6pts
26/10/2019
4 - 25/10/2019 22:00:56

Burke Mountain added to the 2020 EWS Calendar The post EWS launches Additional 2020 Round! appeared first on Mountain Bike Action Magazine.

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Mountain Bike Action
6pts
24/10/2019
2pts
22/10/2019
4 - 22/10/2019 17:17:14

Vermont's Burke Mountain will play host to the sixth EWS round in 2020.( Photos: 1, Comments: 1 )

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Pinkbike
8 - 22/10/2019 16:17:20

The Enduro World Series (EWS) is excited to announce the addition of a new round to the 2020 calendar. Round six will take place in Burke, Vermont on August 1-2, marking the first time the EWS has visited the East Coast of the United States of America. After their Men’s team took the rainbow jersey at the Trophy of Nations in Finale last month, and after such a successful event in Northstar, California, it seems only right to include a USA venue on next season’s calendar. Burke Mountain is no stranger to enduro races, having hosted three EWS Qualifiers as well as a round of the 2018 North American Enduro Series earlier this year. This established venue is well known in the States as the proving ground for many an East Coast athlete, but with a brand new trail set to open for the race, riders are in for a completely new Burke Experience. Taking place over two days, the race will feature terrain the area is famous for – rooty, rocky and above all, highly technical. And with an overhaul in progress on some of the existing trails, riders are in for a big weekend of racing. Trail building legend and Burke local, Knight Ide explains: “It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to bring an event of this caliber to my home town. To be involved and watch it all come together, there is no greater satisfaction in my opinion.” Ide has been a driving force when it comes to growing the mountain bike scene in East Burke. From creating a junior downhill gravity team comprised of local kids who tirelessly session the trails before growing up to sweep podiums at local and nationwide competitions, to humbly building world renowned trails up and down the east coast, it’s safe to say the EWS course at Burke is in experienced hands. Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: “The trails at Burke Mountain are famous across North America and I can’t think of anywhere better to host the first East Coast EWS. “The USA dominated the men’s competition at the Trophy of Nations in Italy last month, testament to the growing enduro scene across the States, so it seemed only right that we include a stop on next year’s calendar.” The 2020 Burke EWS is the start of an annual competitive mountain bike festival in the Northeast. Live music, pro-athlete signings, and a main event village centred around the Burke Mountain Hotel provides an easy landscape for lodging, food, exhibitors and, of course, bikes. Entries for 2020 EWS Burke will go live in December 2019, more information about the event can be found here.

Posted by
MTB-Mag
2 - 20/10/2019 08:00:58

The final rounds of the 2019 EWS offered up some incredible racing, watch the Orbea team tackle Zermatt and Finale Ligure.( Photos: 8 )

Posted by
Pinkbike
6 - 19/10/2019 18:17:15

The Freerads were invited to Europe to share the stoke at the final round of the EWS, Soil Searching Dig Day, and Trail Love’s second annual trail builder summit.( Photos: 15 )

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Pinkbike
4 - 18/10/2019 07:01:05

