“If you don’t try, you don’t know” – Launching Chablais Bike

Image: Sam Taylor Photos

I was really upset when the 2018 summer season ended the first week of September. As I only have a downhill bike, it felt like we couldn’t ride anymore! So in May 2019, I gathered all my friends working in different mountain bike businesses (Santa Cruz, SERMA, Pleney, local bike shops, etc) at my place to have a chat about what could be done to develop mountain biking in the area. It was here that Chablais Bike was conceived.

We knew that many, many people already tried to get in touch with the local council, they’d created documents to explain why we ride bikes and how it can help a resort, but all this ended up into nothing. They weren’t heard by the administration.

From here came the idea of creating an official association that would gather all the local riders. The more we are, the more we’ll be listened to. We want to help develop mountain biking in Morzine, but also in all the resorts of the Portes du Soleil. That’s why we chose Chablais Bike as a name. It sounds good in French but also in English.

The community support has been amazing, as always. We started the association with no proper idea of what to do, so we started memberships to have weight in the French administration, but also to gather money for funding a pump track. A huge thanks to Bec Jaune Brewery, Bike Morzine, the Morzine Summer Film Festival, our members and everyone who trusts us and made donations or joined the association. Thanks to all of you, we raised €2027,60 in only two months (we officially launched the association on the 1st of August 2019).


Chablais Bike’s launch event last summer.

We have several objectives for our association. First, we want mountain biking to be accepted by the local population of Morzine. We know it’s hard, but we want to help make signs and better regulations for bikes in Morzine during the summer season. For example, see Whistler? You can’t ride your bike in the village. Out of the bike park, you have to walk. So when we see mountain bikers doing manuals down Rue du Bourg, even though it is fun, it is dangerous and it annoys the locals.

Secondly, everyone dreams of a pump track in Morzine. The small black one that’s next to the skate park is not ideal and can be dangerous (falling from the top of the bump is dangerous for a child for example). That’s why we are trying to gather money for having a proper one. We know it is expensive, but with the help of the region and the town council, we can make it.

Morzine is the best place in Europe for riding bikes. All the professional riders come training in Morzine before the World Cups!

Thirdly, all the riders dream. Having longer summer seasons? Opening earlier? The weekends of May, for example? Or closing later, but the hunting season starts, which makes it tricky. But, anything is possible and we want to help make it happen. Some resorts in France already extend their summer season, such as Lac Blanc, La Bresse, Les 7 Laux and many more.

Morzine is the best place in Europe for riding bikes. All the professional riders come training in Morzine before the World Cups! We understand that the resorts have money to place into different things. The mountain bike community in Morzine is mostly younger and from different parts of the world. We are not all from here, we have seen what happens in different resorts and we want to have them here, where we live. The resort managers don’t have the same ideas as us and maybe don’t understand them. That’s why the community is important. If the money brought by the community and the financial help of the resort make wonderful things happen in our hometown, then I think this is right. I like saying “If you don’t try, you don’t know”. Here we try, we’ll see what happens.

Chablais Bike

Morzine’s current pump track.

A pump track in Morzine is a place where every one can have a good time. You can train your cardio, you can have fun with your mates, children can have fun and train as well, just look at the ones in Combloux or Morillon. Right after school, the place is full of kids! You can skateboard, rollerblade, scooter, bike. Everything with wheels works. It would help all the bike schools and their instructors, too, as it allows you to work on your technical skills in a safe, consistent environment. Riding a hard tail bike properly really helps you improve on a full suspension bike.

As a conclusion, we’d like to say that the association’s financial target for the pump track is 15,000€. When we reach that, we’ll get in touch with the town council and the region to see how much money we can bring all together. For example, Morillon’s pump track cost 120,000€.

Also, as this year was the launch of the association, we don’t have proper marketing partnerships. But for next summer we’ll work on having discounts in shops, bars, bike rentals and also we hope we can get discounts on lift passes for the members. Once more, thanks again to everyone who donated or joined Chablais Bike, we are happy and proud to do it for the community.

Follow Chablais Bike’s progress on their Facebook page.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top