Over the past fifteen years mountain biking has experienced rapid growth in popularity. The market has expanded to include a more diverse array of people, but on the whole the development has focussed on intermediate to advanced rider groups. The way forward for the development of mountain biking is to become more encompassing of all potential cyclists, to focus on making the sport more accessible to an even wider range of people. The key to this development is the humble Green Trail.

 

So how can we make mountain biking appeal to as many people as possible?

 

As trail designers and builders, here at Back On Track we want to create trails that serve to provide more than just a challenge for seasoned mountain bikers. Aside from building trails aimed experienced mountain bikers, we aim to create trails that anyone and everyone can enjoy and these usually take shape in the form of green trails. After all, it’s these beginner friendly trails that will expand the reach of mountain biking, spreading its benefits to people from all walks of life.

The development of green trails allows a wider range of people to safely experience mountain biking. These trails can be created as part of a larger development of holistic venues that fulfil the needs of more than just mountain bikers. Creating such places where mountain biking coexists alongside other activities and sports exposes more people to mountain biking, therefore widening the market. The creation of trails that are more than just green graded mountain bike trails is also key here – it is possible to incorporate other features that attract people into the trail system: picnic areas; wildlife information; adventure themes; art and sculpture; or stories of a place and its history.

By providing interesting green trails you are encouraging families to partake in mountain biking and this essentially equates to helping children and their parents undertake enjoyable exercise. Finding enjoyment in exercise is key to developing a healthy, active lifestyle. Many families who regularly cycle together don’t necessarily see it as a sport, more of a family activity. The fact that some people don’t view mountain biking as a sport can actually widen its appeal, as it breaks down the barriers of expectation that are often associated with sports; such as equipment or fitness requirements. It is this broad appeal that makes mountain biking such a special opportunity to enrich people’s lives.

Green trails are the link between leisure and sport; the gateway that allows people to advance from casually using green trails to becoming completely immersed in the sport that is mountain biking. Green trails are key to encouraging people to get involved with mountain biking, and as such they are critical to the future development of our sport.