Life is busy. As much as we’d all like to join our local trail association when they call for volunteers, it doesn’t always work out. However, in addition to being a member, you can help your local trail crew on your own time. Here’s how.
Especially as the world gets back to normal, weekends and even weeknights are filling up quickly. It’s always tough to balance work, family, and bikes, and throwing in the odd trail day piece to fit into the puzzle.
First, being a part of your trail association is the best way to do your part. It’s not about the money. Membership also shows landowners that your local association has support in the community and lends weight to its work to build, protect, and manage trails and trail access. It’s also about communication. Being a member and subscribing to email communications and newsletters helps the entire mountain bike community informed and engaged. That makes it easier to be a true ambassador for the sport and inform new trail users, too.
Even if you can’t make every trail day, you can still make a positive impact in the woods. Check with your trail association for what they need done, then get outside to handle the little things that free up trail crews to tackle more important projects.
Face Slappers. Brush is annoying and can be dangerous, too. It’s also exceedingly time-consuming for trail crews to tackle big swathes of growth. By packing a small, portable pair of loppers in your pack or frame bag, you can dedicate even a few minutes per ride addressing brush that might create blind corners or tug on clothing and handlebars.
Pick Up Trash and Sticks. We can all sacrifice a few seconds to clearing sticks, locks, and gel wrappers from our trails. Keep a Ziplock bag in your pocket to put trash, and if you can lift a stick or log, do it. That’s one less thing for the trail crew to do when they’re in the woods!
Invasive Species. Invasive species crowd out native plants, affect wildlife and spread easily across a forest, a state, even a country. Check with your local trail association or land manager to learn how how to identify and remove harmful invasive species. Make sure you’re wearing heavy-duty gloves and avoid contact with irritating plants that could cause rashes or infections. This activity might be best on a hike; invite the family or friends to join you...just make sure you spring for lunch.
We provide a number of tools to help trail associations get more done. Shop our stuff, or reach out to learn more about trail building and maintenance with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.