Swiss canton of Bern proposes banning mountain-biking

Jan 29, 2012 at 0:03
Jan 29, 2012
by Lee Lau  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

This article's title is admittedly a bit alarmist. Some landowning groups in Bern, a Swiss canton, have actually proposed banning mountain-biking on singletrack trails. This would restricting riding to fire roads and a few designated singletrack trails. The law (the Forest Act) has yet to been changed. The process is standard for the Swiss democratic system. The next step is solicit public comments and then for the various interested parties to table a solution or compromise. Key wording in the proposed law (Article 22) proposes to make it an offense to cycle away from roads on paths that are less than 1.2m wide.

Other noteable elements include fining repeat offenders who are abusive to police 20,000CHF (1CHF is approx 1.07 USD at todays rates). The normal fine will be more in the region of 250CHF; still a pretty hefty penalty for a day's ride.

This law is not a foregone conclusion. It is opposed by foresters, by law enforcement who wonder how they can enforce it, and by tourism operators who see it as giving Bern a black eye. It is also opposed by the grassroots bike advocacy organization trailnet.ch who has put together very well-developed rebuttals to the proposals. According to Samuel Hubschmid of Trailnet.ch - "It's about a very crowded little country with thousands of outdoor-enthusiasts trying to use and protect the natural resources in leisure sports."


Restaurant Sanaspans is your basic Swiss alpine restaurant at a little over 2000m

Lenzerheide can keep its alp restaurants. In Bern they would have to replace all the restaurants with police stations to enforce closures against criminal singletrack bikers



Keep in mind that all Swiss cantons have considerable latitude to make their own laws (a canton is like a US state or Canadian province). Only one canton, Bern, has chosen to propose such regressive laws. Of course, Bern has all the proper authority to criminalize singletrack biking and make it illegal but they have asked for public comments and this is the time to give it. Bear in mind that Bern has many tourist attractions where biking is specifically advertised (eg the Jungfrau) so this proposed policy is inconsistent to say the least!

Heading to Strellig on the Rinerhorn trail

This trail is in Davos where it's legal to ride. 20,000 CHF fine if I rode this trail multiple times in Bern.



Why are we at Pinkbike writing about this? We just took considerable time and effort to put a six part story about Riding in Switzerland on our front pages. We just told the world how friendly and welcoming Switzerland is to tourists and to bikes (and by the way we totally believe this is true). And now this? Why would biking tourists go to Bern when, with this, you are basically telling bikers that we are criminals and not welcome. Why is it that our tourism dollars are good in Graubünden (where it is enshrined in cantonal law that bikers and hikers can share trails) and not welcome in Bern? Bernese Oberland lawmakers and regulators say that bikers and hikers cannot share trails peacefully but respectfully, we cannot agree. What makes Bernese Oberland trails and trail users so different than in Canada, or Engadin, or Lenzerheide, or Südtirol that we cannot all share and get along?


Miraculously there was no-one at this little photogenic alpine tarn that I ll call the Kleine Rifflesee

This is in Zermatt where its legal to ride your bike on trails. Empty your wallet if you ride this trail in Bern and watch out for police



If you reside in Bern or Switzerland and ride a bike you probably already know of this. If you want to ride or have ridden in Switzerland and don't know where to ride please politely use the Comments page here to let lawmakers at Bern know your feelings on the matter.

The consultation process runs till March 2, 2012. You can also directly mail or email comments to Department of Economic Affairs of the Canton of Bern Law Department Münsterplatz 3 3011 Bern consultation@vol.be.ch. You can also email comments to info@trailnet.ch; they are the advocacy group who will collect comments and present them to Bern lawmakers



Coverage from other news sources

- Resistance against Bern Single-trail ban taking shape - Ride Magazine

- The Canton of Bern wants to ban singletrack for bikers - Ride Magazine

- Resistance to bike ban grows - Der Bund

- Mountain bikers oppose ban - 20 Minute


Climbing to Urdenfuerggli from the Hornlihutte in Arosa

This is Lenzerheide where you would not get fined for riding singletrack. These criminals would not be so happy if they were caught riding this trail in Bern

Must Read This Week
Video: Biketherapy
49914 views









193 Comments

  • + 81
 What has the wrld come to? Is there going to be anything fun and legal left to do by the end of this decade??
  • + 44
 I'd be careful with that kinda free thinkin' !! The world's turning into one big jail since we're all criminals apparently
  • + 19
 No need to be careful, Bennet. Say what you have to say. I'm behind you and so should be all of us.
  • + 50
 whatahell, alcohol, junkfood is legal but biking not???
  • + 28
 it's no wonder youngsters turn to alcohol binge drinking when it is just as illegal/frowned upon as sports
  • + 8
 In real life: Bureaucracy > Fun. People don't like others having fun, it must be stopped! And if they can make money out of doing so, all the more reason.

Why are so many people in this world hell bent on ruining the enjoyment of others?
  • + 6
 you can earn more money charging people £5 to use an mtb park and make more money than fining people if they ride it illegally
  • + 12
 I'd like to see them attempt to arrest us when we're bombing down the mountain at 50 km/h.
  • + 7
 f*cking bullshit....... just let us bikers ride why do the have to kill the fun


Madder Dead Horse
  • + 2
 Sarah, they wont arrest, they are going to taze you as you fly by....hopefully they have had lots of practice..
  • + 3
 Sarah, in California they just wait at the bottom of the trail, right when you have minimum potential energy and maximum stoke.
I've been on group rides with no idea where I was and so I had to follow the group down llegal trails (which, to be honest, were really good). Their technique was to send one rider down first who would then call the rest of us to say its okay. No call = he was busted.

Sometimes the rangers would just park at the trailhead on busy days and you would just keep on riding down the fireroad.
  • + 7
 who ever decided to put this forward should be shoot. in the testicles.
  • + 5
 Welcome to Portland, Oregon - where mountain-biking is ALREADY banned and ALREADY stuck on fireroads only.
  • + 2
 I guess that the end of the world is in its first stages...lots of revolution are going to happen before the end of this year for sure,and only cause of governments wanting to end up getting more money and power somehow.We are going to have to make this a BIG DEAL out of this! because if not, this kind of laws will keep growing...
  • + 8
 No, because I ,for one, won't let it be that way
I want 2012 to be the year everyone on Earth united to overthrow and end our corrupt governments, start anew.

