Winter has finally released its hold and digging in the forest can resume. When you love trail building almost as much as riding, this time of year holds significant importance. With that in mind, Mark and I got the call to head over to Turin Italy, to host an IMBA trail solutions school. What better way to begin.
Edoardo Melchiori and Beppe Salerno from IMBA Italia organized the 2nd IMBA TBS after a highly successful first course. This year they took us to the mountains overlooking the city of Turin with snow capped alps framing the view.
The local council had set aside a piece of land, which the participants could use to practice the art of sustainable trail building. Unfortunately the section couldn’t accommodate a sustainable trail, which is one of the main principles taught on the course. We took this opportunity to asses the established trials in the forest.
The shared use trails which had a number of walkers and cyclists traveling up and down weren’t designed with both in mind. We showed the participants methods on how to improve the safety and longevity of the trail. This in turn would benefit the relationships between the walkers the cyclists and the forest.
The IMBA Italia crew put on an evening event which included a properly equipped prize pool, with excitement to match. Sponsors provided a superb array of fresh gear, with the money raised going back into IMBA Italia. A great cause and a superb night on the town.
One of the TBS’S previous attendees Marco Angeletti was eager to show off his newly built trails and plans for the future. So we headed up north to his patch in Laveno-Mombello by Lake Maggiore.
We didn’t know what to expect, on arrival we were placed into a 2 person standing lift that transported us 1000 meters up the sheer cliffs. Atop we found what has to be one of the best views of the high alps, and certainly the most expansive I’ve ever seen. This fortress on the cliff was to be our accommodation and trail head.
After a memorable night on the mountain we headed down on foot, to assess what the trail team had achieved so far. We continued on and looked at ways to bring riders down the steep slopes back to the lake. Huge gullies and 8m waterfalls are just some of the trail features that can be witnessed along the way.
A trail network connecting these elements will really put this area on the mountain bike map. With the unique uplift, unrivaled views and excellent riding terrain, this place holds real potential to be a great riding destination in the near future.
Plans are underway to host a IMBA Europe TBS here at Laveno-Mombello, available to all. Watch this space.
Now it’s time to visit the Sram headquarters in Germany for the IMBA Europe Summit, after a quick stop in the Swiss alps. Before we leave I want to thank Eduardo, Beppe and Marco for all their hospitality and professionalism along the way.