Imagine owning a sports car on an island with no roads, or being a golfer in a world of tarmac. Trails are the beating heart of our sport, and with their “Soil Searching” programme, Specialized want to give something back. We spoke to Fanie Kok, the driving force behind Soil Searching and the man who is championing the cause. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1408638783102-0'); }); Specialized’s Soil Searching Program is more than a band-aid project, it’s a grassroots movement. As the official trail partner of the Enduro World Series, Soil Searching aims to promote and help support the unsung heroes of mountain biking: trail builders. These are the people who give so much of their time and dedication to creating and maintaining the global network of trails that we consider our playground. Behind the movement is the permanently-stoked Fanie Kok, a man with a purpose and vision as well as an interesting story to tell. We bumped into him during an organised dig day at Glentress, Scotland during the Specialized Trail Days festival. The goal of Soil Searching is to eventually be able to support individual trail builders, much like the industry has supported athletes over the years. Fanie’s journey at Specialized almost never started. After cold-calling the local Specialized distributor in Johannesburg and sweet-talking his way to an interview, he managed to get lost while navigating his way through the unfamiliar city. Despite turning up two hours late, remaining ever the optimist, he sat down and waited. He was anything but corporate with his long dreadlocks and clothes that looked like he had made them himself. “I told the guys that I had only just learned how to send an email, so I was not too great with computers. Haha. I was just looking for a bike, and was willing to clean the warehouse or whatever they needed help with.” It might have been a short interview but amazingly, a job offer came through – cleaning the warehouse. Fanie quickly gained experience and within a few months started running demo bike sessions at local events. “I was told that Specialized was opening a subsidiary in Stellenbosch, in the heart of South African wine country and one of the most beautiful places in the world. I got offered a job as an event coordinator/staff trainer.” It was there that Fanie met Bobby Behan. “Bobby Behan was our market leader. An ex-Olympic triathlete, he made the call to make two of South Africa’s most prominent trail builders brand ambassadors, as a way to say thank you for what they are doing. That was the first spark that would eventually become the Soil Searching fire.” After four years in South Africa, I was about to move to old Blighty to join the Specialized UK team but my visa got denied. I think the Queen could see trouble coming! After four years in South Africa a chance to work with the Specialized UK Team came up. Unfortunately, Fanie’s visa was rejected, but another door opened working at the Specialized HQ in California, conducting mountain bike market research and connecting with mountain bikers and communities around the world. “After the success we had supporting our local trail builders in South Africa, I pitched the idea that we revolve a new project around the trail builders and advocates, as they are the heart and soul of mountain biking communities. The Soil Searching programme was born. The programme involves dig days, bike fundraisers, and supporting individual trail builders as brand ambassadors with products. It goes without saying that Soil Searching is a play on ‘soul searching’ – it’s a journey into the hidden and sometimes forgotten soul of mountain biking. I view it more as a movement, rather than a programme. It consists of everything relating to trail advocacy at Specialized. In the USA, for example, it’s become part of the Specialized field brand and market developer’s job responsibilities to set up a dig day with a local retailer in their area every other month.” Fanie still remembers the day he realised how much effort goes into trail building. “Back when I was still working for Specialized SA, we were doing a bike demo day in the area where Hylton Turvey, local trail building legend and Specialized ambassador, lived. One day I offered to help him put in a 3 metre bridge over this little creek to complete the trail that he spent the past three months building by hand, with very little access. That was the first swift kick to the proverbial that made me realise what goes into the trails. There are actual people behind it – something I was taking for granted, not only as a mountain biker, but as someone working in the industry. I then realised that there is a big disconnect.” Even though we’re all riders, how many of us are prepared to pick up a mattock and join a dig day? We are all time short, and riding is indisputably more fun than building. But without the builders, our sport would fade away. Fanie is quick to counter. “I’m definitely not saying that we’ve got it figured out and a few brands out there are doing great things, but we’re actively trying to turn the tables. It’s going to take a collective effort from the industry to make a shift in supporting trail builders and trail advocacy. For example, if only two or three brands were competing in mountain biking at the highest level, then the podium would look the same every time and professional mountain biking most likely wouldn’t be a thing, and certainly not a career path. We’re working towards a more holistic approach for Soil Searching, whereby a trail builder can possibly apply for support on products from their local Specialized subsidiary and trail organisations for trail grants or dig day support. “This is not to say that we’re going to turn trail building into a competition. We want to create a platform where kids can aspire to become professional, industry-supported trail builders. Also, I don’t think every person has to go out and dig. There are so many ways