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Downhill MTBs Banned from Innsbruck Public Transport

By Monica Buck

Innsbruck markets itself as the Freeride and Bike City of Austria, but the reality is somewhat different. True, the city is hosting Crankworx this June and around 80,000 riders come to the city annually. However, the cycling enthusiasts face a struggle you would not expect in a ‘MTB paradise’.

Following a single incident of violent behaviour of a cyclist, the Nordkette Bahn (a cable line that will take you into the mountains) was temporarily shut to all mountain bikers. On top of that, IVB, a city-owned company operating local public transport, decided to enforce a rule banning all downhill riders. How are they going to recognize a downhill rider, you ask? Well, anyone with a dual-crown fork on their bike or wearing a full-face helmet and pads will not be allowed to board.

The incident often cited as reason for the restrictions involved an unknown rider who punched an operator, sending her to hospital. © Blog Tirol

Clearly, the city officials do not understand the sport very well, but that is beside the point. There are already many restrictions in place in Austria, making Innsbruck a really hard place to cycle. What kind of bike is permitted where? It’s hard to be sure. So, will all the riders reach their favourite trails by cars? And what about kids? Should they start cycling without a full-face helmet just to be able to get on a bus?

This really doesn’t look like a solution. What do you think?