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Year of the Map

Tell the story. That’s what I keep repeating, in my head, to my co-workers, and every time I tap on the keyboard of my computer.  For the last 365 days I’ve been thinking of ways to tell the tales of trails everywhere.  No matter what the end result has been, the story always begins with people.  While launching a new project for IMBA, I got to spend time with some really awesome folks who helped me put a few places on the map.

In early spring I headed south to ride with Mark from Birmingham who showed me the trails at Oak Mountain State Park.  From there I chased Andy from Fayetteville, WV around the loops in New River Gorge.

On my next foray, Frank Maguire, IMBA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional director, started following me.  He appeared first in Lykens, PA on the Rattling Creek Epic and then later outside Harrisonburg, VA on the Southern Traverse.

Summer provided two ‘epic’ adventures.  After a TCC reunion of sorts on the Maah Daah Hey in North Dakota, I jumped at the chance to ride the North Umpqua in Oregon where I made new friends in Tippi and Barb (who hail from Little Rock, AR).

Not wanting to miss fall colors anywhere, I made quick trips to the Wasatch Front and the Middle South. In Ogden I arrived just in time to see Trail Solutions adding to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  Soon after, I reconnected with Randy and Matt from Knoxville on a spectacular ride at Big South Fork National Recreation Area.

Year-end took me to Southern California.  For a week I mapped trails in the San Bernardino National Forest with the help of Wayne, the uber-fit singlespeeder from Idyllwild.  From there, I experienced one of my coolest rides ever with the San Diego Mountain Bike Association crew on Noble Canyon.  And finally, I checked in on Chris Orr and the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers who continue to do important and effective work for trails and mountain bike advocacy.

So as 2012 closes, I think we’re off to a great start. But there’s no rest for the weary, and as 2013 lies ahead, we’ll do our best to get more stories on the map.

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