Several years ago we asked mountain bikers how much money they donate to trail building and mountain bike advocacy each year. Fourty-four percent said zero dollars.
It wasn’t all bad news as mountain bikers reported they gave, on average, about $80 to support trails each year. Luv Trails wants to make it even easier to give back to the local organizations that support trails, no matter where riders ride, with a free smartphone app.
There are two ways to donate funds to participating local trail organizations: one-time, or on a per-mile basis.
For one-time donations, simply scan the QR code posted at a participating trailhead using the Luv Trails app. If there’s no QR code, you can use your phone’s location feature to find the nearest trail group and send funds to them.
The other way Luv Trails users can donate is by linking a Strava account and pledging a dollar amount per mile ridden. Contributors don’t need to the use Luv Trails app; simply go to trail.care, connect to your Strava account, and provide your email address. You’ll get an email each time you ride a trail maintained by a participating club asking if you’d like to donate. You can also configure a set amount (say, $0.25 per mile) and you can confirm the total amount of your donation (or no donation) after each ride.
Luv Trails was co-founded by CEO Arrie Rossouw and professional mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop. Arrie says the group’s mission is to “make geolocated, local micro-donations directly to volunteer trail organizations super easy.” Non-profit groups can apply to have their trails listed in the app, and Luv Trails passes along 90% of the funds donated after paying for things like credit card processing and app store fees.
The app already includes additional features for connecting mountain bikers with local advocacy groups and the community as well, with more features in the works. For example, participating local businesses like coffee shops and breweries may offer discounts or free items for Luv Trails users who donate a certain amount. And clubs can sell digital park passes for trails that require a parking or entry fee, and they can also connect with donors to let them know about events and upcoming work days.
It’s clear that many mountain bikers can and should do more to support trail building and maintenance, and Luv Trails is designed to nudge riders without being too pushy. According to our trail survey, mountain bikers spend more than six hours riding trails each week, and yet almost half of them (44%) give zero dollars to support local trails. Imagine spending that much time in a coffee shop and not buying a single item.
With Luv Trails, everyone can make an investment in our trails for about the cost of a cup of coffee each week, and collectively that could make a huge difference.