You can’t ride mountain bikes without trails. Specialized wants to give a leg up to the folks making it happen with their boots on the ground.
The connection between trail sports and trail workers is rudimentary by definition. As a former trail crew member, I can say building trails requires hard work, commitment, passion, and money.
Now, Specialized goes “Soil Searching” with a new program that seeks to directly support — and celebrate — all that trail crews do for the sports that rely on ribbons of dirt.
According to the company, the multifaceted initiative aims to employ trail builders, host community events, lead fundraisers, and tell the stories that come along with it all. The objective is to aid the development and maintenance of the trail systems that deliver the lifeblood of mountain biking.
A limited-edition Soil Searching MTB tire constitutes a consumer-purchasable aspect of the program.
Specialized said Soil Searching had provided financial, organizational, and outreach support for trail systems globally since 2018. The company’s trail work has appeared in Japan, South Africa, Tasmania, Canada, Brazil, California, and the Spanish Pyrenees mountains.
Most recently, Tanzania, Africa, joined the list.
As of April 2021, the company said the program had provided trail crews on five continents with over 11,000 volunteer hours through its sponsored “dig days.” And it positions its Global Trail Ambassador program to sponsor trail workers in the same capacity as athletes.
“What if the outdoor industry sponsored trail builders the way it currently sponsors professional athletes?” the website asks.
It answers by supporting stewards like Ryo Hazuma, Japan’s “Guardian of the Mountains,” and Caio Suzarte, who “breathes” for a living and builds trails around his home city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Check out everything the Soil Searching program offers, including the GRID 2Bliss Ready-based Soil Searching tires, at the Soil Searching website.