What does the perfect trail look like? Big jumps? Huge rocks? Flowy berms and perfect kickers? Precision chutes and drops? It's a question that is close to the heart of mountain biking and varies from region to region. Local trail builders interprepations of the answer are at core of what the Enduro World Series is all about - racing bikes along perfect ribbons of trail littered with nothing more than the spirit of travel and adventure.
Without trail builders there are no trails, without trails there is no mountain biking. With that thought in mind we teamed up with Specialized's Soil Searching initiative to get our hands dirty and dive deep into four examples of how EWS venues are making mountain biking work for them and re-investing in the trails that made their name:
Trail building is not simply all about scratching in a line that rides well, it's about working with local environments to provide a sustainable experience that will draw people back. Soil Searching is about improving our relationship with the trails and exploring new ways to ensure that the ones that come close to answering that age old fundamental question are still there to be enjoyed for years to come.
Glen Jacobs' World Trail crew teamed up with local builders and businesses to put a tiny Tasmanian town on the map - Blue Derby has won Specialized Trail of the Year on both occasions it has entered it as a result.
Few places can match the trails of Madeira in terms of variety and history. The second stage of our 2019 visit saw racers tackling what has been identified as one of the first paths Portugese sailors took when they discovered the island. Here local mountain bike businesses help to fund full-time trail builder positions.
Where else but Whistler?! One of only two EWS venues to have been on every calendar since 2013, Whistler Bike Park's WORCA invest huge amounts of time and effort into crafting the trails of many people's MTB bucket lists.
Finale Ligure in Italy is one of mainland Europe's most-visited mountain bike venues and a community spirit has grown around those businesses who benefit from two-wheeled tourism and the trail builders to finely craft it's seemingly never-ending network of trail riding gold.
To find out where the slightly reshuffled 2020 Enduro World Series will be visiting, click here.