Thank you, Rich Edwards!
As we look to a brighter future, let's reflect on a year when seasoned mountain bikers and an influx of new riders sought ways to recreate safely outdoors, connect during a time of social distancing, and find joy and strength through mountain biking.
In 2020, mountain bike trails were more crowded and bikes were flying out of bike shops across the country. We heard from land managers over and over who saw between 100% and 500% increases in trail use compared to 2019. To accommodate this significant uptick in new riders and more trail users, IMBA worked even harder to meet the demand for more trails closer to more communities.
With the support of our members, partners, and donors, IMBA had a very strong year in 2020. Philanthropic giving was up 110%. We onboarded 22 new IMBA Local Partner organizations. More than 40 Corporate Partners actively supported our work nationally. IMBA Trail Solutions helped plan and design what will become 600–900 miles of new trail. Our Government Affairs team helped 12 bills advance in Congress. Our Trail Accelerator grants awarded $204,500 in 2020, that became the catalyst for more than $7 million in funding for eight trail projects. And IMBA renewed strong partnerships with PeopleforBikes and National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).
A Closer Look at 2020...
IMBA advanced community trail projects across the U.S. through grants, philanthropic giving, and tools demonstrating user demand. We increased stewardship and advocacy efforts locally through our IMBA Local Partners and nationally through partnerships with outdoor industry leaders, including SRAM, Shimano, REI, Quality Bicycle Products, Trek, Jenson USA, Yeti Cycles, Pivot Cycles, Kona, Niner, and Patagonia. IMBA Trail Solutions built 36 miles of new trail and had 50 active trail planning and design jobs around the country. We worked closely with Congress, outdoor businesses, local mountain bike organizations, and local governments to advance both mountain biking and land conservation legislation. IMBA partnered with brands and organizations that value preserving and supporting access to public lands, as well as creating more trails to get more people—especially youth—on bikes.
Board of Directors Update
After a nine-year term, Chris Conroy, President of Yeti Cycles and former president of the Colorado Mountain Bike Association, is stepping down from his IMBA Board Chair position. Kent McNeill, IMBA’s CEO, said,
“Chris’ near-decade of service as our board chair and support of IMBA has been exemplary! His willingness to always help was crucial in rebuilding IMBA for the future. We are sad to see him move off the board as he reaches term limits, but know full well we will be riding long into the future as part of our IMBA alumni family.”
As we thank Chris for his commitment to IMBA’s mission for more trails close to home, we are excited to announce Jessica Kelleher as the new incoming board chair. Watch the video below to learn more about this transition, reflections on 2020, and what we're working on in 2021!
“IMBA’s More Trails Close to Home campaign is aiming to reach 250 towns and communities by 2025 to bring access to more trails and build more trails,” noted incoming Board Chair Jessica Kelleher.