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Dirty Work: The Understated Role of Volunteers

Associating yourself with the tribe of mountain biking, you probably have a lengthy list of places you’re foaming at the mouth to visit. Destinations such as Oakridge, Oregon; Bentonville, Arkansas; Fruita, Colorado - among many others - leave visitors with stories and memories more entertaining and grandiose than your grandpa’s fishing tales. Dream-like miles of remote singletrack, pucker-inducing downhill courses, purpose-built features... Every trail offers something different and transports the rider into a world unique to its location.

Professional trail building teams have become more commonplace in recent years, breathing life into trail systems having undergone a formal planning process. However, there are still many trails and trail systems that are coaxed into existence through dead-reckoning, bushwhacking, and good old-fashioned manual labor. In either case, carrying the inspiration, demonstrating their passion, and doing the dirty work long after the trail system becomes a reality, is the volunteer.

Volunteerism, is our tribe’s lifeblood.

For nearly three decades, inspired volunteers have been driving the economic revitalization of communities in every state across the US, and bolstering established communities with a diversified source of revenue directly correlated to mountain bike recreation. Land managers who witness a dedicated chorus of volunteers have a greater propensity to authorize expansion of existing and emerging trail systems.

The benefits precipitated on our trail systems and communities by way of volunteerism may not be perceptible in the short term. It’s the long term, sustainable rewards of an epic network of trails in your backyard, and the promise of economic vitality for the surrounding community that drives inspiration and passion.

Volunteerism is the soul of every trail system. Come join the tribe. Let’s do the dirty work, together.

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