“Erik is part of the history of Finale”

… Erik has in fact allowed his manual ability to express himself by pursuing a great passion, modeling the wood and the walkways for the Finale Ligure Flydownpark he created his first bike park … Erik Burgon

Chief Commercial Officer and President, Parkitect AG

In 2002 Erik Burgon was 19 years old, he was a young man who loved to ride a bike and traveled the world with a group of professional bikers with Dangerous Dan’s Flow Show, a show that includes several stunts with the bicycle between wooden walkways suspended in the void. Fate has meant that this canadian boy from Vancouver found right here in Finale everything that would lead him to become the man who is today both professional and personal: Erik has in fact allowed his manual ability to express himself by pursuing a great passion, modeling the wood and the walkways for the Finale Ligure Flydownpark he created his first bike park, sculpted his working future and he is becoming a father creating his family together with the woman he known right here in Finale at the Florenz Hotel. “Erik is part of the history of Finale”[In 2004 he was granted citizenship of Finale Ligure from the Municipality, ed), debuts Lorenzo Carlini, manager of Florenz Hotel, who contributed to the development of the Finale area for mountain bike tourism.
Enchanted by the tales of Erik and Lorenzo, I listen with interest to the memories of a not too distant past that are mixed with the present of a place that can proudly boast the passage and the commitment of people that have elevated it to the prestige that today holds all over the world as a bike and outdoor destination. A story, that of Erik, started in the courtyard of the Hotel Florenz, the same one where we sit seventeen years later and where he describes how it went: “The organization of the 24H of Finale had found the show of Dangerous Dan on internet and they invited us to perform during the competition. It was on this situation that I met Lorenzo Carlini and Mauro Bertolotto. Everything was born right here at the Florenz Hotel, the idea of the bike park developed in the evening after the 24H of Finale. Once back in Canada they sent me the track of Finalborgo area, where the Flydown Park would be built, and I started to create something on the paper. The project was liked, they found the money and a few months later I returned here to Finale to build the bike park and I stayed there a few years, we created packages with guided tours mainly for german tourists who also included training for specific types of jumps, walkways etc…To build bike park was what I wanted to do, I wanted to graduate in architecture just to do this. Finale changed my life”. Erik, in fact, who lives in Europe with his family, has been managing his company Parkitect AG (http://www.parkitect.ch) since 2010, specializing in pumptruck modeling, currently installed in over 400 locations around the world.
“The show that Erik and his group carried around the world with Dangerous Dan was a revolutionary thing for the time – recognizes Lorenzo Carlini – and represented a way to do the bike park”. Erik underlines how in British Columbia, the province of Canada from which he originates, the development of the trails is different because there the land is always muddy and from the need to find solutions to this problem the wooden walkways were born, high, steep, curved and tree-totree walkways. The speech leads him to remember how “I made by mistake the first wooden pumptrack. I wanted to create a smooth structure that everyone could use to try that feeling of air that feels empty when the wheels of the bike seem to come off the ground, without this really happening because otherwise those who are not capable fall and then risk not get back on the bike again. That typical movement of when you are cradled as a child or climb on a carnival ride.

My idea was to create this feeling for those who were not yet able to try this thing by bike. And it worked”. Fascinated by all that I am discovering thanks to this talk, I listen to them with interest to reflect on the completely changed environment in these ten years in which Erik was missing from Finale, where he found a completely different reality from that experienced by him in the period in which he has inhabited here. If the environment has improved, focusing more and more on a welcoming view of the outdoor tourist, it is also thanks to the people who have looked to the future, wanting to create something authentic and have believed in the slow movements of changes that lead to great results.

“Give sense to today through the vision of tomorrow,” says Lorenzo Carlini, this is the key that allowed him and the people. That have always supported the development of Finale area in the mtb field, to ask how Finale could have been in future and to achieve today’s great results thanks to the commitment and work that all this has entailed. Going further with thought and not merely observing the present is also an invitation that Carlini makes to the new generations, working on what gives joy, on the passion that moves within each of us towards something, because it is necessary to transmit emotions and push oneself to search of a feeling of well-being that generates great changes. “Today we must begin to imagine what the world will be like in ten years if we want to do something for our children and grandchildren. We must have eyes for what will happen, imagining what the world will be like, it is the only way to take advantage of them and preserve authenticity, even with a personal interpretation. It is necessary to stimulate people to act, to teach children to do, only in this way will they have greater awareness of certain things”. It is thanks to the sharing of passions that a better world can be built, which points to a growth in the quality of the adults of tomorrow. An education that can also have bases in sport, whose value is fundamental as Erik underlines, which concludes “Municipalities should be made aware also through the construction of pumptracks that can transmit the passion for sport to children and generate more athletes”. A simple dream. Who knows how a pumptruck could change lives to many people.