Maybe that's what the Mayans "predicted" , the end of the dark days for mankind. Because if you look at the world we've gone from savage wild west to modern society (corrupt one though) so maybe the next and final chapter is really the beginning of a new world. It sure looks that way with the sheer amount of dissatisfied and angry people.
Call me an optimist but maybe we can view "the end of the world" in a positive light.
Either that or I'm just another peace lovin' , friendly Canadian
  • - 2
 Let them close it, its only a single canton, and that area will suffer lost tourism in return. The law can't be enforced anyway; no need to take action.
  • + 2
 If 100 000 people enforce the law, they can't fine them all :p
  • - 1
 i propose, instead of making mountain biking illegal in bern, they should ask bikers to pay a trail access, like 5$ or something. Government can, with the money, make sure everything stay normal on the trails and they know who are riding them and how to reach them. it can create jobs, help developping tourism and help increase the level of happiness of their community since they can have fun and meet people from around the world, traveling to their beautifull country to enjoy what they love in life. It's not a threat to environnement either.

exept the noise a mountain biker is doing while riding a trail, i can't see anything that can disturb the population.
  • + 1
 taxes should already account for any trail maintenance needed. this proposal just needs to be countered by public objection. as long as riders are respectful of those around them, there is no viable reason to ban the sport. the most important thing is publicly voicing opposition and getting the numbers behind you.
  • + 2
 @ GabrielDugas - Noise ? what noise would that be...i believe it is not noise they are ranting on about, it is that somehow we may be a problem for hikers and / or the environment...even i would be against us riding these trails if that was a problem; but the reality is : some Swiss Bureaucrat could not find any more boogers to pick out of his brain dead schnozz, so...i guess yodelling is next.
  • + 2
 Gabriel......I already pay PLENTY of taxes. And look at where that money goes...

You know what would happen when you give people that level of control? They abuse it.
It wouldn't stop at 5 dollars no.....over time the price would raise, raise raise raise
We don't need Government (of all things...) in mountainbiking. Not ever. We're grown ass people who can handle things without "government" intervention.

Government would do all the opposite things you are describing. They wouldn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, but only for money...if that. Plus why would you want a government knowing what you do on the trails in the first place? That's YOUR business man! You know what that would lead to? Laws, arrests and NO fun. You could be out there modifying the trail and get into shit because you deviated from the "government norm"
I can also guarantee the moment they had a deal with a foreign group (*cough enbridge pipeline cough*) they would tear down our beloved trails for the higher buck.

Now I'm not knocking on you about this man...just when I look at the government all I see are a bunch of spoilt, useless and corrupt people with gold plated pensions slowly destroying mankinds potential....they're like a cancer
  • + 1
 Noise as in a CK, I9 or Hope hub, drifting trough corners (throwing stones and dust around), chain slapping etc...

Gabriel offers a solution for both extreme propositions: one wants no riding, others want free riding. I don't see why you would bash on him. A gouvernmentless life is impossible, I will not explain everything here, but look at communist Russia and its fall, you'll understand.

On the other hand, I don't see why hikers should have the privilege of walking freely while mtbers would have to pay. We should all pay, or no one should. Keep in mind though, that with the articles here on PB about riding in Switzerland, more people go there to ride and that does little more harm to the trails than hikers do while Nordic walking.

It's complicated, but to make things simple, we can all fight together against the proposition with a petition. This said, there are always people who do not support. I'd sign just because I ride a bike and I like to support fellow riders.
  • + 2
 @ epavichtesavage,

trust me, i pay loads of it and understand your point.

It is already a reality to pay to acces network of trails everywhere. want it or not, mountain bike cause erosion on trails. I'm a park builder in mont-comi during the summer. we do it for free and if there was no trail maintenance it would be destroyed realy fast.

A load of public parc, if i take "sepaq" who actually protect envirronemental park, let us pay like 4 $ to acces the trails. It's a fair trade : they are building trails and keeping them clean + yeah, they clean the trash that some people leave. Everybody is not perfect and as**oles also ride bikes.

We all would like to ride everywhere, everytime we want, without problems, AND for free. But this is an idealistic (not sure if this word exist, i don't speak english much) point of view and it could not be applied to reality. We have to give and to take. mountain bike being illegal is not realistic either. We have to get to a middle point. And yes, governement exist for some reason and we need them as much as they need us and beliveve me, i'm not proud of our current governement and being a quebecois don't help it a all.

and the bike noise was sarcasm.
  • + 2
 bike noise troll
  • + 3
 Well from a trail network perspective.....Putting a tax on a area of land that is owned by no one man is like putting a tax on kayakers for kayaking in the ocean... I'm willing to give and take but to a limit and paying to access a local trail network is the limit. We have a "bike park" here and it's upheld by the people. No one pays to get in , no one dumps garbage either and even when some people do , others pick it up (including myself). Trail maintenance and safety , all handled by the people. Plus a donation box is offered at the top and bottom so our bike group has something to use for more equipment etc. Donations = my respect because it gives you a choice instead of ramming it in your face "PAY ME NOW". And biking and certain aspects of it could be illegal, all it needs is someone more powerful to say so Wink
And yes your english is fine Smile
  • + 1
 the problem is that most peeps swallow this shit and dont so anything about it.and just carry on..
if we all would stand up to the goverment or any big control organisation .. they would be nowhere..

like said by rage against the machine.. > we gotta take the power back..
i really like how its said above.. the end of the world will be the end of corrupt goverments.. people will stand up eventually.. and say THIS IS ENOUGH.. no more rules no more taxes..no more corruption.. and when that time comes.. we will have a short period of anarchy and riots.. but in the end it will calm down ,, and every country will see where they whent wrong.. (i hope)

governments should be run by normal people.. a school teacher.. a butcher.. normal peeps with normal lives.. not overpayed fat politicians..who dont live in the world like we do.. and should be changed every 1-2 years.. with a bunch of other people..

we all have our differences.. but we still think the same.. also as said above.. these days the government is not ruling for us anymore.. a country has become money making machine.. but the money it makes does not get distributed over the people who live there.. it stays on top... it all began with privatizing ..
  • + 2
 Politics aside, you hit the nail on the head - The riders and residents of the Canton of Bern need to take care of the issue themselves. This article is great for exposure, but ultimately if you aren't in or around Switzerland there isn't much you can do. It's my hope that the locals stand up for their trails and keep the government off their backs.

I wish Portland Oregon would get this kind of attention having already banned mountain bikes on 99% of it's local trails. The local governing officials have their heads up their butts with regard to local user groups and fair distribution of what the local parks have to offer everyone.

It gets really old hearing the garbage spewed from them such as, "Erosion, Noise, Hazard to other usergroups, etc."

Bottom line: Stand-up for your trails. Keep the wheels turning.
  • + 1
 I agree that it's primarily an internal issue. The reason this was covered was because of personal interest - ie I just was invited to cover Graubunden, SUI bike tourism and the Bern proponents of this law was so at odds with what Graubunden was doing. Having said that there is no national trails strategy in SUI just like there isn't a national policy in either US or Can; this shows the diversity of cantonal policies in SUI. One of the key differences here is that Bern asked for input from all; so this article is an effort to generate some cogent input from international and potential international visitors to SUI to ride trails.

