Whenever you are out on a ride and see a fallen branch, big or small, laying across the trail do you keep on moving along, or do you stop a move it? I’m not going to pretend and say I move every single branch laying across the trail. After a windy night there can be hundreds of newly fallen branches laying across the trail. As a trail builder I’ve given a name to something I’ve been doing all along, Trail Karma. All that means is I strive to leave the trails in a better condition than when I started my ride. Sure it can sometimes be annoying to stop my ride every few minutes to move a branch, or kicked up rock, but the way I see it, moving that small branch may prevent somebody from losing their derailleur, or worse, avoid a season ending crash.
Lately I’ve been wondering, how many other riders practice trail karma? I’ve ridden with many riders who seem to be completely content riding over branches littering the trail. I feel that it’s important that every rider take a little bit of ownership of the trails they ride. It’s a small step, but it goes a long way to keep the trail system running.