Alban Aubert is sinds het jaar 2000 als avonturier verbonden aan Merida. Naast het rijden en bouwen van trails met een lekkere flow en veel jumps houdt hij zich bezig met bijzondere, avontuurlijke projecten en recordpogingen.
Zo heeft hij al meerdere actieve vulkanen bedwongen op een mountainbike, een 50 bikeparks in 50 dagen trip gedaan en 12 uurs downhill uitdaging met meer dan 27.000 hoogtemeters.
Lees hieronder een interview met Alban Aubert (in het Engels):
Alban: I’m a mountain bike rider, loving outdoors, traveling and people.
Alban: I came across mountain biking when full-suspension bikes just started to come out in the late Nineties. I tried one and was blown away. It was a shock! Since then, I have never stopped riding!
Alban: My main inspiration is Albert Jacquard, a French ‘free-thinker’ who opened my mind about life. I like the way he thinks and shares his ideas.
Alban: I like jumps & flow and also to build trails. That’s why we (with Bike Attitude) are building some fantastic jump trails. I like to spend time riding & building at my home spot in Chaumont, Switzerland.
Alban: The first full-suspension bikes changed the way I saw mtb and really got me into the sport. Since then, Fun was the goal!
Alban: It’s hard to say because it can be difficult in different ways. Physically, the 12 hours DH with more than 27’000 meters of vertical DH was difficult but fairly easy to organize. On the other hand, the 50/50 project (50 bikeparks in 50 days) was quite a challenge to get off the ground but was not as physically demanding as I expected. Memorable, it’s harder to say. Each trip gave me some good moments like the volcano lava in Kamtchatka, the good vibes in Jamaica, the versatile country of Ecuador for the longest DH of the world, the nice people of Iran (riding Damavand at 5’600 meters), the culture in Japan, the remote places in Morocco…it is pretty much endless.
Alban: The next project is Cameroun 4040, trying to ride from the summit of Mt Cameroun (4,040m and an active volcano which was last active in 2000) to the sea with René Wilhaber & Antonin Pergod. For each new project, I always try to do things a little differently and to find something that excites me. Then, I have to find a way to tell the story in an interesting way and to give exposure to my partners with photos & videos.
Alban: Ebikes is a new thing for me, and the eONE-SIXTY is a perfect pedal assisted enduro weapon. One of the ‘not so perfect’ sides of ebikes is the fact that you need power to charge the battery. But, if you use ‘green’ electricity (generated by wind or water) to charge the battery then you have a sport which is ecologically sound and lots of fun. El Hierro (Canary Islands) is the first island which is almost 100% powered by green electricity, that’s why I choose it as a location for the story!
Alban: As soon as I heard that Merida was building an enduro ebike, I was very interested in trying. And I’m not disappointed. I think it’s great in many aspects. First of all, the helping hand of the motor makes it easier to ride bigger tires. Normally you would shy away from them as they are not so efficient when you go up, but you don’t really mind that as you have a motor to help. But when the downhill comes, bigger tires make so much sense with extra comfort, more grip and more stability. For me, ebikes will allow me to reach remote spots, to self shuttle and to have fun while riding up or when it’s just flat. It changes a little bit my vision of mtb. After so many years in the saddle, I can see that they will make me as motivated as I used to be 20 years go! I would like to see for the weight to go down a bit and for the range to increase. Then they would be simply perfect.
We are putting the finishing touches on our El Hierro video as we speak. We will share that with everybody as soon as it is all done. So watch this space.
Thanks Alban for this little insight into your life and into your projects.