NO DIG NO RIDE!
The Take Care of Your Trails campaign is based on a successful pilot that we ran for 2 years in Scotland. In 2017, IMBA Europe adopted the concept and worked in partnership with us 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.
The trails we have access to in Scotland are some of the very best in the world, we all ride them, enjoy them and pay very little apart from possibly a minimal car parking charge, for the privilege. Trails need constant maintenance to keep the flow, flowing. They need your help. If you need any motivation here are 5 reasons you should get involved with this years efforts.
As a country, we’re blessed with some of the most progressive land access anywhere - the Scottish Outdoor Access Code - which if you skim through it reads like a free reign to ride where we want, when we want. Sounds like bliss! #outsideisfree seems to be a popular hashtag; catchy, but not entirely true. It takes a whole heap of planning, fundraising and digging to make sure Scotland keeps on being the home of sustainable mountain biking.
With the birth of STRAVA and Trailforks there are no secrets anymore, as soon as a new trail pops up on the digital map, we are on it, blasting round carefully built flow lines. It’s time for us to act more responsibly, we need to change our mindset from ‘build’ to ‘rebuild’, we can still shred, but with one eye on sustainability.
2. Learn new skills and meet new people
Apart from being a lot of fun getting together with a group of likeminded people, it’s a fantastic chance to learn new skills, put something back into the landscapes that we enjoy riding so much. It’s an awesome way for rider to connect with the trails, to learn about path work, and to help create and maintain sustainable trails that ride like a dream, and can stand the test of the Scottish conditions. It’s a great way to get to know and work with those with a stake in managing the land too.
3. It’s a cool thing to do, trail love is cool.
That warm and fuzzy feeling will stay with you for a long time after the mattock has been handed in and you’ve reluctantly handed back your hi-vis. We all want to enjoy riding amazing trails in amazing locations. The trails do not look after themselves, most trails we ride are entirely maintained by volunteers or a small team of Forest Enterprise Scotland Rangers. We are all proud of the country we live in. We are all proud of the vast and diverse trails we have access to. If we all do not play a part in caring for the trails. Who will? Also, this bit isn’t quite as cool, but we need the numbers, we need stats, It is so important to be able to show Scottish and Central Government that mountain bikers do care, want to be involved and are willing to invest time and effort into their sport. This in turn will ensure future support and funding which is vital for the sustainability of the sport and trails.
4. You will help Scotland win the ‘Best Mountain Bike Community in Europe’
The Campaign will have trail repair groups from Scotland to Slovenia, Denmark to Italy and Netherlands to Spain engage in a friendly competition to see which country can get the most amount of volunteers to work on paths and trails per head of MTB population. The event will be centrally co-ordinated by IMBA Europe, who will collate each countries results at the end of the month. The winning country will be announced at this years IMBA Europe Summit in Denmark, 8 - 10 May 2019.
This year we know we can muster more volunteers than ever before and take the title. Come on Scotland be proud!
5. Opportunity to win some amazing prizes
Every volunteer taking part in the Take Care of Your Trails will be entered into a prize draw. We have our own bank of Scottish prizes donated from some awesome Scottish companies who recognise the importance of this campaign and want to show their support and be involved. We have some amazing prizes stacking up and someone has to win them.
…….and finally, cake…..who doesn’t love cake