Podcast with Dave ‘Mr UK Trails’ Evans

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Barely in post a week, we sat down with Dave Evans, Project Manager for the new UK Trail Project, to find out more about the project’s plans. The initial rider workshops are underway, with more online ones due early next year, and a questionnaire to follow. Be sure to make yourself heard!

UK Trails Launch Tour – Dates for Riders’ Workshops 

Location Venue Date & Time Registration Link 
North Wales Plas-Y-Brenin 21st November 7-9pm  Register Now
South East England Hurtwood Inn, Peaslake, Surrey Hills 29th November 7-9pm  Register Now
South Wales Barry Sidings Café, Pontypridd5th December 7-9pm  Register Now
North West England Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley6th December 7-9pm  Register Now
Northern Ireland Outdoor Recreation NI Offices, Belfast 13th December 7-9pm  Register Now
Scotland Birnam Institute, Dunkeld 9th January 2024, 7-9pm  Register Now
North Central England Sheffield, Venue TBC,11th January, 7-9pm  
MidlandsNorthampton, Venue TBCDate TBC 

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Podcast with Dave ‘Mr UK Trails’ Evans
  • DickBarton
    Full Member

    Sorry, gave up trying to listen as the 90 second advert before it even began was far too annoying…

    Full Member

    Anyone listening to this and hoping he’ll outline a full strategy to secure the future of England and Wales’ unofficial trails is going to be disappointed. It’s clearly a very early stage in the project. But it’s worth checking out if you want to find out more about where they’re coming from and what the first steps will be.

    Full Member

    I gave it a listen last night, and if I’m honest, I’m no nearer understanding what the project is trying to achieve. 

    Full Member

    I gave it a listen last night, and if I’m honest, I’m no nearer understanding what the project is trying to achieve. 

    That’ll save me some time in listening then.

    The link was forwarded on to the trail building group I’m involved in, and nobody has shown the slightest interest in attending the nearest meeting, probably because none of us know what the point is.

    Full Member

    That is probably part of the issue though – each group are made up of volunteers all wanting slightly different things, but broadly the same – and they want to do it in their area. Many of the groups have no interest in a wider thing as so many things are outside any potential sphere of influence and once you start becoming ‘official’ there are more rules and regs you need to work inside.

    For most people, they enjoy just turning up and lending a hand and putting some physical effort in, they have no real interest in anything else.

    Not an easy nut to crack or get more people involved at more than a doorstep stage.

    Full Member

    The point is to improve access to trails that riders want through providing some form of central resource library/toolkit that can help. If you think that everything is perfect now, then maybe there’s nothing for you in this project. But if you’ve ever thought ‘if only…’ then they want to hear what that thought was.

    If you are part of a local trail building scene, what gets in the way of you being able to make the trails legit?

    Are you happy with digging away knowing that your work could be ripped out at any time? Or would you like some help to make them more secure? Maybe you don’t want to go fully legit, but could there be some dos and don’ts that help you stay out of trouble/below the radar?

    Maybe you’ve already got legit trails – but struggle to keep funding things like insurance for dig days, or buying tools? Do you know that the trail association up the M6 has got insurance at a fraction of what you’re paying?

    Maybe your trails are too far away to ride to? Maybe they’re too difficult for your kids to ride?

    Maybe you’ve had trails for ages, but a change of staff at the landowner/council/forestry has meant a new person that just doesn’t get it is now looking to get ride of them – would some simple downloads that you could have had printed and signed have avoided all this uncertainty?

    Basically, what is hard to do now, what is good, what would make mountain biking better? Tell them, so they can see what they can do to help. If we all shrug and say ‘I can’t be bothered’, do we deserve anything better?

    Full Member

    To roughly paraphrase the first few minutes or so…

    He wants to look at what  people are riding on a macroscopic, almost postcode level, and highlight any success stories in their areas (such as producing world class athletes) and what the trails mean to them…..

    pull out those success stories and barriers to success and use them to move forward.

    They’re also sitting down with landowners, some of whom are on the steering committee  and are talking to them about successes and barriers as well.

    He is hoping to tease out any local success stories and take them forward as case studies. At the end of three years he would like a sort of toolbox of resources that landowners would be happy with and riders can use.

    Full Member

    I just posted that above, with 10 minutes of the podcast to listen to and got thrown out so I need to listen to the long advert at the beginning again. 🙁

    Full Member

    The length of the ad at the start of no issue as I just skip the ads. The fact that it is for the national airline of a country whose attitudes to diversity are way off the STW message was more of an issue. But I doubt the good people of this pod have much say in what ads go in.

    Full Member

    The ads are programmatic. Ie they are not picked by us and different listeners will get different ads. 

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