Enduro World Series and Specialized Form Trail Partnership

Dec 19, 2017
by Enduro World Series  


Press Release

From day one, the Enduro World Series has been aware that our races, and the sport itself, can only exist thanks to the dedicated work of a huge network of trail builders. Our races impact local trail networks, and while we already have procedures in place to minimise that impact, we’re always striving to hold ourselves to higher standards. So earlier this year the series joined forces with Specialized on a new project to honor the people who build the trails we love to race, as well as promote sustainability and trail maintenance.

Fanie Kok is Specialized's Global Trail Advocate and heads up a project called Soil Searching, which aims to tell the story of the people behind the scenes who are out there building the trails we all love to ride.


Fanie Kok of Specialized at the EWS Awards Dinner in Finale
  Fanie talking at the EWS Awards Dinner in Italy


Fanie said: “The role really started out as a global mountain bike product and rider market research program, but the more trail advocates I met, the more apparent it became how disconnected the whole industry is from what’s happening at the grassroots level. We’ve literally built a whole industry with a few die-hard souls who get very little recognition, let alone compensation for their behind-the-scenes work. It’s time we change this, collectively.”

And so Fanie travels the world meeting trail builders and organizing dig days to encourage mountain bike communities to embrace trail repair and maintenance, it’s an ethos shared by the EWS.

One of the projects they’re working on is a number of dig days, where riders and communities can get together after an EWS and work on the trails that have been raced. To see what goes into one of these dig days check out the video below to see what went down on Billy Epic after round seven in Whistler at the Freehub Magazine’s Crankworx Trail Day.




Another aspect of the trail partnership is the Trail of the Year Award.

Fanie explains how the award came about: “I’ve been to a few EWS events and locations to meet the builders of these iconic trails. I found out that the EWS was keen on doing a special trail award and was looking for a partner. I immediately got on a call with Chris Ball. The stoke was bouncing off the walls for almost two hours and Skype almost crashed! The rest is history.”

In order to judge the award, riders who had been to all eight of this year’s EWS races were polled and asked to vote on their favorite stage of the season. There was a clear winner; Detonate, aka stage two from round two, the Shimano Enduro Tasmania. Built by World Trail, Detonate became famous for that rock gap that was only just wide enough to squeeze a set of handlebars though.


The infamous rock gap in Derby Tasmania
  The infamous rock gap in Tasmania


All trails that were nominated received a customised Trail Boss tool, but as the builders of the winning trail, World Trail will also be gifted £2000 to donate to a trail association or charity of their choice.

Glen Jacobs of World Trail said: “This award humbled me and our team. We realize the riders had some amazing tracks in iconic destinations around the world, all with challenging terrain to choose from. Awards are few and far between in the trail world. We have won tourism awards before but to be voted number one by the riders within our industry is what really matters.


Legendary trail builder Glen Jacobos


“World Trail and myself have been building high-end race tracks for over two decades globally now, including numerous World Cup, World Championship and Olympic events, but building the EWS courses is so much more satisfying for our trail builders because the style of tracks needed for racing EWS sit at the core of mountain biking, it’s pure mountain biking, and because of this, I see the series having a massive future.”

Chris Ball of the Enduro World Series added: “Without trail builders, there is no EWS. This new partnership means we can continue to minimise our impact on trail networks as well as honor the trail builders putting in the hard work behind the scenes.”


60 Comments

  • + 48
 How should one pronounce Fanie Kok?
  • + 21
 I think it sounds like fanny cock.
  • + 2
 It's pronounced Fahnee, really nice dude. Didn't know his last name was Kok though. I'll just stick to first names.
  • + 5
 I realise this may have been a rhetorical question but indulge me as I take the nerd-bait anyway. You pronounce Fanie as you would Tahnee (seagrave), just as Da-moose pointed out. Amongst Afrikaans people (dutch/flemish heritage south africans) it is a typically the default nickname for somebody named Stephan/Stefan.

Kok is a less common (but not unusual) Afrikaans surname, perhaps their version of o'Toole. Your best bet for pronunciation would be "Kawk", sort of like you would say "Hawk".

I spent some time in this part of the world.
  • + 19
 Fanie Kok owes me a mouthful of Corn Flakes and some screen wipes.
  • + 1
 South African Afrikaans name. Pronounced Farny. Surname is indeed Cock.
  • + 1
 Farney Kauk, but said quickly and not dragged out like it's spelled... The "O" part in Kok is not pronounced the same as Cock... In SA we have people with surnames De Kock and that is actually pronounced like Cock... And that still gets me every time! Big Grin
  • + 7
 In Ireland we have people with the surname Cockburn and it's pronounced Cockburn.
  • + 1
 Think Seth Efrikin
  • + 7
 In Scotland, particularly in Glasgow, it is not uncomment for people on the east side of the city to be referred to as 'Fanie Kok' (or 'Fanny Cock'). This naming is typically derived form when an individual is considered to be an 'utter fanny' while simultaneously acting like a 'total cock' at the same time, hence, fanny-cock.

