Since the inauguration of TCoYt in 2017, the goal of this campaign has been to encourage and promote volunteer based trail maintenance events across Europe. A big highlight for us at IMBA Europe has been to recognize and reward the outstanding crews, individuals and associations who have contributed to this goal. This year we had more than 1000 volunteers contribute to 6900 + hours of volunteer work across 92 events in Europe (and beyond!). We want to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to all the trail crews, local heroes, partners, and sponsors that contributed to the 2022 campaign! The level of engagement this year has been incredible, and without the support of our member organisations, this campaign wouldn’t be the success it is now. Through campaigns like TCoYT we can build better relationships with other users, landowners, and park managers which is imperative to securing a bright future for our sport.
More than just friendly competition…
Over the years the campaign has grown and evolved into something bigger than just a friendly competition between crews. It’s simply not enough anymore to only consider maintaining and repairing our trail networks. IMBA Europe strongly believes that both conservation and restoration practices are an integral part of how we should approach trail maintenance. Therefore, a focal point of this campaign was to promote environmental consciousness and education about protecting and restoring the natural environments we are privileged to recreate in. There are many ways in which crews can create positive change in their areas, one of which could simply be collecting trash. The #OneBagChallenge part of Trash Free Trails Spring clean campaign was one way crews could get involved in a ‘protect and preserve’ effort. The protect and preserve award will be awarded to the person, crew or trail association that has an interesting conservation project idea they would like to undertake. This award will be funded thanks to our sponsors Specialized bicycles and Patagonia.
Another important aspect of this year’s TCoYT campaign was getting different people involved in trail maintenance events. Trail crews are encouraged to think more about inclusivity when organising trail maintenance events with the question in mind; how can we make mountain biking more accessible and inclusive to women, children, persons with disabilities and persons of colour? We thought TCoYT was a great platform to ask these questions within local communities, particularly when it comes to volunteer recruitment strategies and initiatives.