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    Jump the Dump

    Specialized Soil Searching

    QUESTION: How much rock and soil does it take to build a mountain?

    ANSWER: None, just a few metric tons of…well…garbage!

    Specialized Soil Searching is our commitment to recognize, celebrate, and support the unsung heroes of mountain biking—the trail builders, advocates, and communities who make our dreams of trails, dirt, and endless stoke come alive.

    The “Netherlands” or in French “Pays Bas”, literally means “Low Country”. 40% of this country is below sea level.

    Water and the Netherlands have a symbiotic relationship as old as time itself. For the most part, water has proven to be a cunning adversary, but has also been an ally. Fact is, water is an omnipresent companion, and in an ever-changing climate, with its consequent challenges, “navigating the waters” is just part of daily Dutch living.

    They dream about places high above sea level, where mountain peaks pierce through a blanket of clouds and mountain bike trails with roots, rocks, jumps, drops, and berms flow for eternity. They travel to the end of the rainbow to find and indulge in these seemingly mythical places, but what can they do close to home?

    It’s not all sunshine and tulips here. Certainly not the most conducive country to have mountain biking as a passion, but every cloud has a silver lining and with a good dose of Dutch “koppigheid” (stubbornness), a small group of mountain bike enthusiasts are busy turning a moll’s heap into a mountain, or rather, turning an old garbage dump into a mountain biking paradise.

    About three years ago, a group of trail riders started a passion project—a journey to realize a bike park, with a clear goal: “Trails and jump lines in our own riding area, close to home. Riding jumps not only during our summer holiday, but daily.”

    Aside from not having mountains, the second biggest hurdle to overcome in the Netherlands is the law: Policies and procedures are, along with “stroopwafels” and “bitterballen”, what the Dutch relish in. “That’s why everything works,” they will tell you.

    Well, this group of mountain bike enthusiasts were adamant, relentless.

    This community, however, looks at the bigger picture of creating something sustainable that will benefit the entire population of Mook, mountain bikers and non-mountain bikers alike.

    “In order to be able to construct these trails, we had to remove some fields with blackthorns from the Zandberg. We have an agreement with the manager of the area, Bodemzorg Limburg, that we will compensate for this by placing several types of native shrubs back next to the paths,” says Micha Salden, one of the original visionaries of the bikepark, alongside Alex Peters, Peter Mark, and Harm Schepers.


    partnered with a local primary school to plant 530 native shrubs of 15 different species on the Zandberg hill. By including the youth in activities like these, they learn about environmental stewardship at the same time as throwing a “whip” with their bike over a perfectly built tabletop.

    At Specialized, we have a single-minded mission: to pedal the planet forward. Building bike parks and community gardens on old garbage dumps…yup, that fits perfectly.

    Learn more about the project at