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The Secret Powers of Maps

We covered 50 miles over 4 days.  We logged more hours pedaling in a week than I normally ride in a month.  No, we weren’t racing in a multi-day event, we were mapping trails.

Maps are good planning tools; most often used to figure out where to ride.  Beyond that, maps have other secret powers like being used for making decisions about what trails to protect and where to build trails in the future.

I recently traveled to Southern California to help one of IMBA’s newest chapters with an important mapping activity.  Working in coordination with the US Forest Service, Idyllwild Cycling embarked on a project to update their local trail inventory to prepare for upcoming phases of land management planning.  They realized that documenting trails in their area was going to be a critical aspect to having conversations about future developments in the system.

While mapping inventories don’t necessarily sound glamorous, they do involve being outside and riding a bike.  In addition, to a fun and productive process, the results of such an endeavor are incredibly valuable for the managing land agency and the credibility of the local club.

For more information about what it takes to do a mapping inventory in your local area, contact IMBA Mapping Specialist leslie [dot] kehmeier [at] imba [dot] com (Leslie Kehmeier) for details.

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