Even though Instagram might seem like the antithesis of a return to nature, it also provides a focal point for people’s yearning to be outdoors. Hashtags and buzzwords like #outsideisfree #vanlife #overnighter have become popular by the millions. Sure, riding has always been outdoors, but something has changed!
For a long time, cyclists have focused on suffering, comparing achievements and “epicness”. But since enduro, gravel and eMTBs entered the scene, the world has changed. Now everyone talks about unique experiences and good times. The much-vaunted “epicness” has given way to “realness”, which means that it’s no longer primarily about where you do something, but above all about doing something and how you do it. In short, it’s become an all-encompassing lifestyle.
Huge outdoor adventures are turning into more spontaneous and shorter micro adventures. Whether it’s a quick overnighter in bivi, a weekend in a pickup truck or a minimalistic tent, the starry night sky increasingly trumps the five-star hotel. Closeness to nature, earthing and individual freedom are the big new trends in the outdoor industry, describing the longings of many people wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of urban environments. Between Web 2.0 and 3.0, millennials seem to be looking particularly to the outdoors as a counterweight to the all-encompassing nature of digitisation. Sustainability is also a big issue, but let’s be honest – despite marketing campaigns claiming otherwise, any form of consumption is generally not as sustainable as we’d like it to be.
The times when you defined yourself by a product are over. Anyone can buy a VW T6 or an expensive bling-bling bike (credit permitting). Anyone could potentially wake up in their local forest after an overnighter, or in a bivi in the cool morning air amidst the Dolomites, but not everyone is brave enough to do it. And here we are again on the subject of Instagram and the burden of proof. Disclaimer: Instagram is tempting and can be a source of inspiration, but real camping and adventure pros leave their smartphones on airplane mode and switch off from social media.
But it isn’t only individualised adventure-style tourism that is gaining momentum, regional tourism is booming too, not least because eMTBing offers completely new possibilities and appeals to larger and diverse target groups. An excellent example is the Münsingen Mobility Centre (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), which, within just a few years has created a completely new, holistic local recreation concept – ideal for families and bicycle tourers of all levels.
Not only to dream but to do – that is our motto for the 2019 season! Being outdoors means more than just strolling through shopping isles on a rainy day wearing your € 600 three-layer, breathable outdoor jacket.
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