Cris LaBossiere

Cris LaBossiere
Strength training and mountain biking. My two favorites

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Recreational Trails Path To Health

Jogging, walking, cycling, and my favorite, mountainbiking.

It's great to get out of the city and hit wilderness trails for recreation and fitness. These trails are for the most part built by volunteers and clubs.

IMBA, Internation Mountain Bicycling Association, is arguably the leader in North America for building sustainable multiuse trails.

Today I'm attending a trail building class put on by IMBA and hosted by the Crow Wing Trail Association.

More info on Crow Wing Trail can be found here

For IMBA go to

I enjoy using trails but often I'll find sections of trails washed out, rutted out, or just plain unsafe trail conditions.

I want to do something to help keep up the trails I use, but I want to make sure it's done in a sustainable, safe way.

I'm also interested in helping to make multi use trails that reduce conflict between trails users.

This all ties into my desire to live a healthy lifestyle. Given the choice I would rather run or ride for fun and fitness in a wilderness trail.

If you're a regular trail user and are interested in helping with local trail upkeep, IMBA will put you in contact with local trail crews.

If you're into using trails, but not into working on them, be mindful of how a trail is used. Riding in the mud can be fun, but can rapidly erode the trail bed. Over years this part of trail becomes unusable.. for anyone.

I think IMBA does a great job of setting reasonable standards for building trails. I strongly recommend that before anyone builds or maintains a trail, get info from IMBA.

The trail building course covers how to build the correct gradient and trail bed to shed water (reducing water erosion), making the trail "flow" (fun to walk, run, ride without abrupt unsafe transitions.

I'll post photos of the course later today.

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