BIKE NATURE MOVEMENT
In collaboration with the German initiative for mountain biking (DIMB) and the Mountain Bike Forum Germany and with the strong support of companies from the bicycle industry, the ZIV has taken the lead in launching the BIKE NATURE MOVEMENT initiative. The aim is to establish a common strong and competent voice for mountain biking and to lend greater visibility and political weight to cycling in forests and the great outdoors on the German and European levels.
Together we are increasingly giving a voice and lending weight to mountain bike-related matters.Burkhard Stork | Managing Director, ZIV
Mountain biking: for an active, healthy lifestyle, chances to experience nature and sustainable tourism
«Our shared goal is to help establish mountain biking all across Germany as a nature-friendly activity and to promote and tap into the potential of mountain biking for our society,» says Nico Graaff, who is Managing Director of the Mountain Bike Forum Germany. The opportunity to establish attractive possibilities for sport in an ever more sedentary society and to create nature-based experiences in an increasingly digital world and to promote awareness of the conservation and protection of nature and landscape is mostly underestimated or overlooked. Studies also show that mountain biking is far more sustainable and environmentally friendly than is often argued. «In Germany, many of the debates unfortunately still focus on the lacking acceptance and supposed disruption that mountain biking brings with it,» says DIMB board member Thomas Lutz. The positive effects of sport in the great outdoors are often forgotten; these include physical and mental health, opportunities for socialisation and health prevention, which international studies have found to especially have a positive impact on children and young people.
More mountain bikers than footballers
According to research by the Allensbach Institute, over 16 million people in Germany enjoy mountain biking. A total of 3.82 million people go mountain biking frequently, which is more people than actively play football (3.2 million). However, while there’s a football pitch on almost every corner, many towns, cities and municipalities do not have any official mountain bike facilities – nor are any planned.
Mountain biking as an opportunity
Studies show that the contribution of cyclists to the added value in tourism regions is significant and can be greatly expanded through targeted measures. This also applies for mountain bike offers, which gain a new quality and a high experience value thanks to motorisation and open up entirely new customer groups. Especially for low mountain ranges, which must now find new ways to supplement or replace ski tourism due to climate change, offers in the diverse cycling and mountain biking sports provide new opportunities.
BIKE NATURE MOVEMENT is leading the way
The initiative, whose partners remain independent, is currently being set up and expanded. This involves both close cooperation and linking to the work of all nature sports and cycling associations. The focus is on establishing the legal basis for cycling in the great outdoors, networking and informing on mountain biking as well as on the fostering of more and above all better offers for bikers by associations, municipalities and the tourist industry. The circle of supporters is to gradually be expanded.