Mark and I headed again for the border but this time it was Poland’s turn.
After our successful trail building school (TBS) in Trutnov trails, Czech Republic, we were invited to run a TBS with the Polish National Mountain Bike Alliance, POMBA. The TBS was organized by POMBA in cooperation with the Polish National Forest Association.
The course was attended solely by forestry service managers. They were there to gain experience of how sustainable mountain bike trails can and should be built and to better manage current and future mountain bike trail projects and infrastructure.
POMBA’s aim was to convince the forest managers of a number of things; 1) that mountain biking is fun, 2) that it can be safely and easily managed, and 3) that cycling can bring a wide range of social and economic benefits to the local area.
Our task, was to give the participants an understanding of the processes involved in planning, building and maintaining a trail network. The attendees arrived as mostly non cyclists, but after an afternoon jaunt on the trails many were hooked.
We assessed some of the existing trails in the area with the participants, to identify poor design and the negative effects that occur as a consequence. After a long question and answer session in the classroom, many of the managers were now trying to figure out how best to convince their superiors to adopt trails in their local forests.
The extensive trail network of pod Smrkem spans two county borders and is being extended further. We were lucky enough to ride some of the Polish trails which offered up a jovial afternoon thoroughly enjoyed by all.
I’d like to thank; Maciej Pajak, Michal Jurewicz, Andrzej komarnicki and the whole Pomba crew for all their hard work. See you guys again soon.