The Ascona-Locarno Trail Crew

Impeccable, technically challenging yet natural trails characterise the Ascona-Locarno region and make the destination a popular meeting place for mountain bikers. Taming the wild and steep terrain requires a full measure of experience and passion. Thanks to the requisite expertise and love for the sport, the Trail Crew is able to construct technically appealing trails and maintain them in such a way that bikers always enjoy the best conditions.

The biggest and best-known carnival in Ticino
  • The Trail Crew was founded in 2017 by Ascona-Locarno Tourism and currently consists of three people

  • The person in charge of the group is Sebastiano, who everyone knows as Seba. It is the first and only crew in Ticino to exclusively take care of mountain biking trails. With their work, the Trail Crew prevents erosion and damage to the landscape caused by mountain biking. A resource-intensive job, but one that makes a difference. The maintenance differs primarily with regard to the effort involved.

In contrast to a hiking trail, there must be no deep potholes, large stones or other unforeseen obstacles on a mountain biking trail, otherwise it may be more difficult than stated, or even impassable. Despite the excellent infrastructure, bike hotels, shops and the existing crew, the official trails around Lake Maggiore are currently still limited in number. One reason for this is the strict requirements for constructing new trails, and the other is the nature of the landscape. “We have beautiful mountains.

However, they’re not smooth or harmonious but steep and wild, and this requires a certain technical standard.” Bikers will find technically demanding or less difficult trails here that will cause them to work up a sweat, but their effort is rewarded by breathtaking views – from the peaks to the palm trees by the lake. Seba continues: “The great thing about our region is that besides mountain biking, which is of course the most important thing for a mountain biker, you can also enjoy what comes afterwards.” He believes that a perfect day on your mountain bike means spending the whole of it on two wheels and having fun. Then it’s off to the lake or one of the valleys for a swim in the river. “Putting it all together, it results in a wonderful experience - from hill to chill.” 

  • Working together, helping each other and being able to rely on one another is essential in the crew

  • They are therefore a well-rehearsed team not only on the trail, but also when it comes to making coffee after lunch. One person organises water, while another takes care of the gas cooker, and the third prepares the cups. “We are a wild gang of Vikings who love being outdoors, and we have a great passion for mountain biking.” 

“The fact that we are all enthusiastic mountain bikers obviously helps a lot in our work. We can read the trail better and know what is fun for other bikers as well as what you have to pay attention to so that the trail flows.” However, the trail crew not only takes care of the paths, but everything else too. Plants are moved and not just ripped out. Stones blocking the way are shaped into pyramids at the edge for lizards and snakes to find a hiding place, and rubbish that people leave on the way is collected.

“I believe it is very important to pay attention to details and show respect for nature, as though it were my own garden,” says Seba. In addition to sustainable trail construction, which includes, for instance, the targeted drainage of rainwater, correct behaviour by mountain bikers is also very important to him. It is essential to keep to the marked trails, and mutual consideration between bikers and hikers is vital.

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