As you can see, quite a decent cross-section of responses here. I am told that trailnet also received lots of feedback which is great.

BTW if there was an advocacy issue in OR, it would be great to have OR advocates submit stories
  • + 2
 I will definitely suggest submissions be made by our local advocacy groups. Keep pushing awareness!
  • + 1
 Thank BigRed. PB is definitely interested in having worthy causes put on the front page.
[Reply]
  • + 25
 GREAT WORK LEE! Thanks for the support

Don't get it wrong guys, it's only a part of switzerland that's afflicted (bern, like leelau correctly stated) and the swiss bike community does everything possible against the fullfilment of the law. Articles like this one (thanks again lee) are a great way to make clear what the impact of such a decision would be for that region.

Still lots of great trails to ride though - even legal ;-)
  • + 10
 I stand corrected as I just learned that same exact law is in effect in lots of places in switzerland (even in our hometown lucerne) for a few years now. The positive aspect is: it's not enforced, but legit all the same. Turns out we're all criminals!

But I'm sure something will happen, since the community has become more sensible and will hopefully work together in the future. Voices are getting loud in certain touristic regions as well.. The goal must be to get acceptance as high as it is in other countries, like canada.
  • + 2
 wow - I did not know that.
  • + 11
 The UCI is based in Switzerland...surely they should have a say in this also?
  • + 3
 Yes the UCI is in the Canton Vaud but being a international organization they do not vote on local laws. As stated this law is in effect in much of switzerland but not enforced (luckily). Many swiss are starting to understand that this is a very big part of the travel and tourism business, so they are reacting positively to getting things to change for the better, keep coming and having a great time in our swiss alps and we will see that you can all come ride here on our massive trail network!!!
  • + 2
 Yes they don't have any effect for voting etc, but being based in the country, and being the INTERNATIONAL cycling union, they should make it their business to help protest against this law. What would be the point in being based in a country that bans all mountain biking...
  • + 3
 ho ho slow down the horses. it's only in some places (central areas with lots of habitation and/or tourism). I don't believe the south (tessin, wallis or graubünden) wants to be a part of this foolishness. but it affects our home-trails which is sad. don't forget: the law exists in some places for years now, but it's not enforced (yet)
  • + 3
 I think this law is pretty messed up. There is so much mountains i switzerland why can't some bikers build some singletrails there? They are not hurting the nature in any way at all.
  • + 28
 I'm Slovak and over here, this exact law has been in effect nation-wide for some time now. There was a lot of ruckus about it before it was enacted (even a former prime minister, himself a mountainbiker, participated in a demonstration), but since then things calmed down as we discovered the lawmakers have been as short-sighted as ever and haven't thought once about how it is to be enforced. So ultimately everyone is still riding what they always did, only now they can label themselves 'treacherous outcasts of society perpetratring the capital crime of riding a singletrack'. It is just another embarrasing paragraph amongst an endless array of stupid legislative failures. I sincerely hope that a country as far ahead of Slovakia as Switzerland will not follow the same mistake.
  • + 7
 very well said, and well written
  • - 13
 i knew there was something weird about people that wear wood shoes to public events.....and dress like women
  • + 4
 Even if its not enforced in many place,(I never got any fines) it s not acceptable. The problem is that if there is once a complain it will be immediately enforced. This law is a violation of foundamental right ! without any justification, its pure insincerness
[Reply]
  • + 17
 Ban mountain biking in Bern and I will not just spend tourism dollars elsewhere, I'll stop buying their chocloates, flimsy folding knifes, watches, and whatever else those crazy swiss are making these days.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Obviously they've gone mad, mountainbiking is quite big buisness in Switzerland, dumbasses. I rode there past September and it was all good, why would they ban us from the trails, we don't destroy anything, no thrash, no noise like moto etc.
  • + 2
 Cause there are too many old, scared, stupid people that walk in the woods which just don t know how to waste time. "Lets do some shit before we die"
[Reply]
  • + 12
 i'm living in canton bern and know the problem. I live next to an official downhill trail(Biel Trail). Biel is a town of 50,000 inhabitants. And on weekend everybody, want to go into the forest. that means, in the woods are many mountain bikers, people who are walking on, grandmas and grandpas who want their peace and quiet, people with dogs or horses, families, children, joggers and and and.. This often leads to conflicts between bikers and hikers. Either because bikers ride on the way for the walkers or because walkers walk of the downhill trail. Or because mountain bikers built illegal trails. To build a legal trail in Switzerland, is a lot of work. The forest owners, foresters, residents must agree projects like these.
Ten years ago this wasn't a problem. But today many more people has discovered mountain biking. And because so many people now cycling in the forest, these are bothersome. And just because more and more people want to like mountain biking, it's so stupid to make it illegal.

I'm sorry for my bad english..
  • + 15
 Call me a hippy but I think all this time and energy would probably be better spent into raising awareness so everybody respect the other trail users.

If the downhill track is the main problem, why not "yield" it to bikers only and redirect walkers somewhere else, or even build them their own trail? I understand that some bikers aren't too polite but in my experience, the same can be said about some hikers. I don't see a law being passed to ban hikers though.
  • - 15
 your english really sucks, smurf! how is your bed english?
  • + 3
 its a numbers game for sure... How's your German Jaybird?
  • - 9
 my german is great>
  • + 1
 @PLC07: the downhill track is only for bikers. But hikers don't have to pay 20'000 CHF if there walk on it...

@jaybird951: I haven't forced you to read it.
  • + 1
 Dear jaybird951, A canton is NOT a state. Sincerely, Me
[Reply]
  • + 11
 I life and ride in Switzerland (Canton de Vaud) and have ridden in other cantons then my own as well. The people are always nice and smiling but once in a while there is an unfriendly encounter (most of the time tourists from abroad). I try not to argue and apologize for any discomfort I may have caused. I ride with a smile...

I have been following this in the Swiss news and for me it is difficult to understand who the drivers are behind this law change...No where its mentioned which party or organization. Do I have to read from this that they are hiding...or have no real facts to build their case. I guess both...

Where are DT Swiss and Scott in this? They are both headquarter in Switzerland and would have thought they would at least do everything to promote their industry...

