Mike Repyak is the Director of Planning and Design at Trail Solutions, the trail development arm of the International Mountain Biking Association. He’s been involved in recreation planning and trail network design for many years and is currently based in Madison, Wisconsin.
In this episode we ask:
- How is Trail Solutions related to IMBA, and what does it do?
- What are some ways designers can influence trail riders’ experience?
- Would you say we generally have the right mix of green, blue, and black trails in most places in the US?
- How does the cost to build a new trail today compare to 10 years ago?
- Are there enough experienced, quality MTB trail builders in the US?
- How do maintenance considerations play into trail planning?
- Is chipseal something that is helpful in building low-maintenance trails?
- What are some current mountain bike trail projects you’re stoked about?
- From your perspective, is there a connection between the growth of MTB participation with the growth in trail building? Does a growing sport make it easier to get projects approved and funded?
Find out more about Trail Solutions at imba.com, and for information about current, open positions at IMBA, visit ride.imba.com/explore-imba/meet-imba/careers.
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The good stuff, Jeff!
I can relate to this due to my years of trail maintenance, building and grooming of 200 miles of trails. The best is that two snowmobile clubs have come to the table and shared resources, man power and more throughout the years.
We spent a king’s ransome for the large machine a number of years ago. 2022 is the first year of not operating the ‘cat.
Everything we did was listed as multi-use with the appropriate authority having jurisdiction.
My favorite experience on the snomobile? Stopping to chat with an XC skier and they ask if I would run a few laps through the trees to make a nice forest trail to experience.
All I need is an excuse to sled through the trees!
I enjoyed the podcast but I just wanted to say I do not support hard surface trails. I’ve ridden on the same trails mentioned in Bentonville and I don’t like them at all. As a connector, just to get from trail A to trail B it would be fine, but I would never put my $ into a hard surface trail project. Instead, I’ll put my $ and my volunteer hours into natural surface trails. I love dirt berms and rocky tech trails. I mostly ride around the Birmingham, AL area but every now and then I have a chance to venture out.
Totally agree. Hard surface trails will likely remain few and far between because they’re more expensive to build than natural surface, plus like you said, most of us want to ride dirt whenever possible. Where they do fit is in between hard(er) surface trails like concrete and asphalt, or in places where maintainers can’t commit to constantly rebuilding berms and rollers that get wrecked from lots of use.