Silkeborg, east of Aarhus in Denmark, is currently a great example of how a vibrant mountain bike community can achieve great things. Last weekend, IMBA trainers Mark McClure and Gary Hampson conducted a two day trail building school (TBS) for regional volunteers. Even a number of forestry managers were eager to join the TBS on their day off.
The local group called Silkeborg Sti or Sporbuggerlaug participated twice in IMBA’s Take Care of Your Trails campaign and works with volunteers to improve and maintain the growing trail network. With the help of professionals and by providing their volunteers training in trail building and maintenance techniques, last weekend even a section of a red graded trails was built during the trail building school.
‘It’s the 3rd consecutie year that we’re teaching in Denmark and it’s inspiring to see how fast mountain biking is growing and how the level of knowledge of the volunteers has increased since then’ said Mark McClure, trail expert and trainer of the trail building school.
That training and education is important is also recognized by Erik Skovgaard Knudsen of Silkeborg Sti or Sporbuggerlaug. ‘We only have one shot to build it right. There are no volunteers that want to do things over and over again and as local group, we have the ambition to provide some of the most fun and exciting trails you can find in Denmark and get more people on bikes’.
The popularity of mountain biking in the Silkeborg region is substantiated with figures. Up to 50000 mountain bikers ride the Silkeborg trails every year. And when even national television is showing up during the TBS to make a short report, you know something special is happening in Middle-Jutland.