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Build Trails for Aegean's future

€8,455 of €20,000 goal

Raised by 54 people in 17 months
We want to give hope to young Greeks!

Imagine an island paradise surrounded by crystal clear waters. Unadulterated nature, the sound of the sea and unforgettable views. Few people and charming small villages, where locals greet you with heartfelt hospitality and kind smiles.

When travelling to the Aegean this is exactly what you will find. But you are also confronted with a region undergoing problems in tourism due to Europe’s current political situation: people fleeing war, poverty and fear. An entire region where young people especially, people who grew up here, are forced to leave due to the lack of future job perspectives.

Nevertheless, as Greeks commonly say “this place is blessed”, and one of the “blessings” is the region’s huge potential in Outdoor Tourism thanks to its stunning beauty and welcoming vibes. Our solidary trail building project in the Aegean was born in spring 2017, of which the first trails have already been built on Kos, Leros and Patmos.

The vision is, to build a trail network with a team of volunteers to connect not only places, but also people. By maintaining the old and building new paths we will create a real paradise for mountain bikers, hikers and runners. More intrigued visitors, more tourism. Therein lies great potential for local eateries, accommodations and many forms of active tourism and the high likelihood to extend the tourist season significantly. An entire region could be revived providing new motivation for young people to stay. It´s a chance for new jobs. New future perspective for the locals - as they are the heart of every destination.

Our long term aim is to spread the project throughout the entire Aegean. First step is to advance the trail network on Kos and it's neighbouring islands. Other locations will follow.

All contributed money will be forwarded to the Hellenic Asscociation of Mountain Bicycling (E.E.O.P.) and later administrated by this non-profit organization.

Help us to shape the future!
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In April 2019, our team of international MTB enthusiasts got amongst the local MTB scene in Greece to build trails for a week in the beautiful Aegean. The destination of choice by the Aegean Trails team was Thessaloniki: it is the second biggest city in Greece and hosts a very proactive and supportive mtb community and the outskirts of the city offer a great foundation of trails which can be expanded into an attractive trail network. Both of which are essential to the success of the Aegean Trail Building Project.

Eager as always and highly motivated the international crew together with bunch of Greek mountain bikers gathered at Seich Sou for the start of the project. Bikers have frequented the vast forested area above Thessaloniki for years. The slogan of the week was once again, “Build & Bike – meet the locals”.

However, not all of the locals were as enthusiastic as the rest. A spontaneous decision from the local forestry commission revoked the building permits that had been granted, pulling the handbrake on the project for the first day. To make the most out of being at the Seich Sou, the team got on their bikes and did what they do best – shredded the local trails. Some diplomatic talks later and the permits were granted once more allowing the team to be productive and, in the end, construction was under way.

The new Tulumba-Trail proved to be a true favorite amongst the group. A technical trail with excellent berms, tight turns, and small jumps winding down from the Seich Sou to the outskirts of Town. Picture perfect views over the Aegean and in the background the towering Mt. Olympus with its snowcapped summit. True bliss.

A week of trail building such as this would not be possible without the incredible support of numerous companies, and private supports.

Therefore, we wish to thank all of you who took part in supporting the Aegean Trail Building Week Part III:

Outline Adventures and the Tourism Association of Central Macedonia for the great cooperation in the planning and execution of the ITBW

The Hellenic Mountain Bicycling Association for their support in the acquisition of permits and logistical support

The Bike Agentur for the continued dedication to the project and the voluntary support with connections and public relations within the German MTB

Islandhopping for financing the Aegean Trails online portal and continued logistical support

The Trail Brothers for passing on their knowledge and expertise in building trails

Paul Lange and Pearl Izumi for sponsoring a t-shirt collection unique to our project, great multi-function gloves for building and biking as well as a Pulaski Axe which was seldom put down

EVOC for an excellent trail building back pack, tailgate protection pad, gloves and t-shirts
Bike Aid and Shimano Switzerland (Fuchs-Moveso AG) for their continued financial support

