By Ambassador Julian Tyo


Armed with shovels, rakes, loppers and saws, our protagonists enter into the woods. They’ve converged on a common cause- the annual buffing of a beloved local trail. Most have accessed via mountain bikes of all shapes and sizes- each bicycle a caricature of themselves, their Batmobiles.

Dynamic duos tag team the rock-infested tread: rake, shovel, broadcast, repeat. Others cut out hazard trees and toss them triumphantly out of harms way. A cloud of dust lingers over the corridor like a linear battlefield, our cast of characters leapfrogging one another from both ends of the one mile trail.

The superheroes converge at the proverbial golden spike. High fives are exchanged as the merry band demobilizes to the trail’s egress. Tools are loaded back up as some pedal for a victory lap on the freshly re-minted tread. This is the best the trail will ride all season- the ultimate reward. Others descend back to the base, supercharged by their accomplishment and the promise of beer and pizza.

The scene at the trailhead is one of camaraderie, the accomplishment of a greater good. Many are meeting for the first time, while others have shared these collective experiences together for years. Young and old, these individuals are united by something bigger than themselves. A greater sense of purpose and community is their superpower. They are the volunteers.