There are some very exciting things happening in the advocacy world at the minute.
Firstly, the Cycling UK campaign to open up the trails across Wales. It feels like we’re on the cusp of another huge step forward that’s right up there with the Land Reform Act which opened Scotland up and – dare I say it – the Kinder Mass Trespass of 1932, which gave us the access to moors we cherish today.
If it turns out as we hope, the trails of Wales will open to riders, bar a few exemptions.
What a coup that would be.
Secondly, Open MTB. They are a uniting force for the various MTB groups out there and provide a single, coordinated voice for our efforts.
And finally, those efforts themselves. Up and down the country more and more riders are getting involved in stuff that puts mountain biking in a really positive light – from big projects like the Wales campaign down to even the simplest thing like picking up litter on a trail. Join your local advocacy group to get involved.
I don’t know about you, but it feels like it’s working. I’ve had far fewer difficult conversations with other users out on the trails; the conversations with authorities are much easier and they’re open to us leading thinking on things; the support we’re getting is increasing in formally opposed places. Am I being overly optimistic? Naive? Maybe, but as the popularity of mountain biking increases and the Be Nice Say Hi/Don’t be a d***/rider responsibility ethos gets out there more and more, it really feels to me that things are looking good for the years ahead.
What do you think?