Trailnet is doing a great job. I am supporting them to keep the Berner trails open...! CH is riding paradise and I like to keep that way... :-)
  • + 3
 Theres more than DT Swiss and Scott in Switzerland aswell! There's BMC, and some others I think. I think though, with the quality of singletrack in Switzerland, that a great deal of the swiss tourism is cycling! I am one bike based tourist, that returns for the sweet singltrack ! I think the way ahead is by coming to an agreement, by using voluntary bans, where both bikers and hikers comprimise!
  • - 13
 yall just need to come up with a new word besides canton, that is the must retarded name for a state....what stinking language invented that nonsense.....so if you live in a canton, are you then cantonese? does that make your wife cantonese, too? China is great.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Advice to all mountain bikers; know your science! Have a look at the IMBA resources list an read up on trail degradation. There is no evidence that bikes wear trail more than hikers.
Main points:

1) water erodes trail, water management on a trail is essential for it to be sustainable

2) traffic erodes trail, popular bike trails have high traffic, impact per user is usually is the same.

3) Hiker and biker trail impact are more or less equal, and equally reversible, Hikers have higher ground pressure than bikes (N/m^2) and thus make deeper impact on soft grounds, bikes carry high trail shear (sideway forces perpenducular to the ground) under heavy braking and hard turns.

4) Trail reinforcement works. Reinforce soft grounds and make sure the trail drains water.

5) Trail management and planning works. Many trails are just serendipitous, and were not planned with high traffic in mind. Sustainable trails follow contour lines in the terrain and obey "the half-rule". Many trails with excessive wear can be made sustainable by rerouting, water management, and reinforcing.

What would you as a govt officer do, get trail users involved in trail management, or ban them?
  • + 1
 As an engineering student, I sense an engineer in our midst. Who else would refer to pressure in S.I. units and shear all in one bullet? Perhaps a civil engineer?
  • + 1
 I don't wish to be derogatory, or spoil anything, but this is average high-school physics Smile

But I'm still not entirely convinced about the 3rd point. To expand on the thinking: with an average(ly) inflated tyre, the total contact patch area of two MTB tyres can be about 2 x 2.5" x 3" = 15 square inches = 97 cm^2, which generates, under an avg. 75kg rider with a 12 kg bike, a pressure of ~90 kPa. A 75kg hiker (obviously sans the bike) with a US-size "8" hiking shoe (roughly 26 x 8 cm = 208 cm^2) with all his weight on the fore of one of his shoes (hiking up-hill) produces ~70 kPa, which is less than a bike. And, much more importantly, a hiker's shoe doesn't usually skid or bounce off rough terrain like a bike's rear wheel does under braking, nor do hikers corner at insane speeds sending roost everywhere Smile

So I think bikers do actually inflict more damage to trails than hikers, BUT it shouldn't really matter because unless motorbikes really start messing things up, the common "wear and tear" of mountain trails is definitely manageable. And that, I think, is the way to go - have a dedicated maintenance crew who will look after the trails, and if the damage is starting to be overwhelming, implement some sort of taxing. This could be some "global" tax included in the accomodation price for every tourist visiting the place, or even an actual "pay box" for donations located directly on the trailheads. I don't want to be naïve, but i would be happy to pay a few euros every time i'd hit a trail, knowing that someone has to come there every now and then and mend the stuff that i've just ruined. I just hope I wouldn't be alone Smile
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Sitting up here in Germany (Black Forest) I've always been jealous of the Swiss and there openness towards Biking. What's being proposed is a step in the direction of the narrow-mindedness present here ! Definitely a step in the wrong direction. You only have to ask who would go to the Black Forest to go biking ? No one ! 'cause it's illigal. Thx. Good Luck to the Bernese, they already have problems getting the Tourists to come because of the very expensive Swiss Franc !
  • + 2
 The perplexed thing in Germany is, that on the one hand it is illegal to ride on trails that are narrower than 2m, but on the other hand the Black Forest Region campaigns for being a bike(-friendly) environment.
I do find it frustrating as well... but you have to see, that in bureaucracy anything needs time. It is going to change for the future... mainly for tourisms sake... but it will take it's time. There is a positive aspect though... in the end it's all about being sustainable in Germany. Better the environment is (too) well protected, as if all of people's waste gets dumped on the fields like the Gomorra did in Italy or something like that.
Apart from that, Germany is pretty small compared to Canada or the US and most of the woods are private property... so there are two main problems: Firstly, property obliges. This means, you can get sued if someone gets injured or dies on your property, if you did not provide for safety (i.e. jumps = security risk). And Second, there are a lot of different interests, mountainbiking is not the only thing in the world just because you and me and others here like to do it, but there are also people who are "leasing" a part of forest for hunting for instance. So they are actually paying to use it... we don't.
And then again... it's pretty much like in Switzerland... there is a law in effect indeed, but actually it's not enforced for the most part.
  • + 1
 I'm actually a Multi-Sport person, doing Mountain-Running, Rock Climbing, Road Cycling, as well as doing a lot of hiking with my Wife and Kids. Which means I'm very aware of other Interest Groups , inkl. the Hunter und Forester Groups. Unfortunately it's not these Groups that get to decide what's going to change or not. It tends to be the "Once-a-Year Sunday Driver/Walker who go home and tell stories about being run over by a nasty Biker ;-). I tend to keep my head down and be nice to everyone and have had few problems ..... but then I don't ride on a Sunday Afternoon :-) Cheers !
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I have some work training in Wangen Germany in the summer. I always bring my bike and was planning on riding some of the trails is Switzerland and Austria. Now I will look elswhere.I always try to support the local`s when riding, but $20000 is ridiculus.I hope that they do the right thing.We are not criminals.I will keep my fingers crossed on this as always wanted to ride there.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 we have a similar problem in Slovenia...they're trying to ban riding in most parts of the country. We could use some of the online support and opinions too Smile
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Just came back from a ski race in wengen (Jungfrau - Bern) area, as I was walking back to the hotel I saw a sickass 2011 scott gambler in the storage room........if this law somehow goes through I dont think that either the local that owns that shred mobile or the tourists are going to be happy. this just happened because of families that go walking once every 2 months bitch and whine about us mountain bikers beeing a hazzard to them and their kids
[Reply]
  • + 3
 this is getting out of hand, I ACTUALLY got stopped and questioned by the police under the terrorism act last month, for..... taking a photo of my friend hopping a rail rear a police station, everybody is guilty until proven innocent these days! and the government endlessly go on about obesity, and some people actually want to ban one of the most exiting sports there is!? god help us...
  • + 1
 terrorism? what the hell thats rediculous
[Reply]
  • + 3
 " GENERATIONS"

