The term “Trail Magic” is most often associated with the Appalachian Trail and refers to seemingly small, but largely impactful acts of kindness that happen trail-side (picking up trash, offering up extra food, being nice to strangers). This year, we’d like to introduce you to the Mountain Bike Edition of Trail Magic and 6 simple ways to spread it.
1. Be a Good Human
Let’s start with the most basic and obtainable forms of trail magic; Being a Good Human. Say “hi” to other trail users, understand trail etiquette and follow it, drive slowly in and out of the trailhead, pick up litter, and avoid riding in trail-damaging conditions.
Share these basic rules with your friends, family, and kids and don’t be afraid to (kindly) mention them to a fellow trail-user (who’s not a stranger because you’ve just waved and said hello!). Staying on positive terms with other trail users will allow mountain bikers to maintain and even improve access to our favorite riding areas. And you never know what a difference a simple “Hello / Howdy / Yay bikes!” can do to brighten another rider’s day.
2. Connect with Your Trail Organization
No. Those trails you’re riding were not stomped in by flow-seeking reindeer. Nor were they chiseled away by tiny elves with pick-axes. Head to Trailforks to find a trail near you, scroll down to “Local Trail Organization” and voila! Those are the generous souls that build, maintain and advocate for the trails you ride. Become a member, sign up for their newsletter, follow them on social media, let them know when you see an issue like a downed tree, and, most importantly, stay in the loop on all the different ways you can get involved at your local level. There’s no better place to spread trail magic than in your own backyard!
3. Show Up and Dig In!
Now that you know about all the volunteer opportunities thanks to your new friends at your local trail organization, it’s time to show up to a dig party! As you play in the dirt shoveling, tamping, and molding the singletrack, you’ll find yourself getting lost in the process and uncovering a fresh appreciation for the trail. When the time comes to ride that section, the payoff is a whole new level of rewarding and you are guaranteed to feel the magic!
Bonus points for the upper body and core workout!
4. Inspire the Next Generation of Mountain Bikers
Seeing the world through a kid’s eyes is always a treat. Seeing the singletrack through their eyes, however, is a gold mine. Become a Little Bellas mentor, volunteer at a Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event, or ride sweep at a NICA race and transport yourself back in time to when you were just discovering the freedom, exhilaration and connection with nature that a bicycle gives you. Kids need to see that growing up doesn’t mean you have to stop playing and we know you’re up for that task! You might just find yourself feeling like a kid again.
5. Share your Love of Bikes with _____ Generation of Mountain Bikers
More comfortable hanging out with folks your own age? Get involved with a local ride or advocacy group. Offer to lead a group ride (more on that here), show up and support your local shop ride, or grab a neighbor, loan them your old bike and a helmet and introduce them to the sport.
Some of our favorites local groups to ride with are: Girls Gone Riding (San Diego, CA), Sorella Cycling (Atlanta, GA), and Girls Rock (Santa Cruz, CA).
A dollar can go a long way in this day and age. Giving up just one $4 soy vanilla latte can help your favorite bike non-profit spread their own special trail magic. Consider supporting your local trail management group or cycleing club or checkout the trail magic happening at World Bicycle Relief, People For Bikes, Project Bike Love, and Outride,
So there you have it. Lots of ways, big and small, to spread trail magic. Now don’t be shy! Tell us, how do YOU spread trail magic?
G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area.
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know....
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know. It's a non intimidating environment where mistakes are welcomed so corrections can be made. I own G2 Bike is Aliso Viejo and this clinic has been ran out of the Aliso Woods area and when I interviewed the clients they had all but great things to say. None arrogant instructors and easy to follow steps. The biggest bang for many was meeting new area riders at their skill level, gaining confidence, and getting the bike set up and fit properly. G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area. Thanks Richard for all you do for the MTB community! ~ AJ S.
I’m so glad I made the decision to be part of the Mulberry Gap 3-day clinic.
I'm so glad I made the decision to be part of the Mulberry Gap 3-day clinic. Richard and Randy are...
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance
I'm so glad I made the decision to be part of the Mulberry Gap 3-day clinic. Richard and Randy are really skilled at breaking things down, very patient and kind. They were very attentive to what each of us needed individually while maintaining a no-pressure, fun vibe. The place is beautiful, rustic and offers a great opportunity to unplug. It's the seemingly little things that make a big difference in your riding, and I feel like I gained some useful insight about not only being on the bike, but set-up and nutrition as well. ~Susan Tully
Highly recommended! Essential riding skills are thoroughly broken down making them easy to understand and learn. Coach Richard and Kris...
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance
Highly recommended! Essential riding skills are thoroughly broken down making them easy to understand and learn. Coach Richard and Kris are some of the most professional and pleasant coaches/cyclist/people I have come across. Looking forward to one of their future clinics. ~ Tom T.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.