IMBA Trail Solutions' Shane Wilson and Mark McClure, Chairman of IMBA-UK, conducted a trailbuilding school near Athens, Greece. The course attracted almost forty passionate builders from all over Greece to a forest at the the base of Mount Parnitha. This was the location of the 2004 Olympic Cross Country MTB race; unnfortunately, the facilities and trails built for the 28th Olympiad were removed or destroyed shortly after the games ended.
Since then riders have been creating their own trails, but this often leads to conflicts with forest managers. In an unprecedented move, the Hellenic Mountain Biking Association was able to come to an agreement with the forest managers which allowed them to conduct the training and begin building a trail, as well as a better relationship. So with oversight by the forest, Shane and Mark taught 40 Greek mountain bikers how to build world class trails. They worked as teams, and created a short piece of trail unlike anything they'd seen before.
After four days of labour and a few whoop hollering rides, a few of the builders did something very special. They brought their wives, girlfriends, moms, dads, and children to see what they had built. Their pride was visible as they described each foot of trail, the berms, the rollers, and the rocks they spent hours breaking with hammers and picks. Trails may not change the world, but they do create communities.
This event was made possible in part by the European Trail Building Fund.