- What is currently going on?
- Initial situation
- How a master plan is created
- Which target groups fit to the Surses
- Offers around the bike
- Facts & fig
Why does the Surses need a master plan (e-)bike?
The location development Surses started its work in the early summer of 2018 and as a first step created a project portfolio of all ongoing projects and project ideas. In the process, it became apparent that there is a wealth of ideas and initiatives in Surses around the topic of mountain biking.
What was missing, however, was a common thread. That is, a clear and unified idea of what is to be achieved with the bike offer to be developed, who will use the offer, and which measures must be implemented as a priority.
The project Masterplan ( e-)bike is closely accompanied by Allegra Tourismus GmbH, the leading company for bike offer development in the alpine region:
In addition, the canton of Grisons has financially supported the development of the master plan as part of its " mountain bike " development program.
The information about the master plan briefly explained in a video (Sandra Gredig, Allegra Tourism)
Interview by SRF RTR with Linda Netzer on the (e-)bike master plan
2. what is currently going on?
Re-signaling Switzerland mobile routes
The Switzerland mobile routes are our target group-specific flagships. They should be as beautiful and interesting as possible. That's why we have optimized the existing routes, partly relocated them (from the main road to a dirt road) and changed the names. So now you know directly to which viewpoint the route leads. Thus, "Heaven's Door" became "Ziteil Bike" or "Bela vista" became the route "Tscharnoz Bike".
Our team from the work group of the municipality was therefore this spring on the road with emergency generator and hot air gun. Many thanks for your efforts!
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1st bike & hiking trail cleaning day
On June 20, 2020 the 1st bike and hiking trail cleaning day took place. Under the direction of bike guide Roland Kolb, volunteers cleaned the paths from Munter to Salouf and from Munter to Del. Armed with rakes, hedge clippers and shovels, they worked diligently all day. The day was fun and the result is impressive.
Many thanks to the hardworking helpers for their commitment!
To be continued next year...
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Refurbishment/maintenance Switzerland mobile routes
The following trails will be rehabilitated in the summer of 2020:
- Route Ziteil, section Cre digl Lai, Lungatigia, Val digls Morts, Parsonz ( realized)
- Route Ziteil, section Ziteil - Cre digl Lai rehabilitation under examination
- Route section Marmorera village - Marmorera dam ( realized)
- Subject to change - depending on effort and progress on above trails, there may be shifts in prioritization
To ensure that we have the necessary know-how for renovations and maintenance in our valley in the future, we are also conducting a 3-day training course for the employees of the Surses community works group. Are you also interested in the topic of trail maintenance? Then please contact us (see below for contact details).
Planning of new routes (sections)
It is important that the signalized routes meet the needs of the respective target groups in terms of difficulty and attractiveness. In addition to the re-signaling of route sections, new routes (sections) are also necessary in some cases.
Building new sections is a much more complex process than maintaining and rehabilitating sections, because they are usually located outside of construction zones and therefore require extensive approval procedures.
For this reason, we are using the summer of 2020 to concretize ideas for the construction of new routes (sections). We are examining different variants of the routes, and a rough concept is being developed. This will be followed by discussions with landowners and environmental associations. If these lead to a positive result, the next step (from 2021) will be the detailed design for the trails, the preparation of the plans, the examination of the financing, and the submission of a BAB procedure (for approval outside the building zone). In the case of major investments, i.e. the construction of any new trails, the population of the municipality of Surses decides on the project in advance at the municipal assembly.
The ongoing planning work therefore does not mean that these lines (sections) will actually be built. It is a matter of concretizing the measures and the optimization possibilities of the route network.
This summer we are looking at the following additions to our existing route network:
- Routing from Mulegns via Sur to the Marmorera reservoir to enable an attractive mountain bike route through our entire valley from Bivio to Tiefencastel.
