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Mike Van Abel's blog

MORE Board meets to plan and organize

If you live and mountain bike in the Maryland, northern Virginia or D.C. area, you can be confident that your riding future is in good hands. I am sure of this after participating in the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) board of director's planning retreat, held recently at the Hilton Resort in Sedona, AZ.

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Long Live Long Rides!

A version of the essay below, along with the "Can You do That?" sidebar, appears in the Fall 2013 edition of IMBA's Trail News print newsletter.

IMBA has been fortunate to work with some crackerjack advertising agencies over the years. One our most memorable campaigns was titled “Long live long rides.” Engineered by TDA Advertising, the spots featured lighthearted images, like a dog food bowl so overflowing that Fido could survive while his miscreant owner went for a weekend-long ride.

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Celebrating IMBA’s 25th Anniversary—and What’s to Come in the Next 25 Years

Photo: IMBA founders meeting in 1988.

Mountain biking is, for the most part, an activity that depends on access to public lands. Sure, there are a few privately owned bike parks and riding areas in existence. However, the vast majority of places we ride are managed by government officials working at the local, state and federal levels. As long as that’s the case, mountain bikers will need an organized approach to maintaining and increasing our access to trails.

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Time Will Tell

"Time will tell" is a saying usually accompanied by healthy skepticism. At this moment, time and history are on everyone's minds here at IMBA as we reflect upon the 25 years since IMBA's birth.

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Priorities emerge from the 2012 IMBA Chapter Congress

IMBA Chapters have spoken and they know what they want to do in order to improve the chapter program. To be more precise, 32 of the current 102 chapters who had representatives in attendance at the IMBA World Summit in Santa Fe told IMBA’s board and staff what is important to them. They revealed their priority ideas and interests for how to continue to add value to the program at the 2012 IMBA Chapter Congress.

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The IMBA Chapter Congress: The Making of our New Association

The second IMBA Chapter Congress will convene on October 12 at the IMBA World Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is an important gathering of IMBA staff, board members and chapter leaders as we determine our 2013/14 agenda for what and how we jointly improve and grow our programs and operations.

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Birthday for IMBA-Europe

IMBA-Europe officially arrived today. After nearly three years of gestation, it's the birth of another progeny of IMBA, joining its siblings, IMBA-Australia and IMBA-Canada.

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The "World's Greatest Conservation Leaders" Assemble in Washington DC

Last Friday, I was privileged to be invited to and speak at the White House Conference On Conservation. It was a great opportunity to network among "the greatest conservation leaders in the world", as declared Secretary of the Interior and conference host, Ken Salazar. The day-long conference of panels and breakout sessions was capped with an appearance and remarks by President Obama.

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Chapter Program Expands, Helps Fuel Hire of Two New Region Directors

After a nationwide search, I'm proud to announce that IMBA has hired two new, excellently qualified Region Directors. Patrick Kell will be leaving his current post as the Executive Director of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association to serve as IMBA's Director for the newly formed Southwest Region. At the same time, Andrew Williamson (pictured above) will be transitioning from Ohio's Five Rivers Metro Parks as its Outdoor Recreation Program Manager to join IMBA's new Great Lakes Region, serving as its Region Director.

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