I speak from a country that although it host The Cape Epic it still has some retarded National Parks officials that are easily manipulated by lobbyist who use the so called eco excuse against trail riders. Generally local decision makers, lobbyist and national parks official are those from another generation that never rode bikes and that are not tolerant of today's generation and their choices. That said after reading your article about this beautiful regions biking some weeks ago and placing it firmly on my radar coming winter, their summer thanks to tons of BA miles I am certainly not booking my hard earned miles in this direction and won't give this region the pleasure of my visit. Its a pretty sick mind that cannot logical explain a decision to ban something that can only make people more aware of the beauty and natural heritage of this area. I'm still to find proof natural areas spoilt by managed trails anywhere in the world. Mountain bikers like hikers don't just ride for the bike but also for our appreciation of the natural beauty this world has to offer. If people can be tolerant of the choices of generations before and after them this world will tick over far better.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The forest rangers of Berne say this proposal is totally daft, damage negligible, use of the forest beneficial for the ecosystem and they will in no way be part to enforce anything like it. The police force - will be made to stop enforce anything like that. After all DH is a rich kids sport and the horsepeople, also affected, will do the same. The crackpots who brought this up are drawing fire from all sides. Now that the fair use of public forest and hill aera are in discussion it might effectively open up possibilites for even more tracks. After all - they are going after big eyed, innocent looking kids that play with their little bikes in a healthy environment. So this proposal is effectively dead on arrival and will set a precedence for fair use.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Unfortunately we can all expect to have to stand up and fight for our cause everywhere, no different even here in Canada on our trails near our urban areas. Most people would rather just put it out of their minds and go ride but at some point everyone should involve themselves in local advocacy and should support organizations like IMBA. Shame to hear this about Switzerland, a country that is on every serious mountain bikers 'must visit' list...to the Canton, remember, visits mean $$$. Many mountain bikers are middle to high income individuals and families that have the capacity and drive to trek halfway around the world just to ride...and spent money. Trail development and management including great signage, information centers at trail heads and designated use trails can go a long way in ensuring everyone can get out and enjoy the country's amazing assets.

Kelowna, BC
  • + 1
 yep, nice one. a balanced and well organized argument goes a long way. perception is that we all just want to "shREDDD!!" but it's about economic development, enhancing understanding of natural systems, creating healthy choices for citizens.....just make sure when you build the trail you puts some sweet jumps and berms in there for me, ok? maybe a big hip at the end or something.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Believe it or not, even here in British Columbia, where we have way, way more space, where bike trails and hiking trails are separated, and there are very, very few conflicts between user groups, mountain bikers are still seem to be constantly fighting with local governments to keep mountain biking "Legal" on most trails.
The only thing that works (and i have seen it work), is for the local mountain bike population to get organized. Hikers and equestrian groups have been around a long time, and are typically more organized, and much more vocal. Strong local bike clubs are your best defense from trail closures. There are many success stories to be found in North America, of local organizations creating legal and sustainable trail networks, even in the most regulated areas. IMBA, IMBA, IMBA! Give them a call!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Sad news.
It seems like their is a global rejection of montain biking in Europe. I live in France and it's hard to find trails, appart from dh resorts, where it's allowed to ride. And it looks like it's soon going to be the same in Switzerland.
I really do not understand this hatred of the biker. Bikers, as hikkers and other nature-enthousiasts, respect nature and know they have to act in order to preserve it. More over the impact of mtbs on trails is not worse than the one of hikkers and in a way bikers are sustaining the trails. But for my par,t wherever I ride, I keep in mind that I'm part of a minority (bikers) among whom forsees are set. That's why I always ride with a smile and whith cortesy. And even if a hikker is wrongly accusing me of bad attitude I stay calm and polite, and I apologize, try to show a good image of my sport. I think it's the only way to break the forsees among us.
To my mind forsees are the basic problems that lead to that kind of laws. And we, the bikers, have to change it. We know we are good guys (and girls), let's convince of this the others !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I really think that since the number of users will play a limiting role anyway - sooner or later - the discussion will have to become based in one kind of pay per use.
I mean, the use of the highway is in Austria and Switzerland only allowed if you have one sticker (for one day, week, month or year) on your windshield.
So if you book one week Hotel in the region they should give you this "pass"or you buy it. With it should also come the kind of services to expect, like emergency phones, signaling of danger, pedestrian only or bike only tracks.
just my opinion
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It would be nice if a reason for the ban was actually supplied. They've got to be joking if it's erosion. Erosion is completely natural and everpresent. Are they also going to ban walking, horse riding, rainfall, rivers, dams, volcanoes and oceans too? Oceans cause a lot of erosion. Ever since the world existed it has been eroding, this is nothing new or introduced by man. The mountains we use are a result of erosion. This seems like a discrimination of one group in particular. Mountain bikers aren't even the main source of environmental damage, horses weight between 380 and 1000kg (source: wikipedia) and place a lot of pressure on the ground due to the small area of their hooves (far more than bikes or hikers) and riders don't even pick up their horses poo.

If it's to do with multi-use issues, developing a system where all users can respectfully use the trail would be a better solution. Maybe designating some trails as for a single type of user only?

If for some stupid reason the bill does end up passing, just grab a tractor or other earth moving equipment and widen that trail out past the illegal 1.2m. It won't be single track any longer and probably won't be the same but it won't be illegal.

Finally a slightly relevant quote; not the exact wording for what is to be conveyed but the theme is relevant.
"If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." Henry David Thoreau
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This is a complete step backwards. Govornments the world over are based on being an accurate and fair representation of the population they reside over. If this motion is passed, this is a govornment actively taking an opinionated stance against a certain group of individuals engaging in an activity which is not in of itself illegal! If the Bernese govornment wish to take a stance on the situation regarding the peaceful sharing of the trails, why not ban hiking? This is ill considered and biased. There is no ethical or logical reason that one group should be banned from the trails over others. It would be a violation of civil liberties if this legislation passes, criminalising a large proportion of society, essentially banning mountain biking throughout Bern, depriving people of their right to ride bikes!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I DON'T UNDERSTAND.... POSTED THE MESSAGE BELOW 6 HOURS AGO AND IT HAS BEEN DELETED. WHY? IT'S CIVIL AND ON-TOPIC.

I've posted it in response to an MTB hater, who signed up just hours ago to post one single message.
Here's my original post. Please don't delete.