Velosolutions for five great trail building tools

Qloom, Evoc, Deuter, Maloja, Schwalbe and Smith for supporting the Aegean Trails Christmas lottery

Our media team, Moritz Ablinger and David Karg for incredible photo and film material

Our families, friends, acquaintances and all the other generous people who have supported the project via our GoFundMe campaign

For more info see our blog post: https://www.aegeantrails.com/you-get-what-you-give-trail-building-thessaloniki-2019/
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International Trail Building Week in Thessaloniki - 30 March 2019 – 06 April 2019

Meet the Locals - Build and Ride III

Aegean Trails is a non-profit international solidary project for a sustainable mountain bike tourism in Greece. Therefore, we are more than grateful for your support of our next project: the trail construction week in Thessaloniki in April 2019!

After two successful trail building weeks on the Dodecanese Islands in 2017 and 2018 (Kos, Leros, Patmos, Nisyros) we are now changing the location in order to spread the scope of the Aegean Trails idea.

Our partner for this phase of the project, Outline Tourism ( www.outlinemtb.com), is a mountain bike tourism company located in Thessaloniki, offering MTB holidays in Greece as well as the development and promotion of mountain bike destinations and bike hotels.

Aegean Trails in cooperation with Outline Tourism, are giving the chance not only to the local MTB community, but also to riders from all over Europe to participate and take part in this phase of the project, which we believe, will bring our vision of making Aegean a world class MTB destination one step further!

Thessaloniki and its surroundings are the best choice for the Aegean Trails construction week 2019 for several reasons:

A) There is already a well-developed existing trail network, which can be improved.

B) There is already a very active local MTB community, meaning a local base with love and enthusiasm for the mountain bike sport which is essential for the success of the project.

C) With Outline Tourism we have a well-organized local tourism partner who will use newly built trails for touristic purposes and can support the trail building week with great knowledge and contacts.

D) The city of Thessaloniki is already an attractive travel destination, but in combination with excursions to destinations such as Mt. Olympus, it can grow into a fantastic mountain bike destination, which is easy to promote due to its natural and cultural highlights.

The Aegean Trails building weeks connect people from all over Europe and unite them in their passion for mountain biking. Side by side for a common purpose - true European spirit! Be a part of it!
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In April 2018, the second international trail construction week of Aegean Trails took place on the islands of Kos and Leros.

A motley crew of bikers and trail builders from all over Europe responded to the call to work together with local two-wheel enthusiasts in the Aegean Sea. With lots of sweat, muscle power and zest for action, several kilometers of new trails were created, which were tested directly after completion by the trail professionals by bike.

Much more important, however, was the sense of togetherness, giving hope to a region that has experienced hard times in recent years. Whether locksmith, IT specialist, goldsmith or kindergarten teacher: all pursue the same goal with their commitment! Building a touristic biking region that can create jobs, improve infrastructure and build a belief in a better future.

A very special thanks to all helpers and sponsors of the second trail building week, without you there would be many kilometers less trail. With your efforts and believe, you have made many locals happy and helped to realize our big vision of a biking paradise in the Aegean.

© Moritz Ablinger
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Hello to all supporters of Trails for Aegean's future! The date for our next trail building week in the Aegean has been fixed: 14.04.-21.04.18 on Kos and Leros. The motto of the week is "Meet the locals - Build and Ride". The week is open to international volunteers, detailed information can be found here: http://www.inselhuepfen.com/en/trail-building-aegean-part-2/

The attached video gives you a small impression of the trail building last year: hard working side by side and than enjoying a ride on the new built trails. It's a life time experience based on friendship and having the same vision in mind.

We are very happy and grateful, that some big German magazines help us to spread our idea:

MTB NEWS: https://www.mtb-news.de/news/2018/01/17/trailbauwoche-aegean-trails/

Bike Magazin: http://www.bike-magazin.de/mtb_news/szene_news/trailbauwoche-in-der-aegaeis-2018/a38008.html

Soon, you will receive more updates about the progress of the project. <3

International Trail Building Week 2017
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Raised by 54 people in 17 months
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