24 January 2018

Which country has the best MTB community in Europe?


Take Care of Your Trails Weekend will decide in 2018!

Across Europe the mountain biking community is gearing up for the largest ever concerted voluntary trail repair, maintenance and build effort. 

Due to the enormous success of the inaugural event in 2017 the friendly competition will take place  on the weekend of Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th April 2018 with an extra weekend for Alpine countries or resorts to take part in May 5th/6th.

‘Take Care of Your Trails’ weekend will take place with trail repair groups from Scotland to Poland, Denmark to Czech Republic and Sweden to France to engage in a friendly competition to see which country can get the most amount of local groups and volunteers to work on paths and trails in a pan-European coordinated weekend of volunteer-based trail maintenance events..

In 2017, Slovenia were crowned the ‘Best MTB Community in Europe’ with an amazing effort with 32 groups and over 440 volunteers including the Slovenian prime minister! They were closely followed by Scotland where the idea originated.

It will be centrally co-ordinated by IMBA Europe who will collate each countries results at the end of the weekends. Volunteers of all ages and abilities will hit their local trails to take part in the event. IMBA Europe are calling out for trails crews across Europe to organise a trail repair session on either of the weekends.  The sessions which will be available for volunteers to participate in will be launched week beginning the 15th February. 

The winning country will be presented with a prize at round 3 of the Enduro World Series in Olargues – Montagnes du Caroux, France on 12th/13th May 2018.

Chris Ball, managing director of Enduro World Series, said:

“Volunteers running trail repair sessions are the backbone of mountain biking globally. As part of the Enduro World Series we are lucky to travel the world and ride great trails, the one constant factor in maintaining amazing sustainable trails is the engagement and passion for the trails by local groups.

We are pleased to support and promote the IMBA Europe Take Care of Your Trails weekend. We know large scale campaigns can make a big difference to highlight the contribution which local trail crews make across Europe and provide an evidence base to demonstrate that mountain bikers are active custodians of their environments. We look forward to hosting the ceremony to crown the ‘Best MTB Community in Europe’ at our third round in Olargues - Montagnes du Caroux, France in May”      

Mark Torsius, general manager of IMBA Europe, said:

“We have been really impressed with the number of volunteers and the additional promotion which the weekend brought to the trail crews across Europe in 2017. In the first year we had more than 1250 registered volunteers from 13 countries. We expect this number to increase in 2018, it will be fantastic to see great work happening with so many local trail crews across Europe. By bringing it together in one weekend will demonstrate the number of people involved in volunteering to sustain the essential ingredient in our growing sport which is: the trails!”

If you are a trail crew based in Europe and would like to be part of the weekend then please read the guidelines and complete the simple google form to register your crew.

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

“We need to reclaim our crown as the best mountain bike community in Europe! Last year it was a tremendous effort by Slovenia and we were narrowly outnumbred by them. I am sure we can get more than the 257 volunteers who attended in 2017 across Scotland. If you run an organised group in Scotland, please complete your registration form as soon as possible. This really helps us to promote your event effectively.

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 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!”