Recreational mountain biking - a new tool in rural development
Keywords:Tourism, mountain bike, rural development, case study
Central Europe landscape has been used by humans for many centuries. Balanced cultural landscape provides numerous services from which recreation becomes more and more important. One of the recreation forms is still increasingly popular mountain biking. Mountain bike destinations are placed in the landscape to provide this form of short-term recreation. There are some examples of these destination in the Czech Republic (e.g. Singltrek pod Smrkem as a first Singltrek brand MTB destination in the Czech Republic, Rychleby trails, Cyklo arena Vyso?ina, Singletrail Moravský kras).
Close to nature trails (singletrails) represent one-way trails in width for one bike. These singletrails go around natural obstacles such as trees, stones, rocks and take advantage of the natural landscape modelling. Singletrails compared to conventional roads and paths blend with the surrounding terrain and present undisruptive element in the landscape. Singletrails are constructed from natural materials, the pavement is formed from materials permeable for water. The driving along these trails has its own rules to prevent possible dangerous situations and user collision. Singletrails allow the managed recreation with minimal negative impacts on ecosystems and user conflicts.
In 2015, the intention to implement a destination for mountain biking near the city of Písek in the natural parkt of Písecké hills was presented to the representatives and citizens of the City of Písek. The representatives of the city of Písek addressed an expert group from the Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies, Mendel University in Brno to prepare a feasibility study of the mountain bike destination intention. The partial results from this feasibility study - financial analysis and socio-economic impact analysis - are presented in this paper.
In conclusion, despite all positive results of the feasibility study the intention of the mountain bike destination on the territory of a natural park Písecké hills was rejected by the Council of the City of Písek in 2016.
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