Mike, thanks for sharing.... I see you signed up on PB today to post the above comment. I trust not many of us PB users and MTB enthusiasts will share your point of view: "It is hard to think of any other (legal) use of public lands, other than hunting, that is as harmful as mountain biking." I am a full-time trail builder in the BC Interior and make my living building legal trails only. I work closely with municipalities, the Ministry of Natural Resources, local bike clubs, local builders and other user groups. I see massive amounts of environmental destruction caused by the mining and forest industry and by motorized recreational users. Outdoor enthusiasts like MTB riders, climbers, hikers, back-country skiers create awareness and help protect our fragile environment. MTB riders as described in your research paper stick to lift accessed parks and shuttle rides. Your statement: "Not many mountain bikers volunteer for trail maintenance." .... is not just wrong, it's insulting. Just this morning I finished writing a paragraph for our 2011 Annual Cycling Club report. I've calculated a total $ value of CAN-$60,000.00 in volunteer trailbuilding and trail maintenance. And this is in a community of 15,000 (Williams Lake, BC). I'm not sure where you are located and how your situation differs from ours here in BC. It is sad to see such a huge opposition to this great sport.
  • + 1
 go to the bottom in the below threshold comments section because it is in the replies to vandemans comment which was given thumbs down enough to be hidden and the replies are with the original comment your comment was given 4 thumbs up his was given 4 thumbs down
  • + 1
 Thanks dorchesterbiketrails! I couldn't believe my comment was deleted.... makes sense now, my trust in PB is restored ;-)

Build Trails, Ride Bikes!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I don't think this is the way to solve a problem. I can understand that hikers dont want to be shocked by respectless bikers ripin down the mountain (not that everybody does it) but there are always people who just think they are alone on the world or that hikers (a grandma that gets almost ran over by them) think these guys are soooo cool! I also like to go hiking and my mom loves it aswell, she just cant react as fast as I do when a biker comes down.
I love biking and because of my experience with my familiy I respect hikers and try not to bother them. Many of them are also happy to see us come up/down a trail and step aside.
A ban is not a solution it will only make the hate towards eachother bigger, start a campaign about respecting each other...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 it seems very backwards to me. i'm used to commercials on tv telling people to go outside and be active, promoting a healthy lifestyle, telling us we're all gonna turn into fat slobs. goverment is funding projects to make its citizens healthier and whatnot.
biking is enviromentally friendly, it is better than people going out and breaking real laws (like vandalism or something worse).
It would make more sense for goverment to be taking advantage of biking. its good for the economy, good for the citizens, and good for tourism. on average i'm willing to bet that a bicycle costs more than hiking gear ($2000 bike vs. $70 boots lol )
and if they are worried about bikers and hikers getting along then i have to ask exactly how many trails there are out there. if there is only 1 trail then you may have a problem, but if it is that much of an issue then y don't they just designate certain trails for bikes and certain ones for hiking?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Thanks for the support, Lee! I'm Swiss but live in Colorado for the moment. And here in Boulder I can see how complicated mountainbiking can get, if you're not allowed to ride the trails starting at your backyard. Beside the fact that Colorado and Switzerland both have awesome trails, Switzerland has the big advantage that you can ride pretty much any trail and that adds to the quality of life, because you don't have to drive your car to the trailhead. Especially for the after work ride.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Shame. It looks beautiful there. And $20000 for riding singletrack? Insane.
  • + 1
 $250 for riding singletrack. $20000 for riding singletrack AND being abusive to police. Pinkbike getting a tad sensationalist with that one, though I can understand why.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 it's really absurd... stupid unsense laws.. they are trails!! Shoes or wheels do not ruin anything on the trails!!!! also where is the threat for people.. bikers have good sense.. law enforcers don't know a shit!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "No scientific studies show that mountain bikers cause more wear to trails than other users."
"No scientific studies indicate that bicycling causes more degradation of plants than hiking."
Source: IMBA

A great document "Off-Road Impacts of Mountain Bikes" can be found here:
tinyurl.com/89kympn

Good luck in fighting the ban and keeping your trails legal!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I can understand the concern that mountain bikers may pose as invasive on highly traveled hiking trails, but the thought of proposing a ban on single track in an entire region seems completely unfair for both locals and tourists. The fact of the matter is that trails used predominantly for hiking are usually left alone by bikers anyways. Those who do utilize multi-purpose trails know that there is a proper mannerism of politeness that is to be used when encountering others along the trail. Instead of alienating mountain bikers from these trails, they should be very deeply included in the group of outdoor enthusiasts working together to protect the environment in which they love to enjoy their recreation of choice.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This is ridiculous, i thought our piss pot government were spineless to protect us from Brussels. Seems like its happening everywhere.. People power is what's needed, End of!!.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's easy. Everyone that rides mountain bikes switch to 2-stroke dirt bikes. That way you can't possibly be stopped, as you'll be too quick. Also the hideous noise, smoke and erosion you cause will have the authorities begging for people to ride mountain bikes again!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It is positive news when any mtb trail user group gets in "trouble" with the current majority. This only means mountain biking is alive, growing and well in Switzerland. Now we shall see how democratically those Swiss behave towards a minority or if they are hypocrites. Lets hope they aren't as closed minded and totalitarian as some Canadian "environmental" organizations are.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i think that is kind of a bit too far. Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on earth! why not make the land (mother nature's land) available to the public, mountain bikers, and wild animals alike! i mean seriously. banning trails? come on.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Yeah - we know that the hammer is set to fall sooner or later. In part (sorry guys) it is the fault of a few individuals who ride roughshod when there are tourists around. Unfortunately everybody will remember "the day when that idiot biker almost ran us over" - it's an infortunate inbuilt bias we all have.
Where I live in southern Switzerland I've already encountered (climbing, mind you!) groups of bilious pedestrians who occupy the width of a whole fire road and really would prefer not to let you pass just "because...". And as much as I say "buongiorno" "schöne tag" "bonjour" and thank them profusely all I get is hard icy stares.
Then there's the whole subject of trail condition... here again a few individuals literally rip up the secondary trails, leaving ruts which then erode into canyons. Unfortunately the tire marks are there for everyone to see - it's no use to say that it's pedestrians or horseback riders that are causing the damage.
So at the end of the day I think - but I'm not alone - that many of us who ride all-mountain will be forced to ride in bike parks or quit...
Damn shame...

Paul
  • + 2
 I hope you're not right Paul. Unfortunately one bad apple can ruin all the good apples so it never hurts to remind people to be nice to each other
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wow! mike vandeman... have you ever tried mountain biking? saying walking is good enough for bikers is like saying " hey hockey players!, soccer should be good enough for you!" or " Why go hikng in a national park and drive five hours when you can just go walk in you local park?" i really cannot fathom how ignorant you really are. if you look at the pros of biking in relation to impact on the environment compared to cars, trucks, mining, building houses, really quite a bit of the every day things we do, i think youll find that its a good thing. not a bad thing.
get out and ride yourself for a month and tell me that walking is the same....






w
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dont do this its a bad idea, and mountain biking can be used for the city advantage. if marketed right the city could make hundreds of thousands of dollars in tourism/biking. take advantage of your surroundings, dont suppress people by taking away their passion.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Germany has had this same law in effect for a long time in certain states. As far as I could tell it hasn't stopped the local riders from shredding single track. Threats of fines and confiscation of your bike, but like the article said the Police have a lot of other things to take care of. Every once in a while a forestmeister would yell at us or an old man would shake his walking stick at us. But 98% of people were quite friendly as long as we were courteous on the trails. As an outsider to Germany I rode the trails for years before I even heard it. There were no signs marking the trails as illegal and I saw tons of other riders. It wasn't till one of the local shops said to be careful. It would be a shame and lets hope democracy and the people of CH vote and lobby to win the right to ride their trails.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm from the canton of Bern and often ride in Biel... I heard about this shit 2 weeks ago, I just cannot admit it ! I m preparing some arguments and will soon write a letter ! Thanks PB for publicy
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i say BULLSHIT. bikers do bot destroy the earth and they do not kill people with their bikes. absolute rubbish coming from fat out of shape idiots
  • + 0
 I don't think that's the issue for them. You see, with liberty online and more and more allowed things to do, the government has less influence and control on people. They need more control on people. Liberty means that people do less productive things and that means that there is less produced for the money the country has. They could make more money, but the value of the money would drop. That's because the country would have more money, but still the same amount of gold (gold being the real monetary value each country has)

You could say, let us be free. But then there wouldn't be enough work pressure and you'll see a whole system collapse.

