During a recent solo mountain bike ride, I chatted for a few minutes with a local mountain biker. It was in the South Luberon. We therefore discuss a little about our circuit of the day and then more widely about our favorite spots. It was at this time that this practitioner made me advertise for XVTT : a forum, with more than 3000 members, with very many proposals for outings.
Meeting with the man who is at the origin of this very dynamic community located around Aix-en-Provence (13).
Can you introduce yourself ?
My name is Lewis, I am passionate about mountain biking, nature, photography and video.
How did you get into mountain biking?
I started mountain biking in the 90s, my father made me discover this sport which was nascent at the time. We rode mainly in the Vercors and around Grenoble with rather fragile and poorly adapted bikes that we broke relatively often. I often rode several times a week after high school lessons with my friends, we often went to Mours which is still a fairly well-known spot for freeriding in the Drôme (well, we did what we could with our level of the time).
Can you tell us about the XVTT community?
I arrived in the region of Aix and Marseille in 2002 without knowing many people. I was looking for friends to ride with but couldn't really find a group... so I created one! I decided to make a forum on the same principle as grenoblevtt.com with whom I shared good times when I drove in this area. So I launched AIX-VTT which I contracted in XVTT . The forum has grown rapidly, in nearly 15 years, after hundreds of releases, we have more than 3,300 subscribers. There is a good hard core of ultra nice people with a cool and relaxed spirit, a lot of mutual aid and kindness and a desire to share good times together!
What is your role in this association?
XVTT is neither an association nor anything “official” in fact. I administer the site with the help of some friends, but in reality there is no hierarchy, the idea is the Spanish inn, we find there what we bring: everyone can come and propose an outing or to add to an existing one, in general there are at least two or three outings scheduled each weekend and a few during the week. I also serve as a contact to organize driving sessions with pros, like Jérôme Clémentz a few years ago, Isabeau Courdurier or even Aurélien Fontenoy a little more recently.
How do you see the future?
I think (and I hope) that the place of the bicycle will be more and more important in our daily lives. For getting around or for leisure, it's a good way to cover kilometers while doing yourself good and without releasing CO2. Our XVTT community remains stable over time because it is independent of social media platforms (Facebook, etc.). The spirit of XVTT is really the pleasure of riding in a group without the fuss, we always welcome newcomers. I think that's why we last and why we have so much fun seeing each other again on each outing, there's no reason for that to change in the future!
What machine do you ride?
I ride with a 2017 enduro, a red and black YT Capra (“I will exile my fear, I will go higher than these mountains of pain”, as Jeanne said). Almost obliged to opt for this kind of bike in our very stony and rugged region if we want to go and titillate the most technical trails. I don't like changing my bike frequently, so I pamper it to make it last.
A place to ride in France?
I love the Alps and I always take my eyes off it while riding around Galibier, Thabor, etc., but the big advantage of our region of Aix and Marseille is that you can ride there all the time. trouble-free winter. I would like to discover the Pyrenees too...
Your best memory with your mountain bike?
My greatest memories are the big mountain outings with my father, and the outings that I'm starting to do with my son too. The weekends in Spain with XVTT and Olivier Navarro are also among my fondest memories. Ha yes and each time I return to the ridges of the Terres Noires de Digne, I add an unforgettable memory to my collection of memories!
Tell us an anecdote!
A not very funny anecdote, a year ago I had my mountain bike Youtube channel hacked. I lost years of work in minutes, and never got anything back (not cool Mr. Google). Since then I have tried to put back all the history, but it is quite exhausting to do. My little advice: protect your accounts thoroughly!
What is your vision of mountain biking in 20 years?
In 20 years, I hope to be able to enjoy the same freedoms that we currently have to ride in our hills. I imagine myself continuing to do as many mountain biking outings on the trails with my friends and loved ones. I also hope that we will be more sober in our consumption of natural spaces and the earth's resources. I hope so...very much.
What would you like to add?
I invite all cyclists who want to discover our region to contact us, we can go out together and have a good time!
To stay connected
- XVTT Forum: https://www.xvtt.fr/
- The XVTT Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/LewPicturesXVTT
- Instagram XVTT: https://www.instagram.com/lew_pictures/
© Pierre André