Best UK Community Initiative – The Finalists

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We’re revealing the Finalists in each of the Singletrack Reader Awards 2021 categories. Thanks to all of you for your nominations, and to our awards sponsors, Kona Bicycles. Here’s who made the cut for the Best UK Community Initiative.

This award is about people. Who is getting bums on bikes and creating the opportunity for new people to discover riding off-road? Which campaign has brought together the bike community in the quest to improve the sport? Is it a fundraising campaign to build new trails, or provide bikes? Is it an awareness campaign promoting better trail stewardship or access? Whose hashtag is an instantly recognisable message to be a better sort of rider, or to become a rider in the first place? We want to hear about the project, campaign or other initiative that’s helping build our community.

School of Rocks

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A post shared by The School of Rocks (@theschoolofrocks)

School of Rocks is a whole curriculum of rides aimed at introducing people to riding off road and giving them the confidence to venture outside. Suitable for keen cyclists who usually only ride tarmac right through to new and novice riders, each ride builds on the skills found on the last. Climbs, descents, roots and mud are encountered gradually rather than in an overwhelming overload. The emphasis is on showing up, getting out there and having fun.

TotalMTB

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A post shared by #TotalMTB – MTB Community 💚 (@totalmtb)

Ryan Oldfield started TotalMTB because he felt that the images he saw online were always the pros and the shredders, rather than more relatable riders on their doorstep trails. He wanted to encourage people to get out and ride for their mental and physical health, regardless of ability, and hoped that a fresh approach to imagery and inspiration would help do that. Since then it’s grown from the original #TotalMTB hashtag, adding a series of campaigns to their profile.  #MentalHealthMatters focuses on their original aim of raising awareness about mental health, and improving it through mountain biking. You Are You And You Are Awesome #YAYAYAA seeks to promote riding without judgement or putting others down. #ProtectOurPlanet seeks to raise environmental awareness among riders, #LetsAllRide and #TotalSocial aim to help people to get out to ride together, including pairing up buddy rides between experienced and newer riders. As you can see, it’s building a community based on shared experiences and joy, rather than competition or performance. Maybe you want to join in?

Ride Sheffield

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A post shared by Ride Sheffield (@ridesheffield)

Be Nice Say Hi is not a new initiative, but it’s one that’s spread nationwide and deserves recognition. Ride Sheffield is one of the most successful and well established trails advocacy groups in the UK, and its Be Nice Say Hi campaign has become an integral part of UK MTB culture, almost universally recognised as the first step towards shared trail harmony.

straw awards

To help you learn more about these three great finalists, we’ve got this podcast for you, featuring and interview with a representative from each of them.

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Singletrack World MTB Podcast

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It’s all down to you, the public, to decide who wins each category – there’s no funny business or back room cheques. So enjoy our coverage of the finalists, and be sure to vote for your favourites. Voting will open on 18th October, and close on 1st November.

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