The mountain biking movement got a big boost in Dayton, Ohio this past weekend at the Adventure Summit, a premiere outdoor exposition focused on inspiring the dreamer to the hardcore enthusiasts to step outside their comfort zone and tackle a new adventure.
The Adventure Summit started back in 2006 and has since grown to become a multi-day event entertaining, engaging, and inspiring over 6,000 visitors. Each year a high profile icon in the outdoor industry is brought to town to provide the keynote address. This year Gary Fisher, one of the most dynamic personalities in our sport, packed the house and delivered. A crowd of over 650 people witnessed Gary’s message of getting involved, supporting your local and national organizations, and most of all, riding your bike for more than just pleasure. Gary even made an appearance at the IMBA After Party and put back a few Great Lakes Brews and jumped into many great Kodak moments. Kudos to David at Bonbright Distributors for keeping the great lakes flowing.
With Gary in town and mountain biking front and center at this year’s event I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring key leaders from across the Great Lakes Region together and talk about the future of the movement in local riders backyards. Thanks to Trek Store of Cincinnati’s support the Great Lakes, Great Trails event took place throughout the day on Saturday, kicking off with the Great Lakes MTB Roundtable. Gary, Mike Van Abel, Paul Arlinghaus (HMBA President), Brian Adams (OMBA President, and Vince Carman (LouisvilleMBA President, represented clubs and chapters from across the great lakes. Greg Brumitt from Five Rivers MetroParks and Jacob Stallings from Trek Store Cincy, also provided their perspective on how park districts and retailers can support local advocacy and trail building efforts in attendees home areas.
The roundtable hit on topics revolving around the future of the sport, IMBA’s future plans , fundraising, Gary’s favorite color and who tailors his clothes, to how to work with local land managers on gaining access to new land for future trail development. I left proud to be based out of this region and jazzed to be a part of working with key leaders of the Great Lakes in the coming years to take this thing to the next level.
Sometimes the true impact of an amazing event like this can’t be immediately noticed but I can honestly say that the feedback from local riders, club officials, community leaders, and regional stakeholders has been great. One example is an attendee at the round table discussion went back the following day and ran for a board position with their local club for the first time. Other clubs are already seeing a renewed level of involvement, interest, and memberships. That is what it is all about, that is what the chapter program is all about, and exactly why we Regional Directors exist. The future of mountain biking cannot happen without you, those on the group, building trail, lobbying local leaders, and hosting great events. I can’t wait to meet more of you and hopefully hit the trails soon too.