October 13, 2020

Tough conditions don’t stop local trail crews during TCoYT

The September edition of IMBA’s Take Care of Your Trails campaign – which will probably go into the books as the ‘covid’ edition –  has resulted in 74 trail maintenance, building and clean-up events across 15 European countries. More than 750 volunteers contributed 6520 hours  of trail work to keep their local trails in shape and make them litter free. A great result given the circumstances and extra precautions that many local groups had to take to make their events safe and corona proof.

The efforts of all voluntary trail crews turned out to be more important than ever. Trail usage increased after lockdown measures were slowly lifted and mountain biking offered many people the best prevention recipe they could get. A healthy and fun way of exercise, an opportunity to reconnect to nature ánd a healthy mind.

What should have been the symbolic ‘grand reopening of the outdoors’ just didn’t quite worked out as we hoped. ‘Unfortunately, due to ongoing restrictions in a few EU countries regarding events and other gatherings, we haven’t really seen the full potential and value of local mountain bike communities across Europe yet’ said Mark Torsius, IMBA’s general manager. ‘Nevertheless, we felt we had to push Take Care of Your Trails forward after being forced to postpone the campaign earlier this year. Besides doing trail maintenance and clean-ups, the local mountain bike groups have an important role in preserving local trail access. Because of these higher levels of trail usage, mountain bike access was under pressure in several places and really needed proactive local trail crews to represent our interest’.

The 4th pan-European Take Care of Your Trails campaign was unique in its kind, but let’s hope for better conditions in 2021. All group leaders and volunteers who participated in this campaign deserve a BIG compliment. We hope to see you all back, safe and healthy, in 2021!