True story.
  • + 2
 His predecessor for the trail advocacy role was Richard Butt
  • + 3
 So we've got Chris Ball, Fanie Kok and now Richard Butt!
  • + 13
 Big S working together with Trump. Something about new trails in a national park, oil and money money money. In other news, Lord Vader signs 3 year contract with Merida.
  • + 6
 That's a fanie comment
  • + 10
 Next year it will be grounds for litigation to say you're going out for an "enduro" ride, describing it as "Epic" and riding off "camber" sections.
  • + 4
 And "demo" too
  • + 11
 Soil Searching? Try a Gap Clear.
  • + 2
 And under-appreciated joke. Well played, sir.
  • + 6
 A recent article comments are mostly about how Corp could support trails more directly as a marketing effort. And now the commenters shit on Specialized for doing just that. #cantwin
  • + 2
 Not on Pinkbike - you can't Frown
  • + 0
 You beat me to it @robwhynot . Crybaby keyboard warriors. Haha
  • + 3
 “The stoke was bouncing off the walls “. What does this mean ? Stoke is not an object ... is it ? Sounds more like bullsh$t was bouncing off the walls .

I will be “stoked” when we have seen evidence of positive trail addition/improvement that was the dirct result of this . Until then this is just marketing.
  • + 6
 anything the big s touches is only to benefit their own corporate greed.
  • + 6
 Well yeah.

I'd assume more trails would mean more people riding mountain bikes, meaning oppurtunity for Specialized to sell more bikes.
The goal of most companies is to continue to be successful.

Giant, Kona, Norco... all the big companies probably would probably agree, without trails being built mountain bikes wouldn't be any fun.
It'd be fantastic to see the big companies doing more to establish trails (though wouldn't surprise me if they already do.)
  • + 3
 Props to all the trail builders everywhere. And while I think the idea is not bad at all, I assume we just have to wait and see whether it is more than brilliant marketing, or not.
  • + 1
 I like that thing ,that some time trails need some love and caring,but too mutch love sometimes can lead to take that natural and je ne sais pa quoi feeling ,I prefer natural trails ,for going down or up
  • + 3
 Build more bike specific trails...whos not into that? Spend some of that Corp $$$$
  • + 2
 Once upon a time, there was this great race series...and that folks, was how the EWS lost it's way...
  • + 2
 So happy to see this kind of initiative from a big brand. Plus, Fanie is an awesome person! Right on.
  • + 2
 I'm a fan of Chris Ball and the EWS. I am going to believe that he won't sacrifice quality for dollars. Time will tell.
  • + 1
 2000? Well how would a trail group even begin to contemplation how to spend that YUGE amount of coin?!
  • + 1
 definitely need the builders when riders explooode trails like on the main page pic, dayumn!!!
  • + 1
 dont worry, Specialized will recall the money faster than they recall road forks
  • + 1
 careful specialized might try and trademark the word “trail “ what was the other word? ???? oh yeah Enduro
  • + 0
 Great way to recognize the trail builders. Let's just hope that this doesn't lead to Corporate control on how the trails are created.
  • + 6
 Corporate trail control? Not sure how could that look like but the very thought entertains me greatly. Trail builders in cubicles? Copy machines by the side of the trail? Margaret from accounting suing Josh from trail patrol over blow job proposal? Fridges filled with Snickers bars and Coke at the trail heads? Fenced trails for Specialized owners only? Non-carbon bike detectors?

I mean power to the people, one planet and all that stuff. We are the wheels of Revolution!
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Very easy Wako.
All Specialized has to do is start pouring money into the projects themselves. You know, to "make things better"
  • + 2
 @enrico650: I think you have some rather irrational fears, living a fantasy of fighting an evil leviathan.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I think he's worried about neutral trail access - shoot, I'm also afraid the trails will be slower if I don't pony up for the premium trail service.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: do you know how many times I've stopped at a trailhead and though, shit i forgot to print out the trail map. You make jokes but I could really use a trail side printer sometimes.
  • + 1
 Fanie is a great guy. Had a lot of fun shredding around Aspen when he was here.
  • + 1
 Nice to see a bike company trying to be Specialized in Enduro. Wink
  • + 1
 And...once you get into bed with the Devil, he gonna' want to $crew ya'...
  • + 2
 Fanie Kok
????????
  • + 1
 Looks like Graves will be next years "winner".
  • + 1
 Big S and trail advocacy... hmmm
  • + 38
 I understand it is really fun to hate on specialized. but i will never hate on actions that make better trails.
  • + 2
 @adrennan: where would the PB comments be without SpecialEd, Ellsworth, PF...
  • + 6
 @ReformedRoadie: Who was the PB visitor again hating the Specialized axle path and chain stay lengths? And yes even though they don't constantly brag about it I do think those big companies do a lot of support for trail advocacy, supporting younger riders and events big and small. Only hate when there is a really really good reason to do so.
  • + 4
 @vinay: protour!
  • + 5
 @adrennan: I miss @protour.. of your out there man, come back to us. The world needs to laugh. Wink
  • + 13
 Trail advocacy for e-bikes. That is what specialized has been pooring money in the past 2 years. Fact.
  • + 0
 @RedRedRe: I knew there had to be an angle...
  • + 1
 Speaking off elsworth, they just dropped a new bike a few days ago. @ReformedRoadie:
  • + 0
 Seems like a lot of money is being spent here just to win Pink Bike advocate of the year for 2018....
Wink
  • + 1
 Awesome!
  • - 3
 It's the least they could do after repeatedly injurying Jared Graves this year with there crappy bikes.
  • + 2
 *their... I know, I know...
  • + 0
 I don’t even know what that means
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