Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Good news for Austrian mountain biking.
  • 4
    Kramer
    Free Member

    Austria is developing a national mountain biking strategy, to attract mountain biking tourism as they are losing out to other Alpine countries.

    Their current access laws are 50 years old and were written before mountain biking was a thing. Sound familiar?

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Sounds sensible.

    2
    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. The get drunk while blasting animals to bits brigade will need quite a bit of persuasion.

    ElShalimo
    Full Member

    In Austria?

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    yes, they cordon off huge swathes of mountainside, and head off into the hills armed with sniper’s rifles and litre bottles of Obst. Generally they’re hunting wild boar, but after half the bottle’s gone anything that moves is worth a shot.

    alpin
    Free Member

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. The get drunk while blasting animals to bits brigade will need quite a bit of persuasion.

    Da hoam wir immer so gmoacht!

    alpin
    Free Member

    I used to guide transalp groups from Bavaria to the Italian lakes. We crossed Austria in a day and avoided any trails for fear of conflict.

    Much of the alpine economy in Austria relies heavily on skiing. Yet the slopes are receding and the season is getting shorter and shorter.

    There are plenty of hikers in summer, but I doubt they spend as much in the alpine huts as the bikers do.

    If you compare Tirol to its southern neighbour, South Tirol, the change in attitude is massive.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on things changing. If it is down to individual commune or land owners to decide on bike access then things are unlikely to change very much.

    ElShalimo
    Full Member

    There are plenty of hikers in summer, but I doubt they spend as much in the alpine huts as the bikers do.

    Really??? It might be true in Saalbach or other uplift resort places.

    But that’s not my experience of many holidays in Austria. They’re are literally hundreds of huts there mostly run by families or ÖAV (Austrian Alpenverein) in the high mountains. Most are set up to service the hiking trails of which there are too many to count and many are on popular/famous hut to hut treks. They are always busy and in the last 20years you see more MTBers each year but probably less than 10% of the customers in there on any given day.

    I’ve been to too many huts to count stayed in about 15 huts and never seen a biker stay overnight.

    ElShalimo
    Full Member

    South Tirol decided to embrace MTBs around 2010/12.

    It was rare to see a biker at a hut in the 2000s even the really popular ones that aren’t difficult to reach like Drei Zinnen/Locatelli

    alpin
    Free Member

    They are always busy and in the last 20years you see more MTBers each year but probably less than 10% of the customers in there on any given day.

    Obviously, because they’re not allowed on the trails.

    My feeling is that many, not all, hikers will take a packed lunch and find a bench whereas bikers tend to stop and eat at huts.

    If you can afford a 4k bike then you’re likely to have a bit of disposable money to spend on food and drinks.

    Süd Tirol certainly started to advertise itself as a mtb destination around that time. It has transformed some places like Vinschgau/Val Venosta which is now heavily reliant on bike tourism.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I’m fairly certain that the (possibly biased) evidence shows that mountain bikers spend about 30% more per day than hikers.

    colp
    Full Member

    When we bought our place in 2012, it was rare to see another MTB in our village. Loads at Leogang/Saalbach up the road.

    They built a flow trail in the village around 10 years ago and numbers started increasing, now there are loads every summer. Still only 6km of singletrack/flow trail in a 150km piste area though. Apparently they have something in planning maybe next year onwards, fingers crossed.

    I know in Leogang there are around 30 land owners they have to deal with to keep the trails going, and as above, the main objections seem to be about hunting and liability insurance.

    I know bookings on our apartment were down this Winter so I expect that was replicated throughout the hotels too. Hopefully the penny is starting to drop with regards to MTB development.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    That’s the thing, allowing riding of natural singletrack doesn’t need much, if any, upfront cost if liability is taken care of.

    Similarly hunting and mountain biking already exist in relative harmony in France.

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Perhaps genepi or chartreuse makes the hunters more sleepy & chilled out?

    Mayrhofen was dead this year at Easter. I’ve never seen such empty pistes, hotels or restaurants.

    ElShalimo
    Full Member

    Even Hans’ metzgerei??

    alpin
    Free Member

    So whilst Austria is warming to the idea of bikes being ridden in their forests, the Germans are thinking of regressing and banning any bike activities except on specifically designated trails.

    They even want to ban walkers from straying from the paths, which would mean no more mushroom gathering….

    https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/gesellschaft/wald-gesetz-mountainbike-100.html

    https://www.bike-magazin.de/magazin/hintergruende/bundeswaldgesetz-2024-nabu-will-mountainbiker-von-trails-verbannen/

    Na, toll

    rickmeister
    Full Member

    @alpin, are you in/supporting the DIMB? They are working hard to counter it.

    fasgadh
    Free Member

    That would kill off orienteering there.

    alpin
    Free Member

    I used to be a member of DIMB some ten years or so ago. Was automatically a member through the company I was guiding for.

    Seeing as I’m currently bumming around Europe (now in Italy) with no intention of returning long term to Germany I probably won’t sign up again.

    alpin
    Free Member

    That would kill off orienteering there.

    Kills off lots of activities. Ski-touring, scrambling, climbing, kids playing in the woods.

    It’s stupid.

    mccraque
    Full Member

    If you compare Tirol to its southern neighbour, South Tirol, the change in attitude is massive.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on things changing. If it is down to individual commune or land owners to decide on bike access then things are unlikely to change very much.

    I’ve noticed a huge change in Tyrol in the last 10 years. From winter resorts that barely have anything open once ski season ends – to thriving summer destinations. Ebiking has the mountain huts rubbing their hands – with more and more accessible bike routes and bike parks popping up.

    rickmeister
    Full Member

    “Hikers and skiers should not leave the paths, as this represents an additional stress burden for forest animals .”

    This statement alone is crazy imho. The wood price here in Schwarzwald is so high the forests are being cleared at a hell of a rate, all legal mind. The level of destruction from large scale forest machinery needs to be seen to be believed and is way beyond biking through the forest on a trail….  I really cant understand their main argument re protecting wildlife and habitat with this amount of legal vandalism.

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