Følgende er sakset fra interessegruppen mountainbike_dk hjemmeside, spændene udvikling i Dansk MTB mener singletrack.dk
Af Paul Snyder og Kasper Navrbjerg
Når den sidste sne er forsvundet og jorden er tøet op igen skal vi ud at køre i skovene igen for alvor. I løbet af vinteren har et lille hold MTB-ere forberedt sig og planlagt at trække i tøjet for at lave reparationer og sporarbejde. Skov og naturstyrelsen har hjulpet til med materialer, transport og udstyr og dedikationen hos ankermændene har holdt planlægningen på sporet. En af deltagerne er canadiske Paul Snyder som vi er så heldige at have bosiddende i København. Her er Pauls introduktion til trailarbejdet
As a former resident of Vancouver, nestled in the idyllic, mountainous regions of Canada’s South West corner (commonly called the Pacific North West from the American perspective), and being an avid mountain bike enthusiast, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I take advantage of my Canadian citizenship to return home for an annual visit, bike in tow. As mountain biking has been on the rise in popularity the world over from the beginning of the nineties, and has enjoyed a spike locally in recent years in Copenhagen, so has there been a rise in advocacy surrounding trails and their use. Trail advocacy has been long in affect in the U.S. and Canada, but has since spread to the U.K. and other parts of Europe. Bike parks have created year-round income for once seasonal ski resorts, proving that there can be sound economics in recreational mountain biking. Much of the buzz surrounding mountain bike trails stems from man-made trail features such as ladder bridges and skinnies, drops and jumps, and the perceived danger inherent in the sport. Many of these features, however, are as integral to good trail maintenance by preserving natural flora and fauna and preventing erosion as they are for enhancing the thrill aspect of the ride. Creating a good balance between these two goals is highly achievable. As for the danger aspect, like much of every day life, this depends on common sense and knowing your boundaries. Properly built, well thought out trail features (drops and bridges etc.) and proper maintenance are also integral to reducing risk and injury. A little planning can go a long way to ensuring a pleasurable ride for riders at all levels.
The freeride movement (combining the technical skills needed to navigate technical trail features with downhill mountain biking) became popularized in the late nineties by the trails in and around Vancouver, particularly in North Vancouver’s North Shore mountain range (commonly called the North Shore or The Shore.) The rocky, rough and steep terrain on this trilogy of mountains is classified as rain forest, meaning there is heavy rainfall, plenty of lush green undergrowth, and low lying marshy bogs that are particularly vulnerable to erosion, especially when combined with the steepness of the terrain. Much of the original structures were simply built to traverse a boggy, swampy mess that a bicycle otherwise could not cross (and this could sometimes include riding across a large fallen tree, which created a natural bridge.) As the scene flourished and the man-made features became more elaborate and creative, so did the world-wide popularity of the riding style that was flourishing in this little corner of the world. The North Shore trails are now emulated and copied the world over, imitation in this case being a definite compliment, as they are used as both blueprint and inspiration. It is not uncommon to see a “North Shore section” in local bike parks or ride areas in the U.K. or Sweden, and all across Europe for that matter. Although it’s not hard to find similar structures nowadays, The Shore is still considered by many to be the mountain biking Mecca. Naturally, The Shore has also been used as inspiration to spearhead an interest in improving our trails around Copenhagen.
As the mountain bike scene has exploded in the past few years in Denmark, so has trail use increased. A once quiet Sunday ride “in the country” is now comparable to hitting the freeways at rush hour in L.A. This has both good and bad implications for the sport: the good, of course, is increased business for shops, more social opportunities to get out and ride and meet new people with a shared interest, and more clout as a user group, to name a few. The bad is increased incidents of confrontation with other user groups, and relevant to this piece, more wear on the trail due to increased traffic. Combined with a particularly wet winters (and some summers) the past few years, this explosion of interest has led to some pretty worn out trails, especially in the flagship Red Trail in Harreskov, probably due to it’s accessibility both geographically and technique-wise. Being Copenhagen’s first official mountain bike designated trail, it is also somewhat of a prototype, meaning there are design flaws that at that time could not be avoided due to lack of experience. We have since become wiser and have already rerouted parts of the trail to higher, or simply less wet ground. There are a few stunning examples where the trail crosses low-lying regions that collect water, causing people to stray from the trail and widen it by up to fifteen times. This leaves a much larger footprint than intended, and is destructive to the forest floor.
As of late last year, Skov og Naturstyrelsen in cooperation with Mountainbikedk have designated a small group of dedicated volunteers to identify, fix and maintain problem areas in Harreskov. In an unbelievable stroke of luck, this group has also been granted the right to build technical features, such as low-lying bridges to traverse particularly wet areas, rock gardens to anchor soil, and drainage, all dependent on what is the best solution for each particular problem area. These features will also be designed to enhance the level of challenge on the trail, while accommodating the novice through to the experienced rider, allowing room for technical improvement without risking life and limb. (I should also note that these structures and fixes will be simple and low risk, so don’t expect they will be filming the next New World Disorder here.) The first materials are already lying in wait in the forest, and now it’s just a matter of waiting for Mother Nature to turn up the heat a bit so the ground can thaw and we can get started on what promises to be an exciting venture for the Danish mountain biking scene. The project is long-term, and trail users can expect to see works in progress on their weekly rides, and new ones springing up once a section is finished. Hopefully this will be as exciting for you as for us, and make your rides like a kid’s Easter egg hunt, where something new and exciting is popping up all the time. Now, let’s all cross our fingers for Spring!