From Anna Laxague, IMBA Pacific Northwest Region Director (pictured above):
This year's National Bike Summit was exciting for the Pacific Northwest region. The amount of passion and drive that is contained within the walls of this event is immeasurable, but it doesn't go unnoticed by our elected officials in Congress. They know when we're in town (partially because we all wear florescent bike pins) but also because we just want to talk about bikes and just about everyone loves bikes.
We also come to Representatives and Senators with real solutions and unforgettable stories. This year, our "asks" were focused on funding of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), in addition to more specific, regionally-based asks.
A big part of our work in D.C. is promoting awareness of all things mountain bike advocacy in a brief, 2-5 minute period, so we are selective on what we share. With a few new Wilderness proposals this year, we were excited to explain that IMBA is working in partnership with conservation organizations on bicycle-friendly land protection - which is huge progress for all of us - and our representatives were happy to hear it.
IMBA staff was also pleased to attend meetings with representatives from Hawaii for the first time to showcase the work being done by the Maui Mountain Bike Coalition, an IMBA Chapter, and to share the importance of singletrack trails and recreation on Hawaii's public lands.
And, of course, there's a lot more to the National Mountain Bike Summit than meetings and hard work. The event offered incredible opportunities to network with mountain bike and transportation cycling advocates from around the nation in addition to dedicated bicycle industry leaders. I was thrilled to see a small army of new NBS attendees from Oregon and Idaho and hope that next year's summit draws even more of you!