Digging the dirt with IMBA - Bike Magic

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Digging the dirt with IMBA

An American Pro downhiller and a Welsh forester walk up to you in your local wood with a shovel and tell you it’s a really good idea to dig dirt all day. The reply you’d give is probably not polite, so why are the IMBA / Forest Enterprise trailbuilding schools proving so successful?

Ride through forest trouble spots…..

The Trail crew – that’s Judd from IMBA and Dafydd from FE – are out on a mission to improve the access and facilities for UK mountain bikers everywhere, and the really important thing is that they carry the official seal of approval. Land managers like Forest Enterprise and The National Parks now realise that tea shop and car park filling mountain bikers are a great thing to have. But they are desperate to have some sort of real mountain bike group that they can talk to to build the sort of sustainable but enjoyable trails and facilities we actually want.

Meet interesting and influential people…..

Through a combination of short slideshow and theory talk, long reconnaisance ride looking at problem areas and how to solve them, and then a day of hands on trailbuilding, the weekend will teach you every skill you need to build excellent, permanent, low maintenance trails wherever you want them. But perhaps the most important thing is you’ll get a massive seal of approval from the people who’s land we’re riding on and who are desperate to get more of us there by doing things right.

And then beat seven bells out of the local mud.

The Dalby weekend has already formed a group that is in direct communication with local FE and National Parks officers who are delighted to have some bikers they can talk to, as well as big support from local company Pace (who are equally keen to get proper facilities for bikers, and pretty much organised the whole weekend) and that’s just the start of it.

After a year of real access and riding problems this is a massively positive thing to happen, but it won’t happen unless you show you want it. It doesn’t cost anything, no-one will try and indoctrinate you, you’ll get some great riding in and learn to build trails that will last forever, and to be honest the enthusiasm of everyone involved has blown us away.

Anyway there are two dates left, Afan Argoed forest, South Wales this weekend (8th – 9th) and Mabie Forest, Scotland next weekend, (15th – 16th) so get yourself registered (places are filling up fast) and turn up at the Forest visitor centre with riding gear and working gear at 10am on Saturday.

PS. Bring a shovel, spade, or even better a mattock if you can and tough gloves are a wise idea unless you want to end up with blistered paws like Scoop.


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