Mountain biking offers different outlets to different people: adventure, solitude, exercise. We all experience riding differently, and we all benefit collectively with greater trail access. That’s the beauty of it.
Whether you live near established trail systems or don’t have any trails close to home yet, you have the power to support the sport and expand opportunities in your community. Here are three ways you can start supporting mountain bike trails today:
If your goal is to build more miles of trails in your community and help to maintain existing trails, the best place to start is going online to find individuals and organizations who are leading the charge. Local riding clubs, bike shops, volunteer trail building crews, and non-profits like One Track Mind are working to expand mountain biking around the country. Volunteering time and donating money to trail building efforts are the most direct ways you can expand riding opportunities in your community. If you’re not able to find existing groups where you live, look to areas with more established access for a model of what’s possible. Have an idea for a new trail? Shoot us a message.
From Santa Cruz to Durango and Duluth to Bentonville, small to mid-size cities around the country have shown how the expansion of mountain biking trails strengthens communities, makes people healthier, and supercharges local economies. It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s still on us as riders to make the strongest case we can to policymakers and land managers when it comes to funding and building permissions for new trail systems. Emailing and calling local leaders to tell them why you support mountain biking trails is a great first step. Creating connections with other like-minded locals and trail organizations will multiply your impact with representatives. If you’re struggling to make those connections, reach out to trail advocacy groups beyond your community for suggestions on how to navigate the politics of trail building and amplify your voice.
Last but not least… Support trails in your community by getting out there and riding! The more people that are riding, the more visibility there will be for the sport. And when you’re using trails, make sure you’re setting the right example by being a good steward. Obey the rules of the trail, respect other riders, and help keep trails and surrounding areas clean. Know someone who’s interested in mountain biking, but has never tried? Take them out for an easy ride to introduce them to the joys of the sport and encourage them to spread the word!
Check back on the One Track Mind blog for a stream of upcoming mountain biking articles.