Finding peace in a conflict zone

Despite Ukraine’s recent troubles, BMX pros Luc LeGrand and Max Gaertig find Kiev an oasis of calm.
Luc LeGrand performs in Kiev for Rob Dolecki's BMX in Ukraine feature in July 2014
Luc LeGrand, over grind on a prime Kiev rail. © Rob Dolecki/Red Bull Content Pool
By Rob Dolecki

When Luc LeGrand and Max Gaertig arrived in Kiev, Ukraine, for two weeks of summertime exploring and shredding earlier this year, it was already in the midst of the current conflict going on in the southeastern part of the country.

Exploring a region that is portrayed in the news as being rife with political and military turmoil may make the average person a little wary, but Max wasn’t too concerned: “Kiev is a thousand miles from the conflict. It wasn’t a big deal; it was kind of fun to get that attention when friends and family wanted to check and make sure I was OK. It’s cool going to Ukraine and getting a first-hand experience of the country.”

When it was time to board a plane back their respective homelands of France and Germany, neither Luc nor Max were let down by their time in Ukraine, to say the least.

Max explains: “I’ve been to many Eastern European countries and they always have nice riders and scenes; it was no different here. People have a certain amount of tolerance and hospitality. Plus, since Kiev is not as overrun with tourists, I like it better than most eastern European cities.”

People have a certain amount of tolerance and hospitality. Plus, since Kiev is not as overrun with tourists, I like it better than most eastern European cities.

With a beautiful country boasting a rich culture and a growing and friendly BMX community, what more can you ask for?

Catch up with the first instalment of our Ukrainian journey here.

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