June 25, 2021

TCoYT 2021 Most Inclusive Project Award

The Take Care of Your Trails campaign highlights the work of many volunteers and some of the best volunteer trail crews we have around Europe. This year, we decided to introduce three categories within the ‘Outstanding Trail Crew’ award. The reason being, that we wanted to further engage, encourage and motivate trail crews to look outside the box.  

Today, we’re glad to announce the winning group that has been selected as “Most Inclusive Trail Crew’. The winners will be taking home a Specialized Levo + Trailer + Trail building tools.

Now to announce the winner of this year’s Most Inclusive Trail Crew

Meet ‘Shape n Ride Bagnols’, maintaining and developing the trails in south east France. 

 Inclusion means that all people, regardless of their abilities, disabilities, or health care needs, have the right to: Be respected and appreciated as valuable members of their communities.

If you follow ‘Shape n Ride’ on social media, the first thing that comes to mind is that this club is a family. Men, women, children and even their dogs are deeply committed to their involvement in the club, and come together regularly to participate in trail maintenance days. The key to Shape n Ride’s success is inclusivity, and finding a way in which to engage and encourage all members of the community to join in their dig days.

The core group of shape n ride Bagnols consists of four people and about 15 people who are involved in the events. The club doesn’t recruit volunteers in a traditional sense, but have found that the volunteers are drawn to the club and the atmosphere that has been created, which is to include everyone from the community. From children as young as 6 years old, to their older community members , one of which is approaching 80 years of age. Once a month Shape n Ride hosts an event which is open to everyone, even the neighbouring club and every time one or two people come and join us. Shape n ride Bagnols looks and feels like a family where children and women have their place, a place where everyone feels included and welcomed. 

Shape n Ride Bagnols was selected this year as ‘Most Inclusive’ for their continued efforts to engage all members of their community in not only their trail maintenance days, but in the way they develop and construct their trails. 

Shape n Ride are in the process of setting up as a mountain bike tourism destination. As we already know, covid has created a real demand in the mountain bike sector, with an increase in the number of people practising, but also in the number of people motivated to maintain it. Shape n Ride have worked with the commune of Bagnols-en-Forêt to improve access to the pistes in all legality, and are involved in several projects to continue providing adequate trail access and better options to ride trails closer to home.

  • In September there will be two full-time bike patrols for the maintenance of the pistes
  • The installation of signs prohibiting motocross – the creation of a car park with a picnic area 
  • The creation of a car park with a picnic area – the installation of signs to help people understand the site. With the inter-communal syndicate for the protection of the Esterel massif, there is a more global project for official mountain bike routes.
  • We have also planned to build a pump track in the ground in collaboration with the commune, with work starting in September. The pump track is a great opportunity to engage with a wider community, including more individuals from different demographic backgrounds.

Get to know the ‘Shape n Ride’ community

You can find out more about ‘Shape n Ride’ here.

A tough choice with so many inspirational stories being submitted for this new award category. That’s also why this year we will also be highlighting three other crews that made the pre-selection for their outstanding work.we will also be highlighting three other crews that made the pre-selection for their outstanding work. These crews will be receiving a donation towards their organisation for all their hard work!

  • Endur’Ardenne Team (Belgium)
  • Arran High School MTB Club (Scotland)