I hate to say it, but we are all slaves of modern society.
  • + 1
 being told not to ride a deserted trail is just lame. No basis for anything except ego.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I have travelled to the US and to France specifically to mountain bike. This law would void Bern of my tourist dollars and many more.
  • + 1
 well as a French rider living in Austria, i can tell you it is the same in France and Austria! In France, you are not allowed to ride on single trails smaller than 1,2 meter if i'm correct. ( some friends of mine have been chased by Forest police on horses).
In Austria, Salzburg Land and Vorhalberg have closed to bike nearly all the good single trails. Not to avoid destruction of the trail, forest or mountain... (as they would say). They don't want bikes "messing up" with pedestrians and because in Austria, every forest is Private and are most of the time Hunting places, You have no choice but to respect this or they'll shoot Wink
Dialogue, understanding and evolution in mind's people will change this problem. Well i hope so...
  • + 2
 That's why I have never considered travelling to Austria or France to ride... Switzerland on the other hand has always seemed like a biker's eldorado to me. But this news just burst that bubble, when this goes through it's only a matter of time before other regions follow suit. Then the option will be either a 'controlled' bike area/park or fines, police encounters, etc... not interested thank you.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 hey look. people having fun and enjoying well deserved freedom. lets take it away
  • + 1
 exactly. "people making healthy choices and developing tourism in our country??" I don't think so. not on my watch.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Hope this doesn't happen or I'll stick to France and give Switzerland a miss entirely. I wouldn't know when I was leaving one area and entering another and wouldn't want to risk getting it wrong!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Having spent a large amount of time throughout my life in the Bernese Oberland, specifically Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region, I can safely say I'm not surprised by this. The issue is that riding in the region is still heavily XC orientated, and so the designated bike trails and paths are often nothing more than gravel roads. This means of course that skilled bikers will wish to ride the 'Mountain Paths' (White/Red bars) which are often coincidentally great singeltracks and the like, but this is an issue as with anything, these paths can be pretty risky sometimes and a biker hurling along them isn't exactly a great prospect.


I do hope they can sort the issue as I'm there pretty much every year and would love to be able to ride again!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Government is supposed to be able to help the people with stuff they cant do by themselves, nothing more, nothing less. this is a fucking joke
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Is this going to effect the PDS??? As i really cant see anyone catching Danny Hart in Champery to give him a fine
  • + 1
 I don,t think so as I can't think of Pds resorts in Bern canton. Could be wrong
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Someone has to have rules downplaying any type of endevor other than work in this " NEW COORPORATE WOLD ORDER " If you are not working and paying taxes you are not putting money in big brothers pocket and he will shut your trails down.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If they want to ban mountian biking does it also mean theyl bann other sports in that place?, if not its unfair and if you can hike it and not ride it its going to be pretty stupid in my opinion!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I saw "Banning" and Mountainbiking" in the same space and I went into auto-rage mode
What a stupid ban
[Reply]
  • + 0
 This doesnt suprise me in the slightest I live in the south easst of England and I have to drive at least an hour to get to some pretty rubish xc riding. A friend recently had his trails bulldosed and over the years I have had many trails bulldosed myself. I think we have the U.S litigation culture to blame for a lot of this.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Oh wow, now I see who I responded to. This guy is insane. No sense in discussing the issue with you Mike Vandeman.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 That's really too bad. The guys proposing that crap need to learn how to ride a bike. Might make them a little less uptight.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is ashame, I am looking forward to visit Switzerland after reading the pinkbike articles. It looks beautiful there. I don't quite get why it is such a negative thing to go ride your bike?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I've pretty much gotten used to persecution as a bike courier but keep the police off my mountains please.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it would be reasonable to have some trails as hiker only trails some multi use and some bike only but to ban bikes entirely is insane
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Such a shame to hear this. That's one of the things I love about Canada so much real estate, there seems to be enough room for everyone.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Everything but fireroad is illegal in Novato, CA. We have 3 great moutians and nothing is legal.
So we build our own secret trails and dont get caught riding on theirs Wink
[Reply]
  • - 1
 This is an internal, domestic issue. Switzerland has the rights to pass whatever laws it's own people feel are appropriate. I do not believe it is appropriate for non-swiss people to interfere. I know I would not appreciate it if the Swiss were telling Canada how we should run our country.
  • + 2
 I beg to differ. The legislators asked for input from everyone. The tourism associations and bike advocates specifically solicited comments from all users of trails; not just Swiss. Your view is small-minded, parochial and insular
  • + 0
 Wow Lee, resulting to insults so early on in what could have been an intelligent discussion? I would have assumed you to be more intelligent and sophisticated than that. I'm disappointed.

If the Swiss government specifically requested feedback from all affected parties, including non-domestic parties, then that is different. But is this the case, or is it the tourism associations and advocate groups asking for feedback, which is completely different?

In general, I respect a government's right to set its own domestic laws without international interference (assuming those laws don't impose on basic human rights). If this is why you refer to me as being "insular", then I proudly bear your label.
  • + 1
 It's insular because you're assuming that this is a local issue. It's not. The French, Germans, Austrians and other Cantons are specifically commenting on the Bernese laws. The Bernese cantonal proposals specifically solicited comments from all users regardless of nationalities. To put if further on to Canada, when North Vancouver suggested restricting trail useage comments were welcomed from all users. The North Vancouver municipal lawmakers were quite impressed that so many users from different countries (Germany, Swiss, Poland etc) felt strongly enough about it that their comments were read out at council meetings.

I stand by my comments regarding your views and their insularity.
  • + 1
 Sorry Stever - my words were a bit harsh but I feel strongly about this. Swiss and many other Euro bikers helped out riders in N Vancouver, Whistler and Squamish when we were fighting to keep trails legit (those days seemed so long ago now). The international community can and IMO should return the favour.

