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Southwest Presence at the National Bike Summit

The southwest region was recently represented at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., by volunteers from California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. We spent two days at advocacy workshops, learning about initiatives all across the country and networking with fellow grass-roots activists and industry representatives.

A third day was spent on Capitol Hill meeting with the delegations from our respective states. Rich Cook, IMBA's development director, and I met with Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona and used projects such as the Black Canyon Trail and large scale mountain bike events including the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo and the Whiskey 50, to underscore the significant economic impacts that mountain biking can have in communities throughout the state.

I also met with representatives and staff from Utah including those from the offices of Congressman Matheson, Congressman Bishop and Congressman Chaffetz. Agai,n at these meetings, we highlighted the job creation, community resource and healthy lifestyle opportunities available through the development and funding of natural surface trail systems. We used examples from throughout Utah, including Park City, Moab and the growing network at Dead Horse Point State Park to highlight what mountain biking can do in terms of drawing visitors to an area for healthy recreation, which also puts dollars into local service economies.

A focus of our discussions with all of these Congressman and Senators was to request continued support of the Federal Recreational Trails program. I look forward to working with our representatives as work progresses in the southwest.

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