living, our live with nature sustainability bicycle tour is a once in a lifetime expedition with knowledge that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss it!
Some logistical details for the bicycle tour program
All of our tours have carefully selected roads, tending to be mostly farm country roads with low-traffic. We consistently hear from participants that the routes for our courses are both extraordinarily beautiful and unusually well-suited for a bicycle tour.
The majority of biking days tend to be between 20-60 miles/day which translates to 2-6 hours of biking each day. Usually we try to bike every other day, giving us time at each host site to both learn and contribute. Please note that we do not provide meals or lodging the day of the orientation.
Here are the things this course includes:
* Please note that course logistics and details are subject to change without notice or refund.
Space is limited, and sustainable living bicycle tour courses often sell out early. Payment plans are available for your convenience!
Click here to apply for this program!
Click here to apply for this program!
Check out some of the things past sustainable living bicycle tour participants have said about this program:
Haley B: "I first met Regenerative Leadership Institute back in 2008 on one of their absolutely AMAZING bike tours. I never could have fathomed at first just how much I would be taking away from such an experience. Besides the daily enlightenment in the connection between organic foods and the environment, besides the ongoing flow of insight on low impact living, this tour proved not only to be just a scenic bike run, but a life changing event! One could just feel the ambition behind this expedition; it was so inspiring. The people were amazing, the biking was amazing, the Oregon Coast was amazing AND the food was amazing! On the last day of the tour I was in complete awe. For a moment I lacked the words to describe how I felt, but I knew what it was. My mind was clear, effortlessly clear in that moment,(rid of all my usual fleeting worries) and I cannot thank Regenerative Leadership Institute enough for making me feel life as it aught to be!"
Alison D: "I did a bike tour with Regenerative Leadership Institute. It was a really terrific experience. The reasonably-priced tour brought together a wonderful group of down-to-earth people. In addition to the bike ride along the breath-taking oregon coast, every day incorporated a service and an educational component which allowed us to get to know each other and meet many creative and courageous folks along the journey. The tour was well organized and led by a competent and compassionate team."
Dylan P: "This was one of the most memorable and inspiring experiences i have ever had. I pedaled myself through along the coast of Oregon visiting different food shares, organic farms, and meeting people who live to make a difference. During the trip I biked through luscious scenery, through forests, beaches, and cities, it was hard to believe it was only a week. All of the guides are extremely down to earth, and truly care about what they teach. The best part is that you learn from experiences rather then opinions. By getting yourself from place to place, following maps, meeting new people, and doing service projects. It was like a vacation from selfishness, living everyday to learn about, and work towards something bigger then yourself, I came out of this tour feeling incredibly relaxed."
Terry M: "My wife and I went on their Permaculture tour as part of our honeymoon four years ago ('07). We knew what we were getting into and felt that overall it was a good experience. We got to meet some amazing people and see some really good work being done. The miles were low enough for the non-cyclists (tho' I was hoping for more). Oregon is beautiful and it felt to good to do service learning activities. I had only done self contained touring before so I am not sure how much structure or how cushy this tour was comparatively. It felt very structured and I enjoy taking turns with different tasks and camping in wonderful places."
Rosemary R: "I thoroughly enjoyed my Regenerative Leadership Institute Course. It was an amazing experience and one I want to do again. I am waiting for the Hawaii trip. Sounds amazing to me. I learned a lot, challenged myself, met great people and was thrilled that we shared in a lifestyle that was new and different to so many of us."
Emmanuel M: "This sustainable energy in motion bike tour was absolutely incredible! I went with a friend several years ago and we rode 200 some miles between Portland and Eugene, OR. The hosts were engaging and inspiring, from organic farmers (Sunbow!) and eco-villages to sustainable suburbs and cycling collectives. The key was that we learned hands-on how to change our lifestyles and attitudes to incorporate organic and permaculture philosophy. Why has society taken so long to "formally" recognize what cultures all over the world have been practicing for millenia, ie sustainable agriculture and living practices... Oil, wars, and capitalism will no longer seem necessary once we get off our profit and technology-driven high horse and focus on the fundamentals of our existence: water, food supply, soil health and nutrients, and community. I enjoyed the food a lot, already being vegan, and though many people groaned at first they all ended up liking it too. Especially since we took turns with cooking, you got to taste many unique styles of cuisine. It may seem an inconvenience for omnivores, but organic veganism is really the simplest way to make a monumental impact on the environment, energy, and human and animal exploitation, hence it is an important component of this course.
