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Mapping: A Tool for Great Advocacy

"Great experiences and great trails require great advocacy."

These words hit me square in the face during the Chapter Congress last Thursday at the World Summit. The session was being led by IMBA’s executive director Mike Van Abel. As he read the words on the screen, I decided to steal them for my own presentation about IMBA’s Mapping Program on Friday.

For weeks I had been obsessing about my 10 minute presentation to the crowd in Steamboat Springs. I wanted my short talk to be impactful and was looking for the right words to say to really drive home why it’s so important that we’ve taken on mapping. Mike’s words were perfect, so much more succinct than "we’re building a national trails database for policy, blah, blah, blah…."

Great advocacy happens daily throughout the IMBA network and gets executed in a variety of different ways. Every program in our organization from the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew to Membership is working to support this cause. The Mapping Program is no different and MTB Project is the tool we’re using to support great advocacy.

I was very honored to present what’s been accomplished since 2012 when I stood on the stage in Santa Fe to announce that we were going to map every mountain bike route on the planet. Through a very valuable partnership with the people from MTB Project and a collaborative effort with our staff, IMBA Chapters and the mountain biking community, we’re building a tool that supports the great advocacy being done everywhere.

They say that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. Thanks Mike - you helped me communicate IMBA’s mapping efforts in the best way possible.


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