Trail care: why we need to do it

Taking care of our trails is as important as riding them. For this reason the project Aosta Valley Trail Care was born. Tom Durham, one of our guides and member of the project, tells us a bit more about getting ready the trails to welcome a new season of riding here in Aosta Valley.

What’s Aosta Valley Trail Care?

Aosta Valley Trail Care is our way of giving something back to the environment in which we ride.  It is something that we do voluntarily as people, and invest cash into as a company.  We recognise that mountain biking causes damage to the trails even with the most careful riding style, and so we put some effort into repairing that damage through Aosta Valley Trail Care. 

How important it is to take care of our trails?

It is super important to take care of our trails. Even without mountain bikers, trails are damaged by all users, and also by nature itself. Without maintenance, trails can become unusable, and / or lost and reclaimed by the mountain!  

It is also important that mountain bikers demonstrate to other trail users, land owners, and the authorities that we are responsible people who care for our environment.  Doing some voluntary trail maintenance is one way of doing that. 

A well maintained trail

A well maintained trail should be clean of fallen trees and branches, these cause riders to ride around, which widens the trail and damages the surrounding environment. 

The drainage should be clear and working properly. This prevents water eroding the trail surface.  And there shouldn’t be any puddles, puddles cause the trail to become wider because people go around them. 

Particularly important for mountain bikers are good sight lines. That means removing branches or other vegetation from the trail-side, particularly in front of corners or other features. If a rider can see well ahead, they can plan their line choice, and most importantly braking zone. That means less damage to the trail caused by emergency braking, or skidding. 

There also shouldn’t be loose rocks, broken or eroded trail surface.  These are usually signs of maintenance requiring to be done! 

Do we notice any difference while riding if the trail isn’t taken care of?

More fun, less distractions, better flow. It is also a safer experience. This doesn’t mean that trails should be sanitised and made super smooth and boring. Fun is found in a variety of terrain, flow can also exist on super technical trails.  

Do trails require the same maintenance?

No, it depends a lot on the ground conditions, the topography, the type of trail. But the basics are the same, you just have to adapt the approach for different trails. 

How each one of us can we take care of the trails while riding?

Think about the way you ride. Ride with respect for the trail, and for the people that give up their time to maintain them!  

Submit trail reports on Trailforks.  That helps the local trail association monitor the condition of the trails, and be alerted if maintenance is required. 

Join a trail association and volunteer some time to maintaining your local trail network.  Imagine how good all trails would be, if every rider volunteered one day per month to doing some maintenance! 

We are working for a new season, are you getting ready?

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C.so Lancieri 20
11100 Aosta – Italy
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Aosta Valley Freeride Srl
VAT: 01230790071
REA: AO/78127
+39 375 657 5847
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