Slav and his crew were excellent facilitators, very encouraging of our ideas and revelations while also actively participating and learning themselves. The essence of the experience is a horizontal transfer of information and reciprocal support, rather than a top-down "you must do everything this way" approach that we have taken for granted in our jobs and family relationships, many people had to re-learn cooperation, which was a good thing. Most importantly, this experience gives you the impetus to share what you have learned and to spread the excitement of freeing one's self from the chains of wasteful, self-indulgent consumerism. We cannot expect a better and safer world unless we take it upon ourselves to share and teach the ways we have learned to make it that way. I highly recommend this experience, there is no better opportunity to see the landscape and the earth as an integral part of our being, and to surround yourself with others who feel the same way."
Jean-Marie B: "I originally joined this bike tour on behalf of my sister threatening my mother that she was going to go across country by herself. I sucked it up and biked like crazy and ate all this vegan food and for the first couple of days I wanted to leave. What I needed was time to adjust, by the end of the tour I was in tears and I never wanted to return home.
Not only did this Regenerative Leadership Institute tour education show me a whole other world that I didn't find possible, it introduced me to an environment and a lifestyle my body had so much been craving ever since birth, it is when exercising and eating right and working together in an environment such as the west cost that brought about so much positive energy I felt that I was truly alive and now I long for the day that I have no strings attached in order to move to the west cost and become more involved in this amazing way of living and I thank Regenerative Leadership Institute for such motivation, upon returning home to Long Island I even kept up the biking because on the first day of the tour I biked for 10 hours without dieing so anything physical activity that took less then that felt like a piece of cake to me which was such a beautiful thing.
You learn allot on this tour but its really not something I can put into words for you to understand, its a feeling, an experience that one must have themselves and I highly recommend it because in all reality we all thrive to feel alive some just search forever or look in all the wrong places to feel this way."
Peter G: "I went on the cycling tour with Regenerative Leadership Institute last summer, and if I lived on the West Coast I would go every year. Maybe it is because I'm from New York, but on the tour were the thirty nicest folks I've ever met. Vladislav got us interacting in the rewarding, personal way from the very beginning, for in our first group activity we each looked into the eyes of a few of our new traveling companions.
And so we jumped right into the world of sublime, complex, healthy, uniquely human happiness from the more popular world of base, simple, unhealthy, animalistic happiness from which we had come, and to which we would sadly have to return...for now. Singing, talking, and sharing our stories, we turned activities from fun to thrilling through the use of the love connection that week, rather than the use of drugs such as alcohol. On our travels we found very few if any biting insects, a result of the dry summer; but we did find many profuse growths of wild blackberries, and included them in our vegan meal preparations. We enjoyed in those meals not a simple mixture of fat and sugar, but a complex mixture of spices and vegetables, inducing another aspect of that complex and healthy sort of happiness.
This tour gave us the requisite experience to empathize with those who might share with us their dreams of getting people together, for the power of those dreams lies not in facts and figures, but in the sublime experience they aim to bring to us the whole year round. And its positive reinforcement to form deep connections with people made us more likely to care about those dreams, for dreams travel fastest over the love connection."
Meagen A: "I was impressed and excited by what was described and presented on the website for what to expect from the course, as it was exactly what I was looking for at the time. I thought all of the sites and hosts were engaging, inspiring, thought provoking and beautiful. I really enjoyed the opportunity to experience many types of farms and the different ways the farm owners approached different methods of growing food organically. I loved all of the sites for different reasons. I also really enjoyed the format of riding for one day and rest/service project the following day. I think it worked out well. "
Adam H: "John Sundquist and Harry McCormick's farms were fascinating. Would have loved to have more in depth presentations at both. Matt and Cindy were great hosts and their farm was instructive as well. Because of the people involved, this was an awesome experience. We were able to form a really tight community and I have stayed and will stay connected with many of the amazing people I met on this tour. Many new possibilities have opened for me as a result. "
Nathan H: "I love watching how everything unfolds in each and every group. From the group dynamics and communication, to lasting bonds and new ways of seeing the world, there is never a shortage of fun and learning. These orientations continue to bring people together that might not otherwise have had the chance to meet, learn, share, and grow in the amazing group we all become. Dharmalaya is truly a feast for the senses. I am always excited to partake in the service projects on the tours. I look forward to the next way to get my hands dirty."
Marilyn W: "I loved eating fresh blackberries at John's. I liked the biking portion a lot - really what I wanted to do. I learned a lot about bikes and riding. Good range of sites and interesting people (farmers) visited. Good to see what things are involved in living off the land in a smaller than commercial manner."
Edward S: "The sites were a nice mix of places, in different stages of development. It would be nice to stay at more places but I understand the logistics of moving every day would be tough. I would recommend day trips to other sites for the free days if feasible. It would be ok if service projects were longer and/or more difficult, it felt good to give back to our hosts."
