Published on OutdoorProject.com, August 29th, 2019
Snowmass Village, Colorado, has some of the world’s best high-alpine mountain bike trails, and I was thrilled to be slowly climbing Cozyline Trail, looking back through the scrub oak and late-summer grasses at the expansive Roaring Fork Valley below me. I’d been up there with a strong group of riders for about 2 hours, and we were feeling pretty good. Covered in dirt, sweaty, looking back at what we’d accomplished, we all agreed that we couldn’t wait to get our bikes back up here. Instead of handle bars, we had hand tools, and instead of shredding gnar we’d been trimming brush and cleaning a drainage.
As with growth in any outdoor industry, there are those who frown to see so many new faces on their favorite trails, but that only highlights the need for inclusive education and involvement. The stress in a growing sport only comes when new and passionate riders lack a working knowledge of etiquette and impact. “Taking care of trails will make you a better rider,” Terry said. “When you’re digging and maintaining a trail, you learn how it functions, drains, and just flows overall. You can use that knowledge to inform your decision making and line choice the next time you’re riding.”