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IMBA Advanced Trail Building School

IMBA Advanced Trail Building School

Creating Better Mountain Bike Experiences For Riders and Advocates

By: Chris Kehmeier
Posted: December 15, 2015

This past October 17–18, IMBA Trail Solutions, THOR (Trails Have Our Respect)—the local IMBA Chapter—and Trek Store Omaha partnered to offer Advanced Trail Building School to ten active advocates in the region. 

“They were very, very excited to get out and work on some berms, rollers, and trail features,” said Michelle Barker, IMBA Midwest Regional Director. “And now there are ten people in the area who have experience with advanced trail-building techniques.”

Trail Solutions sent veteran builder and instructor Chris Orr to lead the two-day course through a variety of topics and techniques including building technical features, flow trails, berms, rollers, jumps, drainage on flow trails, and more. The course is a great way to learn pro techniques in both hand and mechanized methods.  Learning happens both in the classroom and in practical settings, so each participant gets the hands-on experience they need to contribute to trail work in their areas.

In Omaha—the host city for this course—the singletrack already in place was handbuilt, fast and flowy, but lacking features for intermediate and advanced riders. “Many of the local chapter advocates travel to Colorado, into the Northern parts of the Midwest and beyond where there are additional features,” explained Barker. “These riders wanted to share the great experiences they were having away back in their own communities, and they were thrilled to have the chance to learn how with IMBA Trail Solutions.” The work begun by the Advanced Trail Building School participants is being continued by local volunteers, creating new and exciting singletrack options in Omaha that all riders can enjoy long after the course.

To set up an Advanced Trail Building School course in your area, contact your regional director who will work with you to assess and evaluate the needs of your community. The regional director can then facilitate by working as a liaison between the chapter and Trail Solutions. The length of the course and number of participants will be decided based on your community’s plan and support.  

“This is about building great mountain bike experiences,” said Barker. “Incorporating new features enhances the experience at the local level, while creating a new rider base. It also helps advocates to stay excited and engaged, so they continue sharing their knowledge with others.”

 

Recommended reading: Trail Solutions: IMBA’s Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack https://www.imba.com/catalog/book-trail-solutions

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