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Katherine Fuller's blog

2017 IMBA Advocacy Successes

2017 was an impressive year for our small-but-mighty advocacy team. Aaron and Eric, supported by other staff, lent their expertise and time to national and local efforts across the country. As a result, bike access was both maintained and restored, and new opportunities for even more riding opened up. 

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More trails, please! On the ground with IMBA

Across the country, IMBA and its Trail Solutions team are cranking away on creating and enhancing great places to ride. From teaching advanced trail building schools, to helping communities work through planning hurdles, to designing and building trails and bike parks at the direction of local riders, IMBA is at the forefront of helping grassroots advocates and organizations turn their dreams into reality at every step of the process.

Here’s a quick update of a handful of the projects we’re currently working on. Winter doesn't slow us down!

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Dig In Campaign supporting NICA league trails in three states

IMBA is committed to accelerating the pace of new trail builds and making mountain biking more accessible than ever. To help with that, IMBA launched its 2017 Dig In Campaign, which is putting dollars directly toward 68 active, approved mountain bike projects in 31 states. Collectively, these IMBA chapter projects represent 500 miles of new trails, the maintenance/improvement of another 140 miles of trails, and 10 new bike parks/pumptracks.

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California mountain bikers descend on the state capitol

Sometimes, mountain bikers have to trade their shorts for suits to make significant progress. It’s all part of the process to get more trails on the ground, care for the trails we have and protect our valuable public lands.

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10 Years of IMBA Ride Centers: Where You Want to Ride

Evaluations for the next class of IMBA Ride Centers are currently underway. This year, we’re celebrating 10 years since the program was launched, and hear from people all the time about how they use our Ride Centers (and list of EPICS) to plan mountain biking vacations and encourage their own communities to dream big. We’re happy to oblige but, what exactly is a Ride Center?

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Sylvan Hill a world-class bike park for Wisconsin

It takes a village: that statement of wisdom is particularly true in the mountain bike community, where volunteers, experts and funders must come together to make great places to ride happen. In Wausau, WI, the Central Wisconsin Offroad Cycling Coalition (CWOCC)—an IMBA chapter—recently completed a multi-year project that resulted in a pumptrack, four bike-optimized downhill trails of varying difficulty and a beginner-friendly loop built on an old ski hill and managed by the Marathon County Parks Department.

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Discovering what makes an IMBA EPICS ride so "epic"

August is IMBA EPICS Month—during which we celebrate, honor and add to IMBA’s crowd-sourced list of challenging, backcountry rides—and we, the Colorado staff, decided to get out there and ride one, too.

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Dubuque, Iowa: Go pro from the get-go

The paradigm for the local mountain bike club generally follows a time-honored tradition. Mountain bikers turn diggers turn advocates when they get together over beverages and BBQs and decide to collaborate on asking for and building more trails. In many locations, particularly those with very large volunteer corps to call on, that process works. 

But is it the only way? 

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Caliente, Nevada: Building a destination trail system from scratch

How do you get a new trail system on the ground? Sometimes, you just pick up the phone and ask for it. While it’s not quite that simple, magic can happen when local vision meets good land manager relationships and national-level strength.

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Big dreams and backyard trails: Louisville, Kentucky takes a big step toward its 100-mile singletrack vision

Inspiration comes in many forms ... In Louisville, Kentucky, there is a plan to build a 100-mile paved path that encircles the city and links many of its parks. The “Louisville Loop” is currently about 50 percent complete and will help residents, among other things, access trails and open space by bike from their homes.

When the paved loop was proposed, the local IMBA chapter, KyMBA Louisville, asked the obvious question:

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