Last year we cooked up an idea to bring some love to hard working trail stewards. They are really talented and dedicated people that deserve recognition for what they do. We all ride their trails. Do you know how much time it took to make that happen? One of the greatest pleasures of my job as president is when I get to look someone in the eye and let them know how much their hard work has accomplished and how much they are appreciated. It’s even better when sponsors join in with generous gifts. A Trail Hero program was born. This year’s honor goes to Trail Hero Ben Aton.
Ben is a very noteworthy trail builder responsible for a lot of trail at Rocky Point. He’s all heart and talent. He has the creative vision of an artististic legend and the practicality of an army engineer. I have seen Ben running up and down a crew-line of 20 people dispensing tools and guidance with incredible skill and confidence. He’s the guy out there putting the finishing touches on a single berm while the rest of us are already having snacks and refreshments. He never stops thinking about creating trails, connectivity and flow. When I asked a group of trail stewards who they thought was most deserving, it was unanimous: Ben.
It is with great pleasure that the Northwest Trail Alliance and its sponsors present Ben Aton with the 2020 Trail Hero award. Shimano and Modus Group, in support and on behalf of sponsors and retailers Cyclepath, Fat Tire Farm, and Bike Gallery, have provided a Shimano XT groupset. Showers Pass has provided a cycling outfit, and Chris King Precision Components has provided hubs and a headset. Have fun with your bike build Ben! Congratulations and thank you for your service to the mountain bike community. Thank you also to our sponsors for making the Trail Hero program possible.