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City of Roses to the Twin Cities

City of Roses to the Twin Cities

By: Michelle Barker
Posted: July 6, 2016

One of the most frequently asked questions about my role is “Do you travel much?” As I’m on the road often, I wanted to offer a glimpse of what this might look like.

Portland, OR

I was in town for only a few days to participate in the Portland Off-Road Cycling Master Plan meeting. Our local IMBA chapter, Northwest Trails Alliance is a pivotal player in this planning process. During my few days in town, I was able to convene with one of my teammates from our Government Relations department to meet with local congressional leaders.

Missoula, MT

After just enough time at home to do laundry and repack the car, we covered the miles to Missoula, Montana. My family joined me for this trip, as we were spending a week in Missoula to conduct a Land Manager Summit and Trail Care Crew Visit. We were joined by staff from IMBA’s Communication’s department, Government Relations department, and Trail Solutions. Kudos to our Montana based Associate Region Director, Eric, who was instrumental in making this happen. MTB Missoula and Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists, the local chapters, took care of the planning and earned all the applause for a successful TCC visit. We were able to sample some local Missoula singletrack as well as some backcountry riding.

Chicago, IL

A brief respite at home and then off to the Windy City. This time, the purpose was the IMBA June Board Meeting. Much like our chapters, IMBA’s board is entirely comprised of volunteers taking on the work of guiding a nonprofit organization! Enroute to Chicago, we met at Kettle Moraine to show off some Midwest riding at the John Muir system. The weekend served multiple purposes; reuniting with our friends from CAMBr, staff training, and extensive conversations with staff from our Development department.

Minneapolis, MN

My next visit was the Twin Cities, a Bronze Level Ride Center. The first order of business was a board meeting with our local chapter, MORC. Of important note, MORC has shared staff with IMBA, partnering to bring the local chapter a part time executive director and bring additional staff to the Midwest region. This trip also served as staff training and team building. While in the area, I was able to meet with one of IMBA’s stellar industry supports, Quality Bicycle Products. I also met with other regional and national industry brands.

The nearly month long expedition wrapped up at a local race event, telling the story of our four Iowa chapters and the benefits of membership with those chapters, supporting the work happening in Iowa and Nebraska.

While the simple answer to the earlier question is “Yes”, the details behind the trips help to tell the full story.


About the author

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10 years 1 month
Michelle is the Midwest Region Director and lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She and her family have traveled across the country and to parts of Canada to experience great mountain biking.

Michelle is the Midwest Region Director and lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She and her family have traveled across the country and to parts of Canada to experience great mountain biking.

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