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The Trail Crew Chronicles: The Future of Trail Crew

July 31, 2014 2:30am home summer mountain biking tcc

What will Trail Crew be like in 100 years?

Will there be actual people as the trail crew? Will we even need trails with our hover bikes? Will some guy control a bunch of machines from an air conditioned office? I don’t know but this is how I imagine it…

First off there will be a machine that does basically everything (picture a transformer from the movies).  You could assume it has some sort of GPS locator telling it everything it needs to know about the landscape, and the material locations.  Then you just load in your CAD (Computer-aided design) designed trail and it goes to work! 



It will be able to bore through rocks, dig dirt, and pack the features with some sort of extended arm while doing 20 other tasks.  With the GPS location of materials so it could build other features with wood such as bridges and roll-ins.

I then see bike parks resorting to the “forever” tactic of marketing, saying their trails have been handmade and human groomed since opening!  It’ll be just like your favorite pastry you buy at the local grocery store, same mouthwatering donut and recipe since 1887.  Both saying they’ve been “doing it the same for the past 100 years!”

I don’t exactly know if I would prefer one over the other to be honest, I’d love that it would create a world where everyone can have perfect jumps.  Then you could go anywhere with a hill and have a sweet set of jumps or an awesome trail.  The only problem with this is that it would take away from the places that actually are special for putting so much time and effort into their trail system.  There has to be some sort of tradeoff between manmade and groomed vs. the machine made.

Ultimately I hope the future machines are controlled by experienced riders and builders to create the perfect lines.  Many people may have the machines but it is all up to the imagination of the builders’ to build the trail.