The Bike Borderlands initiative – a collaboration between eight trail organizations facilitated by the Center – has created a campaign to instill a strong code of ethics within the mountain biking community. Ride With Gratitude calls on riders to respect the gift of mountain biking, care for others, protect nature, and hold each other to account.
"It’s a simple concept," said Maura Adams, program director for the Center. "Being able to use trails is an incredible privilege, and everyone benefits when we trail users recognize it. It makes us careful about how we treat landowners, trail managers, town residents, and the land itself."
The Ride With Gratitude campaign was prompted by the closure last year of trails on private land in the Kingdom Trail network in East Burke, Vermont. "Some riders took their access for granted and acted in disrespectful ways that have had real, detrimental consequences on whole groups of trail users," said Adams.
Adams said the Borderlands groups faced the question of what they would we do without trails and decided on a peer-led campaign to encourage best behavior. "This is the best way to to ensure we don't lose access to trails we ride on public and private land," she said.