Scratching Your Itch


Mountain biking is one of the few sports where the participants can create their facility. In many places, they have to. 

At the beginning, trails were mostly existing routes created for some other purpose, like hiking, riding motos, or getting to and from trees that needed cutting. Today’s lucky punters can roll up to a trailhead and do their thing without a second thought: the sport is approaching its fourth decade and many places round the world have trail networks ready to go.

They will find a ridiculously varied mix of trails handbuilt by volunteer working bees, scratched out by lone wolf enthusiasts, machine built by contractors, and almost unbuilt freeform things created by people riding down a line that eventually turned into a trail.

The art of the trail is complex. 

If it has to get somewhere specific, that is one thing.

But the lines in your local are not likely to be about transport. Most start at a random spot and finish at another one. A selection can be strung together to form a loop, or not. Up to the rider.

They aren’t going anywhere particular unless you count nirvana.

They each express something in the mind of the builder, and what comes out will appeal to some, and not to others. 

People will sample and then vote with their tyres. Check out the image at the top of this newsletter. That is the tracings made just by me, and just this year. 

Can’t find a line that scratches your unique itch? Volunteer, and dig your own.



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