21 July 2020

Re-open, recover, relaunch: Take Care of Your Trails campaign to restart in September

IMBA Europe is happy to announce the relaunch of the annual Take Care of Your Trails campaign, the largest voluntary trail repair, build and clean-up effort by local trail crews all over Europe.

The 2020 campaign will take place in September after being postponed in April due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The objectives of the TCoYT campaign are to promote trail stewardship, to recognise the work of all MTB volunteers, build local partnerships and to protect the places we love to ride.

The September edition is getting a few tweaks compared to previous editions. The competitive element of TCoYT which was about the country with most participating volunteers, is skipped in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘In this reopening and recovery period, we don’t want to encourage a competition which may lead to group sizes that are not consistent with national or regional COVID measures. We are relieved we can ride our bikes again and organize smaller trail work sessions in most of our member countries and like to keep it that way. So, this year’s focus will be more on the quality of local crews and the positive impact they can have on their community ‘said Mark Torsius, IMBA Europe’s general manager.

To show our greatest appreciation for the work of local trail associations and crews, three groups will be honoured as ‘Outstanding Local Trail Crew’.  Crews that go beyond what you may expect from your local group of volunteers and provide inspirational stories for other groups, qualify for this award and can submit their application. Besides this group award, people can nominate their candidate for the ‘Trail Advocate of the Year’ award.

IMBA Europe’s president Thomas Larsen Schmidt is relieved that the TCoYT can still take place in 2020. ‘This is such an important period for the mountain bike community and the role they can play in the COVID reopening and recovery phase. More people discovered mountain biking during the lock down and we want to make them part of our community for a lifetime. Not only as riders but also as dedicated volunteers, willing to give up some of their free time to keep their local trails in shape. Trail crews are also essential for communication with other user groups and land managers, especially now some places are getting more crowded and social conflicts lying in wait’.

The TCoYT campaign is supported by IMBA Europe long lasting partners SRAM and Specialized. “Most of Europe just came out of a state of lockdown, confinement, incarcerations of sorts. It has never been this clear to us how important our natural environment is and the way we express ourselves in it. Take care of our trails, plainly put, is really just a way to return to our roots and celebrate the places that nourish our souls’ explains Fanie Kok, responsible for Specialized’ Soil Searching project.

Participating groups must comply with COVID measures set by their government. In addition, a COVID trail work safety protocol will be available as general guideline. Trail crews can register their event at www.takecareofyourtrails.com and will receive a TCoYT toolkit. All groups that plan their trail work event in the September campaign month will be highlighted on the Take Care of Your Trails events map.