- New route routing Alp Flix, which also leads to our beautiful lakes
- Creation of a beginner and family trail to complement the existing trail offer in the Somtgant Radons area or in the area of the former downhill trail between Parnoz and Savognin
- Julierroute: options for a new trail from the Julierpass to Bivio
Flowtrail Somtgant - Tigignas
The project for the construction of a flow trail between Somtgant and Tigignas has already existed for several years. It is a project of private initiators, the municipality of Surses and the Savognin mountain cableways. The municipal assembly gave the go-ahead for the partial revision of the local planning required for realization in December 2018.
The partial revision was rejected by the canton of Grisons in May 2019 due to biotopes worthy of protection (according to the nature and heritage protection law) in the upper part of the planned route. The examination of an alternative route was proposed. This project change again requires a public participation and a vote at the municipal assembly.
Currently, the alternative route is being examined and the project is being discussed with the initiators and the partners involved in the context of the (e-)bike master plan.
The Flowtrail is built with the company Trailworks
Optimization bike infrastructure
The implementation of the Bike Master Plan is not only about the maintenance and optimization of the existing route network for our target groups. Equally important are "flanking" measures to increase the quality of the overall offer.
To this end, we are in contact with farmers and alpine cooperatives in order to make fence passages obstacle-free and to better signalize them. And we have launched an initiative to raise awareness among our service providers and to increase the range of bike stands and e-charging facilities.
In order to make pasture fence crossings clearly visible, pennants have been produced which make the crossings clearly visible. Farmers have been informed about the pennants and can order them at the Savognin tourist office.
The infrastructure for bikers is very important in the village. So you should also find bike racks in front of every store, restaurant and hotel. For stores, restaurants and hotels we participate with 50% of the acquisition costs for new bike stands.
The work is bearing fruit - in the photo a nice example of a new bike-friendly fence passage in Rona.
As a first visible measure, we were already able to set up a mobile pump track on the school grounds in Grava in summer/fall 2019. This offer, which is very popular with local children and guests, will also be available this summer during the summer vacations. Take advantage of it!
Due to the great popularity of the mobile pump track, we are examining the creation of a fixed pump track. We are currently testing variants. In this project we are supported by Think & Build Velosolutions GmbH - a company specialized in the construction of pump tracks.
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3. initial position
Surses had once organized the very first mountain bike downhill world cup. In the meantime, many destinations have gone full throttle and upgraded in the mountain bike sector. Not so the Surses.
Does it even make sense to take up this topic now?
- Yes, thanks to the e-mountain bike the market is growing
- A 5-fold increase in mountain bikers is expected for Grisons
- Surses, as the fourth largest municipality in Switzerland, has an extensive network of forest and alpine roads and trails
- Surses captivates by its vastness and originality
- Surses in the heart of Grisons is surrounded by strong bike destination and offers the perfect complement
What does the (e) in the project title mean?
The (e) stands for electric mountain bikes. The master plan does not differentiate between electric or conventional mountain bikes. It is based on the different needs of the target groups. Because there are beginners or advanced bikers, both those who ride under their own power and those who explore our region with assistance.
SRF RTR has produced an informative program about the mountain bike boom in Graubünden in the format Cuntrasts in autumn 2019. It gives an insight into our work in the master plan, as well as voices and images from the Surses.
4. how is a master plan created?
The aim of the (e-)bike master plan is to work out the basics, i.e. to find out where Surses stands, what is already available, which offers should be improved or are still missing. But it is also about getting clarity, which target groups fit to the Surses, what their needs are and how we can "pick them up". From this, measures are derived and prioritized for implementation.
- Development of the basics (what exists, potentials, target groups)
- Development and prioritization of measures
Stage 1: Development of the basics in three workshops with a 15-member working group (January to May 2019)
- Existing route network and offer: routes, highlights, viewpoints, restaurants
- Discussion and definition of target groups (beginners/families; pleasure bikers/excursionists; advanced/trail MTB experts)
- Elaboration of the network of paths belonging to the target groups and the related issues to be resolved
Stage 2: Development of the (e-)bike master plan (July to September 2019)
- Travelling network of trails through Allegra Trails Ltd.
