12 January 2017

Which country has the best MTB community in Europe?

Take Care of Your Trails Weekend will decide in 2017!

Across Europe the mountain biking community is gearing up for the largest ever concerted voluntary trail repair, maintenance and build effort. On the weekend of Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd April 2017, the ‘Take Care of Your Trails’ weekend will take place with trail repair groups from Scotland to Poland, Denmark to Czech Republic and Sweden to Spain to 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 population.

It will be the first ever pan-European coordinated weekend of volunteer-based trail maintenance events. It will be centrally co-ordinated by IMBA Europe who will collate each countries results at the end of the weekend. The weekend is based on a successful plot running for 2 years in Scotland by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS).

Volunteers of all ages and abilities will hit their local trails to take part in the event. IMBA Europe and DMBinS are calling out for groups across Europe to organise a trail repair session on the weekend. The sessions which will be available for volunteers to participate in will be launched week beginning the 8th February. Groups responding after this date will still be included but will miss the benefit of being part of the launch. 

The winning country will be presented with a prize at the IMBA Europe 2017 Summit in Agueda, Portugal.

Mark Torsius, director of IMBA Europe, said:

“We have been really impressed with the number of volunteers and the additional promotion which these weekends have brought to the trail crews in Scotland. We think a friendly competition will help many existing trail crews across Europe promote their good work and get new volunteers along to their sessions. We see great work happening with IMBA trail crews across Europe and to bring it together in one weekend will be very exciting to see and demonstrates the number of people involved in volunteering to sustain the essential ingredient in our growing sport which is: the trails!”

Graeme McLean, project manager of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, the project responsible for co-ordinating the Scottish groups over the weekend says:

“We have ran successful pilots for the last two years and last year we sa a big increase in the number of trail crews with 18 taking part and they engaged 154 volunteers across Scotland. Everyone loves a bit of friendly competition though and  we are delighted to team up with IMBA Europe and see if we can become the top country in the ‘Take Care of Your Trails’ weekend.  Scotland has some of the best mountain biking trail provision in the world and those who spend time on these trails are keen to ensure that it stays that way.  The last two years proved that giving up a day or two of their time to help maintain their local trails is something most mountain bikers can get behind.  The sheer volume of volunteers mucking in over the course of the weekend is going to make a huge difference. We’re really looking forward to seeing all the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots from across Scotland!”  

If you are a trail crew based in Europe and would like to be part of the weekend then please read the guidelines and get in touch with Mark to register your crew. For trail crews in Scotland please read the Scottish guidelines and register with DMBinS.

Let the (friendly) competition commence!