I agree with you of course re sovereign rights but I totally disagree with you that the comments on this article and even this article are interference. The message that many potential tourists who are ready, willing and able to spend money on visiting Bern and riding bikes and are much less willing to do so if biking is restricted is something about which Bernese lawmakers should be aware. To characterize it as interference? I don't know how you could possibly come to that conclusion.

Search www.be.ch for "Revision des Waldgesetz". The most recent document is only in German but contains the specific proposals again specifically asking for input from all users. Not just Swiss. All users. I don't have a translation.
  • + 0
 Well, if government of Bern is actually seeking feedback from all affected parties, including international, then that's fine, and, smart on their part, if they are looking to make the decision that is best for them. But I stand by my opinion that being insular is perfectly acceptable. You make the assumption that because you want to ride your bike there, you should be entitled to do so, and are entitled to have an opinion about their laws. But it's not your country, and so it's not your right. Again, if the country seeks foreign input, great, write the letters and waive the banners. My only point was that if they were not seeking foreign opinion, then we should mind our business. However, as government of Bern is apparently soliciting foreign input in, I guess that would make my point moot in this particular instance, but, no less relevant to our general philosophical approach to life.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Who's retarded idea was this...You might as well have banned FUN!!!!!! Madder Release fun!!! Jail Jailbreak
[Reply]
  • + 3
 the world is full of idiots! some live in the Bern cantina!
  • + 1
 but most live in the u s of a
  • + 4
 Bern Canton. Bern Cantina is where you go for a beer after a day on the trails.
  • + 2
 and some idiots live in Virginia...lighten up jb - it's not as if you'll ever go there anyway since 'y'all' don't like wooden shoes and wearing dresses
[Reply]
  • + 2
 this is just pure bullshit, i hate it when people moan about bikers enjoying themselves, they're just misrible turds.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This stuff makes me want to kill myself. I've been dreaming of moving to Switzerland and this kills it for me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The comments under the photos are completely retarded. Just throwing that out there.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Switzerland Sucks! Come in Italy, in Aosta Valley, Piemont and Liguria we have better trails, better food, better people...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 And where are the Swiss-Bike Companies SCOTT, DT SWISS, BMC ???? SILENCE
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Switzerland = world class single track. I do hope that this law does not get implemented as I dont think nothing positive will come out of it
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In Madrid, Spain, we are having the same issues. The same. It's something I can't understand.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So this ban is opposed by law enforcement, forestery commision and tourism commision.
Who exactly is in favour of this?
  • + 1
 Mark,

I believe that certain landowners have proposed the law. the law then gets input (that's this process underway presently). Right now there's considerable opposition to the law. As Bern is a democracy I am assuming that all interests will be taken into account. I'm trying to confirm this with local bike advocates and will update
  • + 2
 in switzerland forest are usually owned by the public autorities, so I think they made this cause of the complaints of hikers, ....

I think we should complain about all people walking in the forrest ! what an outrage Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 strongly voiced email sent!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Aber auf dem Gurten zu fahren, ist doch immer noch erlaubt, oder auch nicht mehr?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I could see this being realistic if the Nazi party had won the war.... But they didn't, leave the trails free!
  • + 0
 whoa - out of line
  • + 0
 Yeah, your right buddy. Hitler was out of line, and so is shutting down wilderness trails for mountain bikers
  • + 1
 machaut - I'm trying to present reasonable arguments to the Bernese here. Hitler comments tend to emotionally charged
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ban bikes and I won't ever be visiting Bern.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Ja in switzerlande wi shmoken ein schtink sctiffel an ridden einem singletracken.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What is the Purpose behind the Ban? Crowd control?
  • + 1
 I'm struggling with that question myself. Perhaps my lousy German isn't good enough but to be honest I can't even figure out who in Bern is supporting this bill to pass the law. Some of the cited reasons are (i) Horses and bikers cause erosion (the law will also ban horse-riding); and (ii) conflicts between hikers and bikers - see www.jungfrauzeitung.ch/artikel/116445
  • + 1
 main argument seems to be the destruction of hiking trails (by riding on bikes or horses in bad wheather conditions etc). hilarious
  • + 5
 Known fact that foot traffic erodes trails more than bikes, hikers turn singletrack into meter wide trails just to not get there boots muddy! Everyone should be able to enjoy our planet within reason. Educate not police.
  • + 18
 They need to ban H2O, I heard it's an important cause of erosion.



... or have a trail maintenance team?
  • + 3
 There's a pool on that link to the Swiss newspaper, bikers are winning 94%!!!
  • + 1
 yes. we're strong! Smile only a small paper though
  • + 1
 PLC07 - good one Smile
  • + 1
 *poll, not pool!
  • + 1
 I can see banning horses! Them things are like erosion on wheels! A part of one of my local DH trails thats like 10 years old now, and seen so many riders, with no obvious signs of erosion and then one day two horses came up it and now it's muddy and eroded and shit! Moral of the story; when erosion is the factor bikershorses, when cool is the factor bikers>horses.
  • + 1
 PLC07 - Damn straight! Damn that water.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sad to see a a place closed before i even get the chance to go there
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thats the swiss kicked right of my bucket list
[Reply]
  • + 1
 UNDERGROUND REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Does anyone here have a problem with breaking unjust laws?
  • + 1
 I have a nice AR15 carbine that fits nicely in my camel back. it goes with me on all wilderness rides
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Norway is still better
  • + 3
 Generally, in Norway, we have the ancient "all mens right of passage", which is deeply founded in tradition, but poorly founded legally in the outdoors law, which give you the right to pass by any non-motorized fashion on any trail.

The current Norwegian govt wants to be world champions of % protected land, around `02 - `04 several bills were unanimously passed in parliament designating new, big, national parks. In the bills the trail impact of single mountainbikers is likened to organized (group) tours with horses and dogs and sports events. This lacks any scientific basis and is a reflection of the views of hiker-enviro-traditionalists, a.k.a. 68`rs, working in public land management and environmental agencies. They see bikes as some sort of technological intrusion in nature. Bills were passed, cyclist organizations were not consulted, and we now have wast areas where biking is banned. Now Scotland has got the current most bike-friendly legislation.

This type of shit happens when you don`t care to bother and JRA your flashy, new, full carbon bike.
Stop JRA`ing, get involved in your local IMBA/trail advocacy groups!
  • + 1
 I think Adjin mistook Switzerland for Sweden. Wink Don't feel bad, happens all the time...
[Reply]
  • - 3
 f*ck these guys..
  • + 4
 Not to pick on you but the Bernese will read these comments. Let's try to keep it civil
  • + 2
 be constructive and on-topic, too
  • + 1
 I am in agreement with slopestylesixtynine, EFFFFF these guys! I am still on topic, now with slope, am I not?
  • + 1
 beer is awesome
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv15 0.084023
Mobile Version of Website