Dashielle V: "I loved all the places, and all the hosts. I thought the hosts were really wonderful people and I loved to hear them talk about their experiences. I was happy to be helping our hosts, so for that the projects were great. And of course it is lovely to work outside and to be a part of a farm for a day. I enjoyed that aspect, to be sure. My favorite part was the people, I thought it was an incredible group and I really enjoyed spending time with all of them."
David B: "I will certainly vouch for this ride. I have never been on another bike tour, but I would feel safe assuming that this one is among the best. Anybody else who went on the tour with me will confirm that beforehand I was freaking out and I got to Portland without even a bike (I couldn't afford to get my bike on the plane) but they helped me find a bike rental.
I made some of my best friends on this trip and I opened up in a way like never before. The hosts you stay with provide such an enriching vision of the world and it's such a relief to be on a trip with people you can really connect with off the bat. "
Tom A: "I enjoyed the tour. It is a wonderful and inspiring alternative to the majority of ordinary bicycle vacation tours offered, and on the other hand is lower cost and more easy-going that fundraising rides. Our hosts were entrancing and helpful, the routes were well-planned, the guides were all positive and available, and our co-riders were a varied and great bunch of people.
I spent a week riding through the Willamette Valley (Oregon). The support van (for our gear and food) runs on biodeisel. Meals are vegan, and are cooked collectively at each campsite. We visited/camped at a sustainable-agriculture cherry farm, an organic farm, a “green” housing development, and a yoga center that featured a straw-bale meeting house and composting toilets; to thank our hosts, we performed service projects for a few hours at each place we camped (e.g., picking garlic, pulling weeds).
In Eugene we visited the Bike Friday factory and the Center for Appropriate Transport, with the opportunity to try some great bikes at each location, including a zippy recumbent tricycle that was so much fun it should be illegal (see photo). People who spoke with us at the stops were inspiring and wonderful. Even a visit to the food co-op in Eugene was a lift.
Our fellow riders were a great and varied bunch, ranging from some over-65 guys down to a 12-year-old girl (on the back of her father’s tandem). Of course, they had to be interesting folks – who else would sign up for a tour such as this, rather than a typical fun-ride tour? With only about 200 miles of riding per week, this company isn’t seeking endurance cyclists; rather, these are fairly relaxed rides, focused on the people and places visited as much as on cycling."
Alyssa M: "Your success is really important to me. I hope that as I advocate for your company it influences the entire travel industry as a whole. While changing the lives of your participants, you are also creating a shift in the market towards socially and environmentally responsible tourism. Thank you. "
Meredith D: "Loved it, loved my mates and the people we visited and stayed with. And yes there was conflict and some disappointment. Looking back, it was all perfect, even the hot button issues that came up. But overall a great opportunity to learn. It is all about building community and communication and it begins with us."
Laurie D: "I had a wonderful time because I love biking in beautiful places. For years I've wanted to bike on the Oregon Coast. I loved the time at Cape Lookout and the Three Capes Scenic Route and the pretty country roads. The route was great. At first I was disappointed that we would not be right on the coast all the time, but the rural roads were lovely and it was better not to be dealing with the traffic on Rt 101 all the time. The Three Capes Route is the Oregon Coast at its best, hills and all. I hadn't camped for decades and wasn't sure how I would handle that part, but it was really fun. I didn't know what to expect about the group of people, but the camaraderie in the group was one of the best things about the trip. I enjoyed the service work a lot. Thank you for a great experience."
Allison B: "I had a great time. It was my first bike tour, but I enjoyed the challenge and felt that I accomplished personal goals. I enjoyed taking photographs and I will never forget what it was like to see the coast for the first time while riding my bike! The group was fun. I felt like some people were a little too picky. I had a great time!"
Stephanie S: "I loved the philosophy, fellow riders, and the people we met and the places we stayed. I was surprised how tasty the dinners were. It showed me how we could pack up our camper with non-perishables and eat very well. We loved our hosts---in varying degrees. The best were Renya and John---they opened up their hearts as well as their home to us. The wife/mom at the dairy kept us at a distance, but she was always working. On the way back I stopped by, and without all the rest of the gang, she was warm and friendly.
We loved meeting rather famous people that were more our age---at Sunbow Farm and at the Eco-Village. They both gave us so much good information and background stories. The couple at the Mustard Seed Farm had such a unique set up with the community, for them to work a bit and pick all they want---great Quaker ideas! The wife there was really charming and invited Joy and me in to see her house. Also, she gave us a plate of vegan choc. chip cookies piled up with a candle on top for my birthday! We loved the yoga center and the way the compost toilets and showers were integrated with the pond and garden. "
Cristin B: "I had a good time. It was my first bike tour and first time to Oregon, so I really enjoyed the scenery and the experience. I enjoyed our stops and hosts and did learn a lot. The hosts were really interesting folks, I wish we would of had more time with them. I enjoyed the service projects."
