For months, mountain bikers have opened their emails ready to be disappointed. With races and fundraising events being canceled every week, now is the time to join your local trail association.
Trails don’t build themselves. For many riders, squeezing in a couple of rides a week to get out of the house and deep into the woods is the extent of their involvement with the trails they love. A hot lap of your favorite singletrack, then it’s back to the real world; work, family, and life.
And that’s okay. For many trail builders, that’s the experience they work to provide. But right now, trail organizations are facing big budget shortfalls that won’t just delay new projects but may even affect the day-to-day maintenance trail users rely on for a safe ride, hike, or run.
Across the state, many organizations get their funding from a few revenue streams, including membership dues and community sponsors like breweries, restaurants, and bike shops. Those partners may be hurting right now, and contributions from local businesses are a tough ask in the current climate. The biggest funding source, however, is often events. From races to group rides to member meetings, trails get built by bringing a community together, and that’s something we just can’t do safely right now.
Many fundraising events have already been canceled, and those that have been rescheduled for fall are certainly looking at some long odds to happen safely. Even if some smaller races can happen, the additional costs of health and safety measures, plus reduced participation, make them less effective at raising money for projects like new features or more singletrack.
This month, take the time to learn more about the trail association responsible for your favorite local trails and get involved. If joining isn’t financially possible right now, you can still be a part of the mission by following them on social media, joining their newsletters, and learning more about volunteer opportunities that might still be happening.
Trails don’t build themselves. People make trails possible, and it takes a whole community to help them thrive. Not sure who runs your local trail? Check out Trailforks or contact us to find out!
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