This pilgrimage was devoted to the 2000 years anniversary since the birth of Christ. The tour was blessed by the Bishop Murmansky and Monchegorsky Simon and the Archbishop Ioann of Karelia and all Finland.
That tour was carried out in the period from July 16 till August 17, 2000.
The Barents region Children's and Youth pilgrim cycling tour lasted 33 days, from them 18 days in Murmansk region and Karelia, 12 - in Finland and 3 - in Norway. During that time the participants overcame 3300 km by bicycles, visited Trifonov Pechengsky, Solovetsky, Valaamsky and Valamo monasteries, convent in Lintula, the Orthodox Museum in Kuopio, climbed by bicycles up to the plateau Rasvumchorr (h=1050m), have visited Kizhi, Laplandsky National park, a lot of museums and other places of interest.
17 people took part in this pilgrimage (12 boys from 13 to 16 years old, 4 grown up cyclists and a driver of the escorting bus).
The Barents region Children's and Youth pilgrim cycling tour was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Barents Secretariat, Murmansk regional Administration, Administration of the town of Severomorsk, Sør-Varanger commune Administration and sponsors. This pilgrimage wouldn't be possible without well-coordinated efforts of many people.
The main goals of the project were achieved and here are our conclusions and recommendations for the season 2001.
All participants of the tour would like to continue their trainings and a lot of newcomers attend the cycling club in order to prepare to the Barents region Children's and Youth cycling tour in summer 2001. This is a very strong stimulus for going in for sports, getting fit and foreign languages studying.
During this tour we met many cyclists and young people, interested in co-operation and we are going to work together with cycling clubs from Segezha, Petrozavodsk, Oulu, Tornio and Rovaniemi this summer. We plan to make contacts with cycling clubs in Sweden and Norway as well. The international team of participants is our aim for this year.
Special attention must be paid to organising of meetings with local young people in places along the route (sport games, weight lifting, evening tea drinking, etc)
Participants had got much new knowledge about the Barents region history, culture, nature, ecology and geography. To make the understanding of the culture programme more effective and structured all participants ought to make an acquaintance with it in advance and their knowledge should be monitored beforehand and after the tour.
All people we met during this tour had very positive opinion about this project.
The organisers of the tour ought to study the experience of the international cycling organisations such as the European Cyclists Federation and their projects in order to join the European cycling network.
P.S. The experience of the Barents Children's and Youth cycling tour 2001 was very important for the further development of the project.
Many of participants of the tours 2000 and 2001 would like to repeat this experience and many newcomers started tranings in our club. In year 2002 we will do our best to make the team of cyclists international and to invite people from other parts of North-Western Russia as well.