to get involved – beer for one! Every trail builder likes a cold beer. Just find out who your local trail builder or trail advocacy organisation is from your local bike shop (and if they don’t know, then start buying from a different bike shop!) and send the builders a thank you note. Sign up to their newsletter and go to a city council meeting, buy their branded socks, or if you really want to go full Rambo, then buy yourself a Trail Boss packable trail tool and put it in your riding backpack to do some basic repair work during your ride.” Having touched on competitive racing, we were keen to hear Fanie’s thoughts on ways of mitigating the damage done to sensitive trails by commercial events. When popular trails, often not built with racing in mind, are used in events, it’s perhaps not surprising to encounter a backlash from disgruntled locals. “I think the Enduro World Series is setting a great example of working together with local event organisers and trail builders. Sure, it’s still not perfect, but it’s something local event organisers can look up to. I’m not a racer myself, but it’s hard to deny that racing, product development and trail development are all intertwined. Racing and events could help bring much-needed attention to formalising trails which local advocates are fighting for. This was the case in Aspen, Colorado. One of the most popular trails that was raced there during the EWS was unofficial and was only opened for the race weekend. The trail got so much positive attention that the local land manager decided to bring this trail into the official network and put resources towards maintenance.” Fanie’s top tips for trail building The trail itself is such a small component of the entire journey. Like going on a surf trip, even if the waves aren’t that great, it’s everything around it that makes it so special. Always focus on drainage. Water is the number one cause of erosion. Also, when you get stuck into some maintenance work, do one section properly rather than trying to do ten things half-assed. Sometimes the stoke factor of what’s to come makes you lose perspective of what’s happening in the moment. I’ve heard from so many trail builders that they initially started building trails because they just wanted something to “shred” but eventually get so immersed in the creative process that it becomes just as significant, if not more than the act of riding. Always pack the most essential tool, a Stanley coffee flask. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Fanie has ridden a lot of trails, so any question involving “a favourite trail” is sure to be a tough one. But when pressed, the answer comes a lot quicker than expected. “It’s Sisonke, a trail in Karkloof, South Africa. There’s a long story behind the trail, but it’s got deep personal significance to me. Sisonke is a name which some of my Xhosa friends in Cape Town gave me. It means ‘We are together.’ Hylton Turvey hand-built the entire trail and then named it after me. It’s still one of the biggest gifts I’ve ever received! And apart from my personal feelings towards it, it’s an absolute masterpiece. Built through indigenous KwaZulu Natal forest, it blends in beautifully with the environment, as opposed to looking like a painful scar in the natural beauty. I’ve realised that hardcore trail builders like Hylton and the World Trail crew almost have a sixth sense for their environment. It’s as if the terrain itself presents something to them that many are unable to see.” So who is doing it right? Are there locations that are leading the charge when it comes to trail building and repair? “Scotland is doing an incredible job as a country, especially the folks from the Glentress Trail Fairies and the Tweed Valley Trails Association. The Specializsed UK team took this to a new level by running a whole series of Soil Searching dig days in conjunction with a Soil Searching bike fundraiser. When it comes to Trail building as a profession and career path, I reckon World Trail in Australia are the leaders here. Other amazing trail advocacy groups include the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship in Downieville, California, Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, Bellingham, Washington and the Northshore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) in North Shore Vancouver. Then there are all the trails in Derby, Tasmania! Built by Max Connor, Ryan De La Rue, Rhys Atkinson and the World Trail dream team. These guys, captained by Glen Jacobs, one of the biggest legends in mountain biking and trail building, are some of the best trail builders in the world.” I admire the vision trail builders have. My vision is more on what part I, and we as an industry, can play in empowering trail builders to keep doing what they are doing and hopefully make the world a better place through trails and mountain biking. At this point, Fanie is keen to drill home a pivotal part of his work, and his focus on the Soil Searching program supported by Specialized. “I don’t consider myself a hardcore trail builder. I’m just a guy who’s trying to find ways to recognise, celebrate and support the unsung heroes who’ve shaped mountain biking. I sometimes can’t even begin to comprehend the vision and determination of some trail builders when I ride their trail.” Ultimately, it is the trails that are the beating heart of mountain biking. If reading these words has inspired you to pick up some tools and help keep your trails in perfect condition, then Fanie’s work has been done. We’ll just leave you with his final piece of advice about getting involved. “If you want to do more, find out who your local builders are and buy them a beer or go dig with them. Community, that’s what’s all about.”

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Enduro MTB - RSS
6 - 17/10/2019 15:17:13

Riders get between the tape for the final EWS race of 2019.

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Pinkbike