Kenn H: "I have been singing praises for this trip. That we could put together a group of such diversity and with such intensity so happily and agreeably speaks volumes for you, Jason (bravo!!!) and the group. Having been on a variety of bike trips, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, for its concept and the route. This is a superb idea and I applaud your initiative."
Jessica W: "My overall experience was quite good. The tour route was very beautiful! My partner and I do not get to see much of each other during the school year and even our summers can be hard. Riding this tour was a wonderful way for us to spend a week together. I felt very safe on the tour. I really enjoyed our hosts and learning about their projects.
I liked the diversity of ages and abilities. It made me feel more comfortable coming from were I am at as a cyclist. Everyone was very friendly for the most part and I met some great people. I was also happy to see so many women participating!"
Tatiana N: "I wanted to do something adventurous, to cycle in nature, to be surrounded by beauty, to learn, and Be with my friends and make new ones. Mission accomplished.
The experience was extraordinary. The people we met along the way and the places we visited were fascinating. The trip was well organized once on site and safety was a priority. The staff was passionate and personable. The diversity of the group amazed me - age, career, life experience but the bonds that formed were beautiful and strong and I remain in touch with some of them today.
The commonalities in philosophy tied us together and the depth and breadth of knowledge shared resulted in an insightful, inspiring and most memorable journey."
Jody S: "The orientation site was perfect for exposing us to permaculture that we would be learning about during the week. Site visits were awesome. All the hosts were wonderful, knowledgeable, inspiring and gracious. The service projects were enjoyable and informative. It was great to see how much could be accomplished with a group of people working together. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The biking experience was wonderful and I appreciated the opportunity to learn to be self-sufficient on a self-contained tour. The knowledge gained and interaction with the farmers and other presenters, as well as the other participants, was invaluable. The staff and interns were wonderful, fun, helpful and knowledgeable. Most of the organizational aspects of the trip and certainly the content of the site visits and the bicycling were excellent."
David M: "My experience of this community-building, sustainability-education-action project leads me to believe it will become one of the biggest community action events of my generation. Remarkably, many people I met on this trip have responded positively to the reality of the overly commercialized, mechanized, growing consumer shadow of our country. They have carved out small inspiring ways to live sanely and even celebrate in such a fast-paced, oil-fueled, whirl-blur experience of life. As you can guess the 'cycling tour' was no vacation. We did service projects everyday at each place we stopped. We served, learned, and taught as we went. Now that the ship has set sail, I can only imagine this kind of participatory action and education gaining momentum and getting stronger. "
Ryan M: "I will be eternally grateful for the life changing experience I had on the Regenerative Leadership Institute expedition I went on during the first summer of their rides. Touring through the backroads of Oregon stopping at sustainable communities, farms, schools, and businesses, showed me that there is a whole lot going on to be inspired by in this country. Eating healthy, exercising, meeting new amazing people, who became my friends, there is no other way I would rather spend time on vacation! This is an experience to have at least once in your life. And keep your eyes out for the movie I just directed, “Within Reach”, paying homage to the ride I went on with Regenerative Leadership Institute and how it sparked a major transformation in my life... but you will have to watch the movie for the rest of the story!”"
Haley K: "Most people go to Hawaii for the beaches, the surfing, the volcanoes or the resorts. I went there to bike across it. After finding a company from Oregon called Regenerative Leadership Institute Expeditions, I bought a plane ticket, and on Boxing Day I was on a flight to Hawaii’s Big Island. I biked from Hilo to Kona, and stayed at organic farms, bed and breakfasts, intentional living communities, and state parks within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Bike touring holidays are amazing ways to see the world without a plate of glass between you and your travel destination. Traveling by bicycle gives you the freedom to get off main roads and see details you can’t see by bus or tour.
Bike touring is a great way to see the world, or your own backyard beyond your town or city. Traveling by bicycle tour gives you more freedom and a much more intimate sense of place than other ways of traveling. I learned about permaculture and organic farming from my bike trip. I got help at a bamboo farm, pick coffee beans for a day, and meet interesting people from all over the U.S. and Canada. "
Edward C: "My wife, son and I joined 12 other bikers in early August for a one week sustainable farming bike tour in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The tour involved biking 40-60 miles one day and then touring/working on an organic farm the next day. Along the way we learned a lot about permaculture principles, sustainable farming practices, and community building. The trip was led by Vladislav Davidzon (founder of Regenerative Leadership Institute) and HW Brady. I recommend Regenerative Leadership Institute's bike tours to anyone interested in combining a self contained bike adventure with an opportunity learn some things about sustainable farming and permaculture."