Is it just me or is mountain biking starting to grow up? It seems like the days of riding illegal trails and slogging through the mud are pretty much over and as such mountain biking has mostly lost its rebellious image. Or it could be the fact that I’m turning 30 this weekend, ya never know 😉
Anyway, in just the last couple of years I’ve started to consider how trails get built and maintained and how easily good trails can be taken away from us for being irresponsible users. During this time I’ve also ridden several formerly great trail systems only to find them degraded and neglected and thought to myself, “someone should do something about this.”
It turns out that “someone” is your local mountain bike club and they’re more important than ever these days. We’ve started a list of local mountain bike clubs here on singletracks to help you get connected with your local club and perhaps find a way to give back to the local riding scene. As an added benefit your local MTB club can be a great way to get connected to other mountain bikers who share your passion for riding.
Mountain bike clubs around the country are seeing a renaissance in 2008 and I don’t think enough credit can be given to IMBA for helping these groups get focused on building and maintaining great mountain bike trails. As a result some amazing new trail systems are popping up all around the country thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers. You can help promote local mountain bike clubs by adding your club to our list and continuing to support non-profit mountain biking organizations in your community.
And lest you think that by growing up mountain biking might be losing its edge – think again! These days clubs are building free ride areas and technical trails that will put even the most skilled riders to the test. The adrenaline rush from riding illegal trails may be gone but it’s been replaced by the rush of jumping a 20 foot gap (and landing it)!