- Definition of routes per target group
- Elaboration and prioritization of measures
Stage 3: Implementation of initial measures and (detailed) planning for the renewal of additional routes or missing route sections
- currently running...
5. which target groups fit the Surses?
During the development of the (e-)bike master plan, the following three target groups emerged:
Pleasure biker / excursionist
They are locals and guests who want to explore the Surses by bike. They enjoy the ride in the beautiful landscape and usually combine it with sights, viewpoints and a visit to the sun terrace of a restaurant. They mostly follow the signalized Schweiz Mobil routes and enjoy riding the numerous alpine and forest roads.
Families / trail beginners
These bikers are looking for fun riding on easy trails, an extension to forest trails. For them, safety is an important issue - no motorized traffic and no sloping trails. They want to approach trail riding. For them, a continuous, varied and thus exciting offer is important. Since families often spend time on these trails, complementary offerings such as playgrounds, barbecue areas, streams for damming or swimming areas are ideal.
Trail mountain bike expert
This group includes the experienced riders and physically fit athletes. They are not afraid of ascents of several hours, then enjoy the fun of riding on single trails on the way down. In the Surses you will find original trails, which are much less frequented than in the neighboring destinations. For them, accurate online information is important, as well as complementary offers such as competent guiding, transport and refreshment facilities, repair services and bike hotels.
- Stage 1: 9'700 CHF, of which reimbursement of 1/3 by the canton of Graubünden (justification: bike plan - route revision)
- Stage 2: 30,000 CHF, of which 1/3 will be reimbursed by the canton of Graubünden (justification: bike plan - route revision)
- Budget 2020: Maximum expenditure of 200'000 CHF for the measures in summer 2020. Maintenance/renovations, rough and detailed planning of further measures, infrastructure measures, training, mobile pumptrack, etc. (detailed info see above).
In summer 2020, we conducted a small survey of bikers and e-bikers online and with physical questionnaires on the topic of bike trails and charging stations.
Statement on the evaluation and comments
Question 1: The survey results are within the range of what could be expected. We have known that we still have great potential in the satisfaction with the bike routes.
Question 2: Suggestions for improvement. We are currently focusing our marketing efforts on the main routes (Switzerland Mobile). In an exchange with the sports stores has shown that about 80 - 90% of the guests who rent a bike / e-bike in the sports store either the Radons Bike, Verflixte Tour or Giovannis Paradise ride. These tours will be increasingly communicated in the summer of 2021 using video, image and text material. For communication, a cooperation with the E-bike magazine was sought and content generated already in September 2020. In terms of trails, there are various projects underway to expand and build new trails. Regarding maintenance, efforts are underway to be able to maintain the trails better and more regularly in the future. The vacation region will not create a bike park in the sense as it is found in Lenzerheide or Chur. For families a family trail is aimed at. For the main road, solutions are currently being sought to separate the bike trail from the main road, especially between Mulegns and the Marmorera dam. For a training area various clarifications are running and a fixed pump track is also in planning. Agriculture is an important partner when it comes to bike and hiking trails. For this purpose, an annual exchange takes place in order to jointly tackle tourist concerns.
Question 3: Battery charge. Around 80% of the e-bikers surveyed had enough battery for their tour.
Question 4: On which tour was the battery not enough. The answers are contradictory, for some the battery was sufficient on the same tour, for others not. This is enormously dependent on the mode in which the tour is driven. Purely due to the geographical conditions in the Surses, there is no need for charging stations, because usually only one peak is driven, and then it is only downhill, where no battery is needed. Nevertheless, we will keep the topic and consider in infrastructure projects whether a charging station would make sense.
Many thanks to all participants for their valuable inputs.
The survey will be conducted again in 2021, but only online.
10. facts & figures
- 9 out of 10 bikes sold in the sports stores in Surses are e-bikes. One is mostly a children's bike.
- 240 new Switzerland Mobile route stickers were replaced or newly attached to signalization boards.
- more follow....
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the (e-)bike master plan, please do not hesitate to contact Linda Netzer, Head of site development of the municipality of Surses, firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback, whether positive or negative, is welcome.