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Fines in LESSINIA: YES to cars in the refuge but NO to bikes in the park

The alarm was raised this summer when a group of bikers was handsomely fined in the Lessinia Park: mountains between Veneto and Trentino close to the Carega.


The bicycle, among the most ecological means of transport in the world, is not frowned upon in the Lessinia Regional Park. Is it possible that bicycle circulation is TOTALLY prohibited in the Lessinia Park without placing relevant signs "because it is permitted by the regulation"?

Ok, the title is a provocation given that we are talking about Lessinia and Carega: in Lessinia there is no problem getting around by car to get to the trusted refuge while on Carega, in the Lessinia park (a few km away), you cannot get around by bike.

Lessinia Legend

Raffaele Ganzerli also thought about it to ask ourselves this doubt, proposing other excellent food for thought on his MTB Blog “Enduro Without Hurry”. It all started this summer after some reports of users stopped by the Forestry Carabinieri and fined (102 euros each, ed.) for the simple fact of cycling on medium mountain paths (I say medium mountain because, in most cases, you don't exceed 2000 metres). And the joke often arises from the unawareness of having violated the rule, given that there are no signs in the park. If this aspect is pointed out, the answer is: "we have no obligation to place such documentation on the territory".

LESSINIA PARK MAP

Click to enlarge

REGULATION
ARTICLE 5 (OFF-ROAD TRANSIT)
1. The transit of mechanical vehicles off the roads, on paths, mule tracks, ski slopes and ski lift routes is prohibited. The means necessary for agricultural work are excluded from this prohibition
forestry, civil protection, slope rescue, mountain rescue and healthcare vehicles
and veterinary and maintenance of existing ski slopes.


ARE THERE ANY SOLUTIONS?

Banning does not seem like a very productive reasoning in terms of tourism but, above all, of freedom towards those mountain enthusiasts who want to use the bike to savor every corner. It would be nice to think a bit bigger and, instead of a total ban, propose closing bikes on weekends (if the problem is coexistence with pedestrians) or think about limiting e-bikes (if the problem is safety : please, expert e-biker, don't look at me badly) or enable passage only with a guide so that you can have better control of the flow, a dialogue between the guides and the forestry authorities, and finally greater safety.

The cars, on the other hand, can reach various mountain huts in Lessinia without any kind of problem "because it is allowed"

But I remain of the opinion that regulating everything, as is happening more and more often in various areas, is not the solution: we need to work to raise awareness among users and bring people to enjoy the mountain in its essence. And be tolerant without having the arrogance of thinking that YOUR OWN PASSION MUST EXCEED THAT OF OTHERS. Finding presumptuous and arrogant people towards bikes just because someone has decided that you shouldn't ride in that particular area is a defeat for humanity. In short, IT TAKES DIALOGUE and respect: on both sides.

BUT WHY CAN'T YOU GO RIDE BY BIKE?

There is talk of 'destruction of paths' or 'noise pollution'. And aren't the cheerful families with children who go to the mountains to run and scream noise pollution? But I've never thought about starting a battle on a bike: I keep pedaling and earn myself a higher place where silence certainly reigns supreme (if that's what I'm looking for).

Another issue concerns the fact that bikes ruin the paths: this is the typical phrase when talking about MTB bans. I walk a lot in the mountains and the mountain moves, it is constantly changing. After snowy or bad weather winters, the paths collapse or are interrupted: this is nature! You just need to arm yourself with patience and get back on track. On trail bikes it's called ordinary maintenance.

One stormy day in the high mountains is enough to cause the damage that MTBs do in a year (referring to areas that live off MTBs with hundreds of daily passages). While in areas like Lessinia, for example, one life is not enough. Never seen a path collapse due to the passage of MTBs. Instead, after a day of bad weather, it happens. This does not justify the fact that it can be done because there are natural disasters that destroy everything, but it is to make it clear that the focus is not clear. And I remember that the Trails get back on track, the displacement of earth that thousands of bike passages can cause is not permanent damage. In the areas where we live on this, ordinary maintenance is carried out which does not cause pollution or anything else: it is just a matter of taking a hoe and rearranging the soil.

I would like to point out that I am against mass tourism in certain areas, the mountains must be experienced differently, but completely banning passage in a natural environment, without an alternative solution, is a clear violation of freedom.

This message was also sent to those responsible and we are trying to raise awareness among the bodies to arrive at a constructive dialogue. ENOUGH PRECONCEPTS AGAINST MTB: even those who cycle love nature and are hikers in all respects.

If before our eyes we see a user with a bike in difficulty there is no need to shout THIEF! He is simply comparable to a hiker precariously balanced with Vans: he too is a danger to us and to others. And there are many calls to 118 of this type. We just need to create awareness (which isn't there given the people I often find in the mountains) and create culture (NOT BANs). The good, old, ecological, sustainable, COMMON SENSE.

This article also touches on many other territories that are in the exact same situation. And remember: if today it is MTBs, tomorrow it could be pedestrians who have to pay a ticket to walk in the mountains "because it is a protected park".

If you want to learn more about what happened regarding the fined cyclists, I refer you to the article on 'Enduro without haste': you can find photos of the minutes and the related complete regulations of the Park. Hoping for a better future, I greet you and wish you good outdoor sports.



Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').

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