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fenomeno fenomeno's article
Jun 21, 2020 at 11:42
Jun 21, 2020
Video: Escaping Lockdown on Some Steep Belgian Trails
Important note. I have received an official warning of the government of Wallonia because mountain biking and filming on (parts of) these trails is illegal. Although we don’t agree with the way the sport of enduro mountain biking is treated in Belgium, we would kindly invite everyone not to go biking on the trails shown in the video. You can find more information about my point of view in the open letter below. -- Open letter about mountain biking in Belgium to everyone involved. I love mountain biking and I love filming it. It’s a wonderful way to share your passion with others. That was also the idea behind my recent video ‘The Steep Escape’. A video that was made with three fantastic enduro mountain bikers in the High Fens right after the corona lockdown. We wanted to share the feeling of how they had missed to practice their sport in the right setting, meaning a setting worthy to call it 'mountain biking'. What I didn’t know during the making of our video, is that in Belgium the sport of enduro mountain biking is de facto illegal. A week after the launch of 'The Steep Escape’ the three bikers and I received an official warning of the ‘Departement de Nature et Forêts’ from the government of Wallonia. Reason : it is prohibited to bike (and hike/film) on singletracks in the whole region of Wallonia. Moreover they kindly asked us to point out this illegal character in all online publications of the video (what we did in the meantime) and finally we’ll even have to delete it. Otherwise we will be fined or prosecuted. Regarding to this, I think it’s important to say that we have never directly stimulated anyone to go riding these trails. That was not the point of the video. We even didn’t give the exact location to other bikers asking for it (on YouTube for example). Also, the goal was not to support the illegal building of trails. We just chose a good setting with the right vibe for the video we wanted to create. This letter is not meant as a provocation. I just feel that I have to share my thoughts because I don’t understand the fact that enduro mountain biking is illegal in Belgium. We have so much potential in our small country when it comes to trails and talent on the bike. There are many other examples in countries nearby where regions, municipalities, nature workers, mountain bikers and trail builders work together in order to create something sustainable. A legal network of trails could be such a great asset for tourism in many places. Why can’t we make this work in Belgium? A lot of touristic marketing departments are paying quite some money to have a video with a decent number of YouTube views. This one was for free, but has to be deleted. I truly believe that starting a ‘mountain biker hunt’ is not the solution. As long as there’s no common plan, people will keep building trails and bikers will ride them. I think the mountain biking community is ready to sit around the table and decide together with the government where you can ride and where not, which trails have to be closed and where new ones can be created. A shared solution, supported by the community, is the only way to stop illegal riding of trails. Personally, I don’t know one enduro mountain biker who doesn’t respect nature. I think it’s time that their sport is respected too.
fenomeno fenomeno's article
Jun 15, 2020 at 6:28
Jun 15, 2020
Added 1 photo to The-Steep-Escape
Jun 9, 2020 at 3:02
Jun 9, 2020
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Added 1 photo to The-Steep-Escape
Jun 9, 2020 at 1:07
Jun 9, 2020
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Added 14 photos to The-Steep-Escape
Jun 8, 2020 at 13:14
Jun 8, 2020
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