No dig – no ride! – The Essence of Trail Building

Why are trails so essential for a new bike region?

The answer is simple: no dig – no ride! Without trail construction and care, no MTB destination can arise, because bikers only go there, where trail fun at its best is guaranteed. Therefore, Aegean Trails, with a large team of volunteers, is committed to create in the Aegean step-by-step an attractive bike region.

Metre by Metre! – Second International “Aegean Trails” Building Week

In April 2018, the second international trail construction week of Aegean Trails took place on the islands of Kos and Leros. A motley crew of bikers and trail builders from all over Europe responded to the call to work together with local two-wheel enthusiasts in the Aegean Sea. With lots of sweat, muscle power and zest for action, several kilometers of new trails were created, which were tested directly after completion by the trail professionals by bike. Much more important, however, was the sense of togetherness, giving hope to a region that has experienced hard times in recent years. Whether locksmith, IT specialist, goldsmith or kindergarten teacher: all pursue the same goal with their commitment! Building a touristic biking region that can create jobs, improve infrastructure and build a belief in a better future. Thanks to all helpers and sponsors of the second trail building week, without you there would be many kilometers less trail. With your efforts and believe, you have made many locals happy and helped to realize our big vision of a biking paradise in the Aegean.

A happy “bikers of all countries unite” event 

We asked participants of the second Aegean Trails construction week about their motivation, experiences and memories and got great insights, why so different people are involved in realizing the common goal “Fascinating Bike Region Aegean”!

4 questions to trail builder Maria Speh

Maria Speh, Photo by Moritz Ablinger

How did you come across the trail building week? – I came across the trail building week through Jester sports, a bike shop in Constance, Germany.

What did you experience? – I experienced a wonderful holiday! I met a lot of great people who share the same interests. I was able to enjoy breathtaking landscapes with incredible views whilst not only riding trails but riding trails which I had participated in creating! A truly unique feeling. The delicious Greek food and fun with the locals contributed to a perfect week.

What are your fondest memories? – working together and creating something together for our friends in the MTB community on Kos, Nissyros and leros gave a true sense of solidarity which I will never forget.

Would you recommend Greece to your friends for a MTB holiday? – I have already recommended it to several friends. They were easily convinced after listening to my stories.

4 questions to trail builder David Kröger

David Kröger, Photo by Moritz Ablinger

How did you come across the trail building week? – The accounts I had heard from last year, as well as the announcement on MTB-News of the diverse daily programme, made the week sound very promising. In addition to this was the idea of biking on an island where no large mountain biking community had been before and so effectively being there from the very beginning. This, along with the Greek weather. There couldn’t possibly be a better MTB holiday for anyone who wants a vacation which includes more than just biking.

What did you experience? – It was exciting to be with the 18 other participants and to see the resulting 18 different approaches on how the trail should be made and widened, deciding which paths to choose and to see how to include extras. As well as seeing on which aspects people put their focus. The group came together very quickly, instantly establishing an awesome mood. Alongside creating the trail together, we also had shared dinners which brought out everyone’s personalities even more creating an even better atmosphere.

What are your fondest memories? – The motivation of the first day. From the very beginning, everyone was eager to create as many trail meters as possible, in order to be able to start the next project as soon as possible. The next morning, everyone was complaining about their blisters, so the next days were somewhat more relaxed, though everyone remained focused. A very positive memory is that, despite the fact that everyone could set their own speed and focus level, there were no delays. Whether simply marking the path, building small jumps or corners, or deciding which direction the trail should go in, every decision could be made without having to have a big discussion first.

Would you recommend Greece to your friends for a MTB holiday? – I would absolutely recommend Greece and will go back there myself. For someone looking for a bike-shuttle holiday there are probably better locations. However for anyone who wants to scale beautiful mountains and see the incredible panorama view from its summit, to bike cool trails and afterward spend the rest of the day by the sea, this is the perfect place. In addition to this there is the possibility to go to neighbouring islands. So, all together, a great holiday is guaranteed.

4 questions to trail builder Andy Dunsche

Andreas Dunsche, Photo by Moritz Ablinger

How did you come across the trail building week? – I came to the trail building week because I wanted to help promote Greece’s MTB tourism. That has been my wish for 20 years and there are sooo many possibilities.

What did you experience? – A lot! A relaxed MTB group trip. I again enjoyed Greece’s beautiful areas and even discovered new ones. I’ve made the toughest compact workout in years – it resulted in a couple of meters of single trails. And, I met some nice people and enjoyed delicious food.

What are your fondest memories? – A great “bikers of all countries unite” event with lots of (chaotic) positive energy.

Would you recommend Greece to your friends for a MTB holiday? – Definitely! Always! And the trail building week as well.