No Dig, No Ride!
The Take Care of Your Trails campaign is based on a succesful pilot running for 2 years in Scotland by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS). In 2017, IMBA Europe adopted the concept and worked in partnership with DMBinS to turn TCOYT in a pan-European event. The objectives of the TCoYT campaign are to promote trail stewardship & improve the image of our sport, to recognise the work of many MTB volunteers, encourage new or strengthen existing partnerships and to provide guidance how to establish a trail association. The 2019 campaign will run from April 6th – May 5th.
More than 1200 mountain bike volunteers joined nearly 100 groups in 14 different countries for the first pan-European Take Care of You Trails weekend.
The co-ordinated weekend of volunteer trail maintenance was a great success and highlighted the fantastic voluntary contribution that bikers make towards the key ingredient in their experience: the trails.
The weekend was also a chance for each country to engage in a friendly competition to see who could get the largest number of volunteers to attend sessions per head of population.
Slovenia won with 420 volunteers including the president (!) of the Republic of Slovenia. The Slovenian campaign resulted in so many positive publicity and engagement by local groups, that winning the title of Best MTB Community in Europe made it on national television and radio. The Slovenian mountain bike community was amongst the last 3 candidates to be nominated ‘best sports Slovenian sports team’ at the annual sports award ceremony
In 2018, more than 1640 volunteers took part in TCoYTW campaign, a growth of + 35% compared to 2017. The campaign highlighted the fantastic voluntary contribution these groups and volunteers made towards their own local trails.
Another important result was to to see these trail maintenance events were no longer one-off actions but activities that became embedded in the local mountain bike scene and helped to attract new volunteers or to generate positive local publicity.
With support of EWS manager director Chris Ball, the results of the campaign and award ceremony took place at the 3rd round of the Enduro World Series in Olargues, France. With passionate comments of EWS board member Enrico Guala, France was awarded ‘best mountain bike community Europe’ of the 2018 Take Care of Your Trails campaign.
As trail advocacy association, Mountain Bikers Foundation was the national coordinator of the TCoYTW campaign and managed to mobilize 34 groups to work on 54 sites with 594 volunteers. Commendable was also the local and regional media coverage of the French TCoYTW actions, the partnerships with regional parks and collaboration with the bicycle industry. Local MBF volunteers also helped to repair some trail sections of the EWS stages afterwards to minimize the impact of the event.
New in 2018 was the launch of the Trail Heroes fundraising campaign to support a number of local trail crews that joined IMBA’s Take Care or Your Trails Weekend. With great support of Specialized Bicycles and SRAM that pushed the Trail Heroes campaign, four local volunteer groups received a supporting grant of €500. The funds were spent on trail inspection training, restoring ancient trails, improving the sustainability of trails and a school project to get more kids into mountain biking.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association Europe (IMBA Europe) is a non-profit association whose mission is to secure and enhance sustainable access for mountain bikers and communities across Europe and to unlock opportunities for trail development. We encourage low-impact riding, trail stewardship, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA Europe is a widespread collective of MTB advocacy groups, trail associations, professional trail builders, MTB regions and bicycle industry partners.
Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) is a project, hosted within Scottish Cycling, which is implementing the National Strategic Framework for Mountain Biking in Scotland. The project aims to aid co-ordination, spread good practice and sustainably increase the benefits which mountain biking brings to Scotland.